Two years ago, after the loss of my previous dog, I headed out apple picking at The Apple Orchard along Highway 6 near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. I was dog-less then, and it was weird. As far as dog-friendly apple picking goes, The Apple Orchard is the place to be – very dog (and family) friendly, so I got my canine fix meeting other pups.
Not this year. This year, I took my two-year-old Springer-cross apple picking at The Apple Orchard. We actually ended up with some apples and pears, which was challenging because my crazy spaniel was over-stimulated by birds, people, smells, and anything moving around her.
Apples, Pumpkins, and Dogs
“She’s having a great time,” one person commented with wonder as my dog pranced and sniffed randomly between rows of apple trees. Yes, she sure was having fun … as much as she could at the end of a leash because, although The Apple Orchard is very dog-friendly, leashes are mandatory. Leashes are especially mandatory when you have an over-stimulated spaniel who’d chase a bird for miles.
Dogs love farms, and I’m so grateful my precious pup was permitted to walk through the pumpkin patch, along the sunflower field, through the one kilometer of on-site wooded trails, past hidden garden gnomes in the forest, and of course acres of marked apple trees … with signs noting which ones are ripe for picking. Different varieties of apples ripen at different times in the season, so selecting the right rows was important.
We skipped the corn maze because the bag of apples was getting too heavy.
Can dogs eat apples?
Yes, dogs can eat apples in moderation, but not cores. Apples, including skins, are high in fiber and contain beneficial vitamins A and C.
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Dehydrated apples for dogs
After spending the afternoon at a dog-friendly apple picking farm, I decided to give the dehydrate setting on my Ninja Dual air fryer (affiliate link) a try. I dehydrated some freshly-picked apples for my pup. Here’s how:
- Core two apples and sliced them thinly.
- Soak the slices in a mixture of 3 tablespoons of water with one teaspoon of lemon juice for five minutes to keep the slices from turning brown.
- Dry the apple slices on a paper towel then lay them in a single layer on the air fryer racks.
- Select the dehydrate setting, set the temperature to 60C or 140F, and dehydrate for seven hours. Check out other dog apple treats here.
Tips for visiting an apple orchard or pumpkin patch with your dog:
- Bring a camera (or at least your phone) because most public farms have photo ‘stages’ framing your pup picture perfect
- Check to see if the farm near you allows dogs, or on which days – our list here has been dog-friendly checked
- All dogs must be leashed at all times
- Dogs need to be kid-friendly because there will be many (unleashed) kids on farms
- Prices will likely be higher than grocery stores – remember you’re paying for the experience and supporting family farms
- Weekends are the busiest times – weekdays might be preferable with dogs, if the farm is open on weekdays
- Pick up the poop, even if there’s farm animal poop around
- Ultimately, many considerations for taking your dog with you are the same as any festival of densely attended outdoor event. Check out our festival-going considerations here.
Check out additional pumpkin patch tips from our friends at You Did What with Your Wiener.
Dog-friendly apple picking farms in Southern Ontario:
Ancaster: Carluke Orchards, 2194 Shaver Road South, Ancaster, Ontario
Brampton: Carl Laidlaw Orchards, 9496 Heritage Road, Brampton, Ontario
Brantford: Brantwood Farms, 251 Powerline Road, Brantford, Ontario
Halton Hills: Chudleigh’s, 9528 Regional Road #25, Halton Hills, Ontario
Hamilton: The Apple Orchard Inc. 1668 Highway 6, Hamilton, Ontario
King City: Pine Farms Orchard, 2700 16th Side Road, King City, Ontario
Stoney Creek: Luna Farms, 661 8th Road E, Stoney Creek, Ontario
Also check our adventures along the dog-friendly Apple Pie Trail in Blue Mountain, Ontario.
Dog-friendly pumpkin farms in Southern Ontario:
Bright: Snyder’s Family Farm, 936685 Blenheim Road, Bright, Ontario. (Note: only the pumpkin patch is dog-friendly, not the attractions)
Fonthill: Howells Family Pumpkin Farm, 2878 Holland Road, Fonthill, Ontario
Hampton: Pingle’s Farm Market, 1805 Tauton Road, Hampton, Ontario
Waterloo: Good Family Pumpkins, 909 Bridge Street E., Waterloo, Ontario
Writer bio: Sherri Telenko has been a professional writer for decades and travel writer for the last two. She’s a member of TMAC (Travel Media Association of Canada) and Dog Writers Association of America, and travels almost weekly with her canine companion, Victoria.