At The Dawes Arboretum, we celebrate the opportunity to connect with our community members and the furry friends that love to join those community members on outdoor adventures!

Did you know that it is recommended your dog receives at least one hour of exercise per day? While there are some variables depending on your dog’s breed, age, etc. most experts say an hour a day should keep your furry friend healthy and happy. But walking the same block day after day can get a little repetitive – for you AND your dog! 

At The Dawes Arboretum, you and your best friend have access to literally hundreds of acres to explore – right in your backyard! To make your visit to The Arboretum as smooth as possible, here are some answers to commonly asked questions from dog owners about what visiting Dawes with their Dawgs will look like:

Where can I go at The Dawes Arboretum with my dog?

Dogs are allowed to visit every part of The Arboretum except the Conifer Glen. This is because the plants in this area can be more sensitive to urine. Other than that, happy exploring!

Where can I run with my dog?

The best paths to run with your dog include:

  • The paved Lake Connector Trail (accessible from the main parking lot)
  • The Grassy Lake Trail around Dawes Lake (connected to the paved Lake Connector Trail)

Both of these trails can be easy on human and animal joints, while still getting in a good workout and seeing beautiful scenery.

If you are looking for a little more of a challenge, the more natural grass Bur Oak Trail next to the Japanese Garden is surrounded by beautiful meadows!

What are your policies around safety, leashing, and muzzling?

  • Any and all breeds are accepted and welcome at Dawes!
  • You are not required to muzzle your dog at The Arboretum.
  • We do ask that all dogs remain on a leash while on Arboretum grounds.
  • For the safety of your pets, we ask that pets stay out of all lakes or ponds at The Arboretum.

What are your policies around cleaning up after my dog?

  • We do ask that pet owners clean up after their dogs while on Arboretum grounds.
  • Dog bags are not provided by The Arboretum, so please come prepared with your own.
  • Trash cans are available by the Visitors Center and the Main Shelter House for dog waste to be disposed of.

What about access to water for my dog?

We recommend that guests bring their own water with them for their Arboretum adventures.

Where is the best place to take a picture of my dog to remember our amazing adventures?

There are plenty of beautiful locations to take photos of your dog at The Dawes Arboretum, but a few visitor favorites are the Japanese Garden, the Red Barn Reserve, the Log Cabin and the Zand Education Center!

What if my dog and I would like to visit the Dawes Arboretum more than twice a year?To be cost effective and be more involved with the Dawes Arboretum, we would recommend you sign up for a yearly membership. With an individual membership, you will gain free entry to The Arboretum for you and one guest along with a list of other perks and promotions. Learn More Here.