We are already fast approaching the end of October in Massachusetts, and that means that fall activities are in full swing! Instead of leaving your pup at home this weekend, we have dug up 3 dog friendly farms you and your canine companion can enjoy together! Jump to the end of the blog to find links for each farm.  

If you are looking for some close by local fun, check out Brooksby Farm in Peabody or Smolak Farms in North Andover.  While these first two farms do not allow dogs in the orchards to go apple picking with you, the rest of the area makes for a wonderful place to visit!  Allow your dogs to take in all the smells of warm cider donuts, investigate the outgoing farm animals, and explore the pumpkin patch.  As much as physical exercise is important for our furry friends, so is mental stimulation and this is a great way to give them an incredible sensory experience! 

We have saved the best for last…rounding out our list is Drew Farm in Westford.  It is a bit further away, but if you are looking to give your pup the true fall experience, this is a must visit.  This dog-friendly farm actually allows you to bring your pup into the orchard to go apple picking with you!  Just make sure they are leashed and on their best behavior!

Not sure how your dog is going to react to the farm animals?  We are going to give you some helpful tips to keep your dog comfortable while respecting the other local residents!

Tip 1.  Bring some really tasty, high value treats: think real pieces of meat!  There are going to be a lot of distractions and we want to be able to reward our dogs for good behavior around these distractions.

Tip 2.  Distance is your friend: Begin at a starting point far enough away from the farm animals that you can still get your dogs attention and reward him.  If your dog is calm you can gradually decrease the distance.  Make sure as you decrease the distance you are still able to get them to respond to basic cues.

Tip 3.  The 3 second rule: If all animals involved calmly make it close enough to the fence line to investigate each other, keep it short.  Like we are talking real short…3 seconds is perfect, and then move away.  It is important to give both animals space to opt in to another interaction.  This will help keep your dog from getting over aroused while still allowing plenty of information gathering to take place.

UH-OH!!! My dog is barking or lunging at the farm animals, what should I do?! 

First, put some distance in between you and whatever is causing your dog to bark.  Once he is no longer barking, you can reward for anytime he looks at the animal without reacting.  Looking calmly at the animal = treat.  Remember we want to keep all of the animals involved feeling safe and comfortable, so there is no rush to get too close.  

Alright, so now you have visited these farms and are home.  You have made an apple pie and an apple crisp and have eaten at least 1 apple a day as a snack for the past week, and STILL somehow have over half of a bag of apples left…did you know that apples make a great low-fat, vitamin packed treat for your dog? We love using our remaining apples to create homemade applesauce that can be used to stuff Kong’s and other treat dispensing toys!

Let us know if you get a chance to visit any of these beautiful local farms! We always love seeing what our DGGT House and Pets’ pups are up to! Happy adventuring! 

Brooksby Farm in Peabody

Smolak Farms in North Andover

Drew Farm in Westford