Fall is in the air, and you know what that means: lots of adorable, autumnal photo ops for you and your dog! Nothing says fall like a trip to the pumpkin patch. But are dogs allowed at farms with pumpkin patches?
Read on to learn how to take your perfect dog to pick out the perfect pumpkin.
Are dogs allowed at the pumpkin patch?
Many pumpkin patches are located on real, working farms. It’s hard to imagine an environment more dog-friendly than a farm, but not every pumpkin patch welcomes our four-legged friends. There are a few reasons why a pumpkin patch might not welcome dogs:
- Animal waste near crops = a big no-no
- State food laws. Dogs are typically not allowed in food service and retail stores
- Crowd control. Pumpkin patches are non-stop busy leading up to Halloween, and dogs may be easily stressed out by the activity. Or, they may stress out families with kids. As much as we love dogs, we have to be mindful that not everybody feels the same way.
Sometimes, dogs will be allowed in some parts of the farm, but not others. For example, at Portland’s famous Bella Organic Pumpkin Patch and Winery, dogs are welcome on the grounds, and can even join you in the corn maze during the day! But dogs are not allowed in fields with growing crops or in the farm store.
To find out if your local pumpkin patch is dog-friendly, contact them ahead of time. Most popular fall farm destinations will have FAQs on their website, and all the ones I looked at mentioned dogs.
Is my dog a good fit for the pumpkin patch?
Before taking your dog on an outing, consider whether or not it will be fun for them. Some dogs simply don’t like crowds, and the busy family farm might be too much for them. But for social, outgoing dogs, the pumpkin patch is a great fall activity!
Dogs who go to the pumpkin patch should be well-socialized and trained. The pumpkin patch may be full of kids and farm animals, along with other strange smells and sounds. Keep your dog leashed, and move them to a less-crowded area if they become agitated or stressed out.
What can dogs do at a pumpkin patch?
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As long as the pumpkin patch you’re visiting is dog-friendly, your canine companion can participate in any number of fall activities. Some farms even have special events just for dogs! For example, Biringer’s Black Crow Pumpkins & Corn Maze, located about an hour north of Seattle, hosts a doggy costume contest every year.
A few popular pumpkin patch activities are typically off-limits to dogs. These include hay rides, “pumpkin flingers” or slingshots, and petting zoos. In general, farm activities with other animals or moving parts are not dog-friendly. And chances are, your dog would be stressed out by them, anyhow.
Do you like to get lost with your dog? Many of the farms we researched allow dogs in their corn mazes during daylight hours. If you take your dog in a corn maze, be mindful of crowds and kids! And as with any outdoor activity involving dogs, make sure you bring poop bags along. Nobody wants to step in a doggy surprise while trying to navigate the maze.
What should you pack for your dog’s day at the pumpkin patch?
Visiting the pumpkin patch with your dog is like any other outing. You’ll want to bring all of the essentials:
- A secure leash (almost all dog-friendly pumpkin patches have strict leash policies)
- Poop bags
- Treats to reward good behavior
- A chew or puzzle toy in case your dog gets bored, or you want to keep them busy while you sip hot cider
If you’re planning on a pumpkin patch photo shoot (and let’s be honest, that’s a huge part of the appeal), you’ll also want to bring:
- A digital camera, if your phone doesn’t have a high-quality built-in camera
- A costume for your dog (only if they like dressing up. Don’t force it!)
- High-value treats to help hold your dog’s attention
- At least one other person to help!
Dog-friendly pumpkin patches near you
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We name-checked a few dog-friendly fall farms above, but there are even more to explore! These are some of the most dog-friendly pumpkin patches and farms near Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco.
Dog-friendly pumpkin patches near Seattle
- Rutledge Corn Maze, Olympia
- Biringer’s Black Crow Pumpkins & Corn Maze, Arlington
- Picha’s Pumpkin Patch, Puyallup
- Mosby Farm, Auburn
Dog-friendly pumpkin patches near Portland
- Bella Organic Pumpkin Patch, Sauvie Island
- Plumper Pumpkin Patch, NW Portland
- Kruger’s Farm Market, Sauvie Island
Dog-friendly pumpkin patches near SF Bay Area
- Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm, Half Moon Bay (hosts an annual Bernese Mountain Dog Day!)
- Arata Pumpkin Farm, Half Moon Bay
- Moore’s Pumpkin Patch, San Ramon and Rowell Ranch