National Forest Foundation

Four Reasons Why Your Dog Loves National Forests

Adventures, Hiking and Backpacking

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From stellar hikes to beautiful mountains, there are so many reasons to love our National Forests. But you’re not the only one who enjoys hiking and camping – your pup does too! Unlike many parks, most National Forest areas allow dogs to #GoPlay in these beautiful places. Here are some reasons why your dog loves National Forests even more than you do:
1. There are many National Forest areas that dogs can be unleashed! Literally. Off-leash areas allow doggos to run, jump and play freely.

Martin Bravenboer

2. There are so many sticks to fetch! 

Zoe Bommarito

3. Pups can cool off in rivers, lakes, and streams on our National Forests. Who doesn’t love to swim? They don’t call it doggy paddle for nothing! 

Taylor Silbernagel

4. Hiking on National Forests makes their human happy. So doggo is happy too.

Wes Swaffar

Dog owners - to ensure your pet-friendly adventure is trouble-free, please follow these tips:

1. Be sure to pick up pet waste on the trail and in the campground! Most developed National Forest areas may even have pet waste stations supplied with plastic bags and bear-proof trash receptacles. Cleaning up after your pup will enable other visitors to have an equally awesome experience.

2. Check with your local National Forest office to find out which areas pets must be on-leash or any current restrictions. Note that most trailhead areas require dogs to be on-leash. Along the trail, there may also additional signs instructing pet owners to keep dogs on-leash.

3. Remember to bring along enough food and water for your furry friend. Also, be sure to store your dog’s supplies as you would your own. Puppy chow left out may attract unwanted visitors such as bears.  

4. Overall, be courteous to other visitors. If you’re staying in a campground, be sure to secure your dog and never leave them alone. If you’re on a trail or waterway, be sure your pup is on voice command or on-leash. 

Darwin Featherstone

Now go get out onto our National Forests and fetch some great memories with Fido! Do you have any tips on adventuring in National Forests with your furry friends? Share them in the comments below or on Facebook!

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