Animals, People, & the Earth

Great Outdoors Month – Visit a National Park

Earth Animal’s 1% Promise – National Park Foundation

June is Great Outdoors Month, a celebration of nature that lines up perfectly with Earth Animal’s ideals of protecting and honoring nature. So, to celebrate the Great Outdoors and show our advocacy for the Earth and its Animals, our one percent partner this month is the National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service. The National Park Foundation was chartered by Congress in 1967 with the mission of directly supporting the National Park Service, the organization which preserves and maintains the natural and cultural legacy of the United States through protecting designated spaces of natural beauty, unique geological features, diverse ecosystems, and opportunities for recreation. The 63 National Parks of the United States are truly places of splendor, and we are thrilled to be able to support them.

A National Park vacation would be a wonderful trip to take with your furry best friend, but be sure to know before you go which parks are dog friendly and which are not. The folks at Go Pet Friendly have already done much of the research on this, and you can click here to review their list of The Most Dog Friendly National Parks in America. There are a number of Parks that welcome dogs, but stand-outs from this list include Acadia National Park on the coast of Maine, which allows dogs just about everywhere in the Park, including on the transportation shuttles, and Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio which permits animals on every inch of its trails.

If you are going to take a trip to a National Park with your dog, be sure to plan beyond just knowing which Park would make for the best vacation and know how to visit and hike safely. The American Kennel Club suggests that the first step to hiking safely is to know your animal’s health, training, and socialization level at the outset. You wouldn’t want to take an elderly dog with arthritis on a long, challenging hike. Nor would you want to take a dog who doesn’t walk well on a leash, or is reactive to other dogs on a busy trail. Know what your dog is capable of and plan accordingly. When packing for your hike, don’t forget bottled water and a travel bowl that your dog can drink out of. Be sure to stop frequently to hydrate your animal to avoid overheating. And don’t forget to treat for fleas and ticks before you hit the trail and pack a tick removal kit with fine point tweezers or a tick removal hook, and alcohol pads, as you’ll likely encounter lots of pesky critters when hiking. Make sure that your dog knows and responds quickly to cues such as “leave it” and “come” to ensure that your dog won’t accidentally ingest something that could harm him, such as animal waste, and will return immediately if he manages to break free of his leash. And to ensure that you both have a great time, remember to keep in mind the National Parks B.A.R.K. Rule: Bag your dog’s waste, Always leash your dog, Respect wildlife, and Know where you can go.

It is a wonderful privilege to have so many choices of amazing National Parks to visit with your animal companion. Earth Animal is proud to partner with the National Park Foundation to help ensure that these national treasures will be available to explore for generations to come.

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