If you’re like me, you want two things at the tree farm: your dogs and the perfect tree. As we live in Washington state, there are plenty of tree farms to choose from, and we found our favorite in Maple Valley.
I’m a Rover sitter and have taken my Rover dogs to the tree farm each year for a fun experience that we all enjoy, but I always do it cautiously, as there are a lot of factors that go into this outing. Here are my top tips for taking your dog to the tree farm.
1. Have fun!
I have yet to have a dog tell me, “I hated going to the tree farm.” Even if they could, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t. For the last four years, I’ve found dogs love the experience. From a senior, slow-moving pug to a 10-month-old puppy excited to see snow for the first time, this is such a fun experience and makes for some amazing holiday card photos.
2. Be prepared for accidents
The excitement of going somewhere new can often cause a internal brew of #2 in your dogs. Make sure to equip yourself with a fresh roll of poop bags just in case you need to scoop some up.
3. Watch out: your dog will want to mark the trees
I have a male Boston terrier and he likes to claim every.single.tree. To prevent this, I keep him on a very short leash and next to me at all times.
You need to be respectful to the families who may be cutting that tree down, so don’t let your dog mark—no ifs, ands, or butts.
That’s Gus on the right—the marker.
4. Take lots of photos
This is the perfect opportunity to take some frame-worthy photos. Whether it be of your dogs in their festive attire or sniffing each tree, you can get some really great shots. So often people see my photos and say, “You took your dog to the tree farm? How fun!” It truly is, so capture it in all its glory!
5. There will most likely be other dogs
The reason we chose our tree farm is because they’re dog-friendly. They not only allow dogs, but have a Santa and Mrs. Claus that love dogs.
That being said, you’ll need to keep in mind that there will most likely be other dogs at the farm. If your dog is leash aggressive, you might want to think about the logistics, as leashes can get tangled around trees, which can cause panic in both humans and dogs.
6. There will be children
The tree farm is a super family-friendly place to be during the holidays. Your dog must be OK with children, because there will be a lot of them, and they will want to pet your dog.
Keep in mind that not all children are taught the correct way to greet a dog, so it’s always best to err on the safe side. If you see children coming close, and your dog appears nervous, take a few steps back and let them pass.
It’s never a bad thing to tell parents that your dog is nervous around children—get it out there, they’ll appreciate it!
7. Holiday sweaters make things better
Do you have a holiday sweater for your dog? No? Better go get one! This is the perfect place for your dog to rock their new sweater or pajama set. You’re sure to get a ton of comments, and it’ll even boost your dogs ego a little bit!
8. Make sure there are two humans
Cutting a tree down by yourself with dogs would be near impossible. If you go to the tree farm solo, I applaud you. The logistics of this could be very hard, so it’s always good to have a helping hand: a dog wrangler and a tree cutter.
If you do happen to go alone, I would bring the dogs with for the tree hunt phase, and return them to the car for the actual cutting part.
Me as the dog wrangler.
Mike as the tree cutter
Happy holidays, and enjoy the season with your dogs!