In North Carolina, we know there is nothing better than getting outside and adventuring with our furry friends. Follow these tips next time you head out with your pup to ensure you both have the best time!

Know Before You Go

Before you head out, check local rules and regulations and make sure pets are allowed. In some areas, such as national parks, pets are not allowed. Some beaches may also have specific times of day or the year when pets are not allowed. Additionally, there may be some areas within specific parks that don’t allow pets such as bathhouses and swimming areas in our state parks. Need ideas for where to go with your pets? Follow this link to find pet-friendly outdoor adventures across the state.

Where your furry friend is allowed, be sure to bring a short, handheld leash. Keeping your dog leashed will keep your dog on the trail and prevent them from disturbing local wildlife and trampling vegetation. Just like humans, our dogs need fuel for their outdoor excursions. Don’t forget to pack enough water for you and your pet as well as some treats for Fido, too. Check the weather before your outing and consider if temperatures may be too hot for your pet. Keep in mind the temperature of rock or sand may be hotter than the air and can easily burn the pads on dogs’ feet.

Pick Up After Your Pup

While it is no one’s favorite thing to doo, you should always pick up after your pup. Unlike deer, bear, fox and coyote poop, dog waste contains ingredients from their food that are not found in nature. Additionally, it can contain bacteria such as giardia, roundworms and hookworms that can pollute water sources and make humans as well as other animals sick. Always bring a bag to pick up after your pet, and make sure to pack the bagged waste all the way to the nearest trash can.

Canine Etiquette

Our dogs are amazing companions, but not every visitor, dog or other critter loves them as much as we do. Be respectful of others by keeping your dog on a leash and by not letting them approach other visitors or their dogs without permission. Managing your pet will ensure that you and your dog stay safe and enjoy your adventures.