apple picking with dog
Writer Kristina Lotz and her husband have an apple orchard at their house in Washington where they enjoy apple picking with their dog. © Kristina Lotz

Dog Friendly Apple Picking Do’s and Don’ts

Apple picking is a favorite fall activity — and one that you can share with your dog! Check out these do’s and don’ts before heading to dog friendly apple orchards.
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The fall season brings with it some fun activities, including the annual trip to a local orchard to pick apples. It probably seems like a great idea to bring the whole family, but a lot of orchards no longer allow dog friendly apple picking due to the mess left behind by them and their owners. Again and again poop bags are recovered from the field, shares Gil Schieber, plantsman at Skipley Farm, one of the few Washington state you-pick orchards that still allows dogs. This fouls the future of all dog freedoms, he adds. If you are luckily enough to have a dog friendly apple orchard nearby, follow these tips for polite dog friendly apple picking to ensure it stays that way!

Do’s for Dog Friendly Apple Picking:

  • Keep your dog on a leash at all times.
  • Bring a friend to hold your dog while you are on the ladder, for safety reasons!
  • Be aware that other people are not always dog lovers. Many people are frightened of dogs and owners need to respect the deep fear that can be ingrained in people, cautions Gil.
  • Pick up after your dog and take the bag out with you or throw in the appropriate waste bin.
  • Train your dog to follow basic cues like “leave it,” “sit,” and recall. Read here about how to teach your dog these cues.

Don’ts for Dog Friendly Apple Picking:

  • Don’t bring a dog who is not friendly to people and other animals.
  • Don’t let your dog damage trees by chewing on branches, clawing on them, etc.
  • Don’t let your dog approach any livestock on the farm, for their own safety and the livestock’s.
  • Don’t let your dog eat apples off the ground. The seeds and cores are not good for dogs (seeds contain cyanide), and rotten apples can upset their digestive system.
  • Don’t use an extendable leash. They can create a real problem if your dog winds himself around a ladder or trees.

Dog friendly apple picking is a delight of fall, but always call ahead to familiarize yourself with each apple orchard’s individual rules.

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