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Pet Protocol


The Arboretum welcomes you and your four-legged friend! Please be sure to keep your dog on a leash and on the path at all times. No matter how friendly or well trained your dog is, many people—especially children—are scared when approached by an unleashed pet. Other dogs may take offense, too, and become aggressive.

Leashing your dog and staying on the path protects both of you. The Arboretum is home to snakes, raccoons, snapping turtles, skunks, ticks, chiggers, and other native wildlife. These animals may bite and/or carry diseases like rabies, Lyme disease, salmonella, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Poison ivy poses a risk, too: while dogs don’t react to it, most people will develop an itchy rash if they pet a pooch whose fur has come into contact with the plant.

As a botanical garden, the Arboretum is committed to conserving the Chesapeake region’s native landscapes. Your dog will love walking here but may not have a high level of concern for our plant communities. Keeping dogs on leashes and on our paths protects native plants (including vulnerable ones like the pink lady slipper!), habitat, ground-nesting birds, and other animals. Similarly, cleaning up after your dog makes the visitor experience better for everyone.

We appreciate your adherence to our pet protocol and look forward to welcoming you and your dog!

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