Dog Recreation

Hiking Hounds - Sundays, Oct. 24, Oct. 31

Screen Shot 2021-01-03 at 2.45.08 PMHiking Hounds is one of the most popular Asheville Humane Society volunteer activities. Each month, volunteers take shelter dogs on hikes as part of the enrichment programming. You'll spend a few hours in Bent Creek hiking the trails with dogs who will love you for it.

Hiking Hounds takes place on Oct. 24 and Oct. 31 starting at 9 AM.

Spots for two new hikers will be available on each hike.

If you are a new hiker… once you sign up for a hike you will be sent a link to a virtual orientation. You must watch this, and sign a waiver before attending a hike. All new hikers will come on their first hike without a dog; you will be paired with a hiking buddy to become familiar with the process of the program, and make sure this is an activity you will enjoy. 

If you are a seasoned volunteer… you are asked to watch the orientation as a refresher and you will be sent the link when you sign up for a hike.  

Note: New and repeat hikers alike are required to sign up in advance. If you'd like to sign up for this hike, email ahshikinghounds@outlook.com. Hikers are signed up on a "first come-first serve basis" and you must have a confirmed reservation to attend a hike. If you don’t get an email from Hiking Hounds, assume they didn’t get yours!

Please be sure you can actually make the hike; if we have late cancellations, a dog gets left behind without a hike.

Start time is 9 AM. Hikes are typically 3-5 miles at a brisk pace with elevation changes and provide vigorous exercise for our volunteer hikers as well. They do not cancel hikes because of rain, as our pups don’t mind getting wet. Hikers generally return to the shelter at 16 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville around 11:30 AM to 12 PM.

Hiking Hounds operates with the following updated protocol: PLEASE READ 

 AHS has relaxed their masking requirements for vaccinated individuals. Hiking Hounds has made some changes to our protocol as well:

  • We will continue to ask all volunteers to stay in the parking lot, and not come into the front of the building. The hike leaders will sign in the volunteers and will bring the dogs out to them; it is safer for the dogs to keep them outside.  
  • We will maintain a 6 foot bubble as usual, for the safety of our volunteers and the dog's safety and comfort; this includes the parking lot and the trail. 
  •  We will continue to eliminate bandanas and cards about the dogs; we can promote them thru social media.
  • We will continue to have one hiker go ahead of our caravan with all the Arboretum passes. That hiker will alert the security personal at the gate & will swipe ALL the passes so each hiker does not have to handle them. 
  • When we return to the shelter, all volunteers will again stay outdoors and the hike leaders will come get your dog. This is our normal procedure as our dogs always need social distancing.  
  • All equipment that we use will be sanitized between hikes.

 For more information visit the Hiking Hounds Facebook page.


Monday and Wednesday Hikes with Dogs

Screen Shot 2021-04-21 at 2.30.17 PMNothing could be finer than a hike in Carolina in the morning... especially with dogs! If you're looking to enjoy the beautiful outdoors with some deserving dogs and animal lovers, consider becoming a volunteer hiker for Asheville Humane Society's "Mountain Mutts." The more hikers, the more dogs that get some quality time outside of the animal shelter.

Mountain Mutts convenes in the parking lot at Asheville Humane Society (Forever Friend Lane, off Pond and Brevard Roads near the WNC Farmers Market) every Monday and Wednesday morning beginning at 8:30 AM. The Monday hike is about 4 to 5 miles, while the Wednesday hike is slightly easier at 3 to 4 miles on flatter trails.

New hikers are encouraged to join Mountain Mutts, but you must first register as a volunteer and go through some basic training. If you have an interest, please contact the Asheville Humane volunteer coordinator, Kelly Paul by email: volunteer@ashevillehumane.org or by phone: (828) 761-2001 ext. 307.

Image: Asheville Humane Society Mountain Mutts


Ingredients for a "Happy Hound"

Guest Post by Jessica Brody

Noemi-macavei-katocz-c7bUIRBqapA-unsplashAs a doggy parent, taking care of your four-legged companion comes naturally. Your dog loves your company and that seems to be all a dog needs. But the basics of dog care are important and will provide a good foundation. As much as your dog needs love, they also need nutrition and playtime. So here are some tips to make sure your four-legged friend is not only happy, but healthy as well!

Good fences make safe dogs

Your dog might prefer to have free rein over the neighborhood but as hard as this might be to believe, not everyone loves your dog as much as you do. So to protect them from all kinds of threats that range from traffic to other dogs to less-than-enthusiastic neighbors, consider installing a fence around your yard.

Craftsmanship, height and style choice are the keys to results that are both secure and aesthetically appealing. If you’re handy you can install it yourself, but if not, searching websites like Angi.com will lead you to reputable fencing companies near your location.

Navigating the claims of dog food makers

There are many kinds of dog food that vary greatly in quality and price. The trend toward holistic dog food is a move in the direction of healthier ingredients. According to veterinary doctor Natalie Stilwell, however, there are no industry standards when it comes to labeling a dog food “holistic,” while terms like “organic” or “natural” are more defined. So it’s best to do a little research before being won over by the claims made by the manufacturer.

Humans and dogs are really different when it comes to digestion. So while it’s tempting, it’s best to keep table scraps to a minimum, or to at least know what’s not good for your dog, since some foods can actually pose a health risk, according to Animal Planet. For instance, common food items such as milk, chocolate, garlic, avocadoes, grapes, and raisins should all be avoided.

If you want to reward your dog, look for treats made specifically for them, such as doggy ice cream, cookies, and flavored treats. Make sure the dog food you serve is up to par too, containing plenty of protein, veggies, fruits, grains, and a clearly labeled “best by” date. Keep in mind that dogs need different food for various stages of life, so check in with your vet to ensure your dog is getting the right kind of food to promote healthy growth and development.

Walks, yes, but also playtime

You already know that your dog needs daily exercise, but a walk around the neighborhood is only half of it. Your pooch needs playtime to burn off energy, satisfy their natural need to explore, and provide physical and mental stimulation. By offering opportunities for play, you not only prevent bad behaviors such as chewing or barking, but also teach your dog important lessons with boundaries.

When you take your dog to the dog park, you don’t want to be shunned because your dog doesn’t know how to play nice. By playing with your dog, you can build up obedience while also addressing bad behavior, both of which carry over into other areas. As long as your pooch is having fun, nearly any form of play can be beneficial. Check out a new hiking trail, or try new activities such as flyball or agility courses, and keep that brain sharp with puzzle toys and new tricks. You can even get your dog speech buttons to help them better communicate.

Add doggy daycare to the mix

Unfortunately, not everyone can take their dog to work. Consider a dog walker or doggy daycare for the long blocks of time when you have to be away. At doggy daycare your dog will get to play and socialize. They may be so tired they’ll fall asleep on the ride home. They’ll look forward to going and you'll feel good knowing they aren’t bored at home all day.

Once they’re used to going, doggy daycare can cure separation anxiety. It establishes a routine and provides physical exercise. It can help ease your play and walk responsibilities for when you’ve had an exhausting day, and you still get to be together to relax at the end of the day.

Your dog is probably going to love you no matter what. But feeding your dog right and providing exercise and mental stimulation can keep your dog healthy and happy.

Jessica Brody created http://ourbestfriends.pet/ so others could find a place to share stories and photos of their beloved animal companions.

Photo by Noémi Macavei-Katócz on Unsplash


How to Camp with a Reactive Dog

Guest Post by Tadej Kožar

Patrick-hendry-eDgUyGu93Yw-unsplashWould you love to bring your dog with you when you camp? What if your dog is reactive and not reliable outdoors? It is possible to take a reactive dog camping with you, but you will have to consider a few things before heading to a campsite or out in the backcountry.

The worst scenario can happen at a campsite that is crowded with other campers and their pets. If your dog will react to any of them even while just passing through you could have a stressful camping experience.

First, it is important to know why your dog is reactive so you work with him to fix the issue. Here are the most common reasons for a dog being reactive:

The lack of socialization
This is one of the most obvious factors for a dog’s reactive behavior. If your pup wasn’t introduced early on to various situations with people and other animals he can be reactive. It is best that you introduce a young puppy to new things as soon as possible as the brain is more perceptive in the first 4 months of a dog’s life.

Bad past experience
If you got a dog from an owner who mistreated him, this can be a problem. Your dog could associate people with pain and bad things and react negatively. It is important that he gets your trust. You will achieve this by working with him on a regular basis and reassuring him that he can trust people.

Your dog could be in pain
Your dog’s reactive behavior could actually be a reaction to his pain. Take your dog to a vet to determine if he has any health issues that make him reactive.

How to help a reactive dog when camping

Dogs with behavior issues require work, patience, and good techniques to overcome the problem successfully. Here are some tips for how to camp with a reactive dog:

Research the campsite

As the owner of a reactive dog, your responsibility is to find a more peaceful campground with not so many people, pets and events. Your dog will have an easier time coping with a new environment, people, and situations this way. Campgrounds that have adequate privacy between pitching plots are the best options.

Set up a dog-friendly camp

When you arrive at the campsite, let your dog research the place first. This way he will get familiar with the new environment. Then prepare a specific place for him so he can enjoy the quiet and rest undisturbed.

Get a pet-friendly tent

If your dog likes to sleep with you or close to you, get a tent that is appropriate for dogs. Some camping tents have a vestibule that is breathable and big enough for you and your dog to spend the night inside. You can even opt for a tent that has a vestibule floor made of material so your dog’s claws won’t tear apart and destroy the tent.

Set up a crate or an x-pen

If your dog is used to being outside, you can set up a place for him to relax, eat and walk. You can buy an x-pen, crate, or portable fence where he will feel comfortable and not so anxious.

Additional help

If you have a very reactive pet you can cover up his crate or place where he relaxes when you have to cook a meal or collect firewood. Use tarps, blankets, or towels to cover the place where he stays so he can’t see “the triggers” that will make him react.

What to avoid

One big mistake dog owners make is putting their dogs on a short leash. If you restrict your dog’s movement, he can be even more anxious and aggressive. Instead, give him his own place (crate, x-pan, etc.) where he will have more freedom.

Dog-friendly activities

Enjoy the outdoors with your dog and make sure you provide activities that will make him calm and comfortable.

Long walks

Take your dog for a long walk. He will be occupied with discovering new surroundings and sniffing around. Sniffing is the most basic behavior that makes dogs calm and this is exactly what your dog needs.

A walk will keep your dog occupied and mentally and physically stimulated so he won’t be able to react to the possible triggers. However, if he still finds a way to change his calm behavior, take him away from distraction and talk to him calmly.

Have a morning and an afternoon walk so your dog can explore and release his excess energy. The purpose of such action is to stop the reaction and offer him a better, calmer solution.

Play with your dog

Bring along your dog’s favorite toys that he can play with. With an interesting toy like a bone, rope, or a ball he will be occupied and less triggered by other factors and situations.

Change your dog's behavior in a moment

Changing your dog’s behavior is the most crucial thing to do when he starts to show signs of feeling uncomfortable. When you see a trigger that he is most sensitive to, take him away or give him his favorite toy so he can be focused on other more familiar things. It is important that you know what triggers his problematic behavior and to react accordingly.

Make your dog feel comfortable

Every dog that exhibits reactive behavior needs to feel calm and comfortable. Use your dog's name and talk to him quietly when he feels threatened. Try to get away from the trigger. This is an important step in the rehabilitation of a reactive dog.

Pack his gear

No matter where you take your dog camping you need to take care of his gear. He must have some sort of blanket or a bed where he can relax. If he is not used to resting in the vestibule of your large group tent then give him a sleeping area that reminds him of home.

Leash or harness

Use a leash or a harness when you walk with him. Don’t let him wander around the campsite by himself as he could get triggered easily by wild animals and smells. He can still enjoy a walk if he is restrained.

Treat pouch

A treat pouch is basic gear for a reactive dog. It will come in handy on walks and when you want to divert your dog’s reactive behavior. Give him a treat from time to time when he behaves and also use a small treat when you want to divert his attention to a triggering situation, human or an animal.

Having a reactive dog demands a lot of work, patience, and techniques so you two can camp together peacefully. It is crucial that you know your dog's triggers so you can prepare for them while you camp.

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

Tadej Kožar is the founder of Camping Valley. The site is an extension of his lifestyle and passion for the outdoors. Tadej believes we live in a technological era but nature is reminding us more and more that we should go to the places where our heart and soul feel like home.


Get Out There Mondays and Wednesdays!

Screen Shot 2021-04-21 at 2.30.17 PMNothing could be finer than a hike in Carolina in the morning... especially with dogs! If you're looking to enjoy the beautiful outdoors with some deserving dogs and animal lovers, consider becoming a volunteer hiker for Asheville Humane Society's "Mountain Mutts." The more hikers, the more dogs that get some quality time outside of the animal shelter.

Mountain Mutts convenes in the parking lot at Asheville Humane Society (Forever Friend Lane, off Pond and Brevard Roads near the WNC Farmers Market) every Monday and Wednesday morning beginning at 8:30 AM. The Monday hike is about 4 to 5 miles, while the Wednesday hike is slightly easier at 3 to 4 miles on flatter trails.

New hikers are encouraged to join Mountain Mutts, but you must first register as a volunteer and go through some basic training. If you have an interest, please contact the Asheville Humane volunteer coordinator, Kelly Paul by email: volunteer@ashevillehumane.org or by phone: (828) 761-2001 ext. 307.

Image: Asheville Humane Society Mountain Mutts


How to Turn Your Backyard into a Doggie Paradise

Screen Shot 2021-08-05 at 1.56.22 PMDesigning a space outdoors specifically for your dog is a great way to let her play and release some energy outside of the living room. Dogscaping your backyard doesn't have to be tricky or hard on your wallet. Think about employing some simple and budget-friendly backyard ideas for your dog, such as:

  • Set aside a play area with vinyl, chain link or wood fencing
  •  Designate a digging area
  • Build wandering paths
  • Create a dining and/or drinking area
  • Add a water feature
  • Construct a doggie playground

Check out all the details about these and more ideas here: https://capitaloneshopping.com/blog/backyard-ideas-for-dogs

Image: CapitalOne Shopping


Hike with Deserving Dogs on Mondays and Wednesdays

Screen Shot 2021-04-21 at 2.30.17 PMNothing could be finer than a hike in Carolina in the morning... especially with dogs! If you're looking to enjoy the beautiful outdoors with some deserving dogs and animal lovers, consider becoming a volunteer hiker for Asheville Humane Society's "Mountain Mutts." The more hikers, the more dogs that get some quality time outside of the animal shelter.

Mountain Mutts convenes in the parking lot at Asheville Humane Society (Forever Friend Lane, off Pond and Brevard Roads near the WNC Farmers Market) every Monday and Wednesday morning beginning at 8:30 AM. The Monday hike is about 4 to 5 miles, while the Wednesday hike is slightly easier at 3 to 4 miles on flatter trails.

New hikers are encouraged to join Mountain Mutts, but you must first register as a volunteer and go through some basic training. If you have an interest, please contact the Asheville Humane volunteer coordinator, Kelly Paul by email: volunteer@ashevillehumane.org or by phone: (828) 761-2001 ext. 307.

Image: Asheville Humane Society Mountain Mutts


Sundays in August: Hiking Hounds

Screen Shot 2021-01-03 at 2.45.08 PMHiking Hounds is one of the most popular Asheville Humane Society volunteer activities. Each month, volunteers take shelter dogs on hikes as part of the enrichment programming. You'll spend a few hours in Bent Creek hiking the trails with dogs who will love you for it.

Hiking Hounds takes place every Sunday in August starting at 9 AM.

Spots for two new hikers will be available on each hike.

If you are a new hiker… once you sign up for a hike you will be sent a link to a virtual orientation. You must watch this, and sign a waiver before attending a hike. All new hikers will come on their first hike without a dog; you will be paired with a hiking buddy to become familiar with the process of the program, and make sure this is an activity you will enjoy. 

If you are a seasoned volunteer… you are asked to watch the orientation as a refresher and you will be sent the link when you sign up for a hike.  

Note: New and repeat hikers alike are required to sign up in advance. If you'd like to sign up for this hike, email ahshikinghounds@outlook.com. Hikers are signed up on a "first come-first serve basis" and you must have a confirmed reservation to attend a hike. If you don’t get an email from Hiking Hounds, assume they didn’t get yours!

Please be sure you can actually make the hike; if we have late cancellations, a dog gets left behind without a hike.

Start time is 9 AM. Hikes are typically 3-5 miles at a brisk pace with elevation changes and provide vigorous exercise for our volunteer hikers as well. They do not cancel hikes because of rain, as our pups don’t mind getting wet. Hikers generally return to the shelter at 16 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville around 11:30 AM to 12 PM.

Hiking Hounds operates with the following updated protocol: PLEASE READ 

 AHS has relaxed their masking requirements for vaccinated individuals. Hiking Hounds has made some changes to our protocol as well:

  • We will continue to ask all volunteers to stay in the parking lot, and not come into the front of the building. The hike leaders will sign in the volunteers and will bring the dogs out to them; it is safer for the dogs to keep them outside.  
  • We will maintain a 6 foot bubble as usual, for the safety of our volunteers and the dog's safety and comfort; this includes the parking lot and the trail. 
  •  We will continue to eliminate bandanas and cards about the dogs; we can promote them thru social media.
  • We will continue to have one hiker go ahead of our caravan with all the Arboretum passes. That hiker will alert the security personal at the gate & will swipe ALL the passes so each hiker does not have to handle them. 
  • When we return to the shelter, all volunteers will again stay outdoors and the hike leaders will come get your dog. This is our normal procedure as our dogs always need social distancing.  
  • All equipment that we use will be sanitized between hikes.

 For more information visit the Hiking Hounds Facebook page.


Mondays and Wednesdays - Mountain Mutts Hikes

Screen Shot 2021-04-21 at 2.30.17 PMNothing could be finer than a hike in Carolina in the morning... especially with dogs! If you're looking to enjoy the beautiful outdoors with some deserving dogs and animal lovers, consider becoming a volunteer hiker for Asheville Humane Society's "Mountain Mutts." The more hikers, the more dogs that get some quality time outside of the animal shelter.

Mountain Mutts convenes in the parking lot at Asheville Humane Society (Forever Friend Lane, off Pond and Brevard Roads near the WNC Farmers Market) every Monday and Wednesday morning beginning at 8:30 AM. The Monday hike is about 4 to 5 miles, while the Wednesday hike is slightly easier at 3 to 4 miles on flatter trails.

New hikers are encouraged to join Mountain Mutts, but you must first register as a volunteer and go through some basic training. If you have an interest, please contact the Asheville Humane volunteer coordinator, Kelly Paul by email: volunteer@ashevillehumane.org or by phone: (828) 761-2001 ext. 307.

Image: Asheville Humane Society Mountain Mutts


How Your Dog can Take a Hike

Ryan-stone-cL5THZBD5YQ-unsplashA new hiking company in Asheville can give your dog an experience he won't soon forget. Appawlachian Hiking Company offers several services geared toward active dogs, including:

Nature Hike - Appawlachian will pick up your dog and drive to a nearby trail for 2 to 3 hours of leashed fun, socialization and exploration. All summer hikes are held near water.

Urban Hike - Appawlachian will take your dog on a 2-hour adventure in the city or your neighborhood, discovering parks, rivers, hills and more.

Trail Run - Appawlachian will give your dog a 45-minute workout on a nearby trail.

Trail Match - Appawlachian will make customized recommendations for dog hikes or vacation excursions in Western North Carolina, including tips and directions, with an emphasis on dog-friendly spots.

Transpetation - Appawlachian will take your dog to and from doggie daycare, vet appointments, etc.

Human hikers have over a decade of Appalachian hiking experience and are pet first aid certified. Check out more about this unique new company here: https://www.appawlachian.com/

Photo by Ryan Stone on Unsplash


Sundays in July: Hiking Hounds

Screen Shot 2021-01-03 at 2.45.08 PMHiking Hounds is one of the most popular Asheville Humane Society volunteer activities. Each month, volunteers take shelter dogs on hikes as part of the enrichment programming. You'll spend a few hours in Bent Creek hiking the trails with dogs who will love you for it.

Hiking Hounds takes place on Sunday, July 11, 18 and 25 starting at 9 AM.

Spots for two new hikers will be available on each hike.

If you are a new hiker… once you sign up for a hike you will be sent a link to a virtual orientation. You must watch this, and sign a waiver before attending a hike. All new hikers will come on their first hike without a dog; you will be paired with a hiking buddy to become familiar with the process of the program, and make sure this is an activity you will enjoy. 

If you are a seasoned volunteer… you are asked to watch the orientation as a refresher and you will be sent the link when you sign up for a hike.  

Note: New and repeat hikers alike are required to sign up in advance. If you'd like to sign up for this hike, email ahshikinghounds@outlook.com. Hikers are signed up on a "first come-first serve basis" and you must have a confirmed reservation to attend a hike. If you don’t get an email from Hiking Hounds, assume they didn’t get yours!

Please be sure you can actually make the hike; if we have late cancellations, a dog gets left behind without a hike.

Start time is 9 AM. Hikes are typically 3-5 miles at a brisk pace with elevation changes and provide vigorous exercise for our volunteer hikers as well. They do not cancel hikes because of rain, as our pups don’t mind getting wet. Hikers generally return to the shelter at 16 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville around 11:30 AM to 12 PM.

Hiking Hounds operates with the following updated protocol: PLEASE READ 

 AHS has relaxed their masking requirements for vaccinated individuals. Hiking Hounds has made some changes to our protocol as well:

  • We will continue to ask all volunteers to stay in the parking lot, and not come into the front of the building. The hike leaders will sign in the volunteers and will bring the dogs out to them; it is safer for the dogs to keep them outside.  
  • We will maintain a 6 foot bubble as usual, for the safety of our volunteers and the dog's safety and comfort; this includes the parking lot and the trail. 
  •  We will continue to eliminate bandanas and cards about the dogs; we can promote them thru social media.
  • We will continue to have one hiker go ahead of our caravan with all the Arboretum passes. That hiker will alert the security personal at the gate & will swipe ALL the passes so each hiker does not have to handle them. 
  • When we return to the shelter, all volunteers will again stay outdoors and the hike leaders will come get your dog. This is our normal procedure as our dogs always need social distancing.  
  • All equipment that we use will be sanitized between hikes.

 For more information visit the Hiking Hounds Facebook page.


Hike with Mountain Mutts - Mondays and Wednesdays

Screen Shot 2021-04-21 at 2.30.17 PMNothing could be finer than a hike in Carolina in the morning... especially with dogs! If you're looking to enjoy the beautiful outdoors with some deserving dogs and animal lovers, consider becoming a volunteer hiker for Asheville Humane Society's "Mountain Mutts." The more hikers, the more dogs that get some quality time outside of the animal shelter.

Mountain Mutts convenes in the parking lot at Asheville Humane Society (Forever Friend Lane, off Pond and Brevard Roads near the WNC Farmers Market) every Monday and Wednesday morning beginning at 8:30 AM. The Monday hike is about 4 to 5 miles, while the Wednesday hike is slightly easier at 3 to 4 miles on flatter trails.

New hikers are encouraged to join Mountain Mutts, but you must first register as a volunteer and go through some basic training. If you have an interest, please contact the Asheville Humane volunteer coordinator, Kelly Paul by email: volunteer@ashevillehumane.org or by phone: (828) 761-2001 ext. 307.

Image: Asheville Humane Society Mountain Mutts


Hiking Hounds with Asheville Humane on Sundays

Screen Shot 2021-01-03 at 2.45.08 PMHiking Hounds is one of the most popular Asheville Humane Society volunteer activities. Each month, volunteers take shelter dogs on hikes as part of the enrichment programming. You'll spend a few hours in Bent Creek hiking the trails with dogs who will love you for it.

Hiking Hounds takes place every Sunday starting at 9 AM.

Spots for two new hikers will be available on each hike.

If you are a new hiker… once you sign up for a hike you will be sent a link to a virtual orientation. You must watch this, and sign a waiver before attending a hike. All new hikers will come on their first hike without a dog; you will be paired with a hiking buddy to become familiar with the process of the program, and make sure this is an activity you will enjoy. 

If you are a seasoned volunteer… you are asked to watch the orientation as a refresher and you will be sent the link when you sign up for a hike.  

Note: New and repeat hikers alike are required to sign up in advance. If you'd like to sign up for this hike, email ahshikinghounds@outlook.com. Hikers are signed up on a "first come-first serve basis" and you must have a confirmed reservation to attend a hike. If you don’t get an email from Hiking Hounds, assume they didn’t get yours!

Please be sure you can actually make the hike; if we have late cancellations, a dog gets left behind without a hike.

Start time is 9 AM. Hikes are typically 3-5 miles at a brisk pace with elevation changes and provide vigorous exercise for our volunteer hikers as well. They do not cancel hikes because of rain, as our pups don’t mind getting wet. Hikers generally return to the shelter at 16 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville around 11:30 AM to 12 PM.

Hiking Hounds operates with the following updated protocol: PLEASE READ 

 AHS has relaxed their masking requirements for vaccinated individuals. Hiking Hounds has made some changes to our protocol as well:

  • We will continue to ask all volunteers to stay in the parking lot, and not come into the front of the building. The hike leaders will sign in the volunteers and will bring the dogs out to them; it is safer for the dogs to keep them outside.  
  • We will maintain a 6 foot bubble as usual, for the safety of our volunteers and the dog's safety and comfort; this includes the parking lot and the trail. 
  •  We will continue to eliminate bandanas and cards about the dogs; we can promote them thru social media.
  • We will continue to have one hiker go ahead of our caravan with all the Arboretum passes. That hiker will alert the security personal at the gate & will swipe ALL the passes so each hiker does not have to handle them. 
  • When we return to the shelter, all volunteers will again stay outdoors and the hike leaders will come get your dog. This is our normal procedure as our dogs always need social distancing.  
  • All equipment that we use will be sanitized between hikes.

 For more information visit the Hiking Hounds Facebook page.


Dog-friendly Bars and Breweries in Asheville

Screen Shot 2021-06-15 at 9.54.56 AMOur friends at AVL TODAY have published a great list of dog-friendly bars and breweries in Asheville. Here's the intro...

"Sometimes, you just want to go out on the town to wet your whistle. But if you have dogs at home, leaving them alone can be pawsitively pitifulThe good news that won’t make those sad puppy dog eyes turn your way? Asheville is a doggone dog-friendly place, with a plethora of watering holes where you can bring your pooch. We suggest bookmarking this page so you’ll know where your four-legged friends are welcome when it’s time for you to hit the town for an adult beverage."

Find the whole list here: https://avltoday.6amcity.com/dog-friendly-bars-breweries-asheville-nc/?

Image by Sektkellerei Inführ from Pixabay


Asheville Humane Hiking Hounds Every Sunday

Screen Shot 2021-01-03 at 2.45.08 PMHiking Hounds is one of the most popular Asheville Humane Society volunteer activities. Each month, volunteers take shelter dogs on hikes as part of the enrichment programming. You'll spend a few hours in Bent Creek hiking the trails with dogs who will love you for it.

Hiking Hounds takes place every Sunday starting at 9 AM.

Spots for two new hikers will be available on each hike.

If you are a new hiker… once you sign up for a hike you will be sent a link to a virtual orientation. You must watch this, and sign a waiver before attending a hike. All new hikers will come on their first hike without a dog; you will be paired with a hiking buddy to become familiar with the process of the program, and make sure this is an activity you will enjoy. 

If you are a seasoned volunteer… you are asked to watch the orientation as a refresher and you will be sent the link when you sign up for a hike.  

Note: New and repeat hikers alike are required to sign up in advance. If you'd like to sign up for this hike, email ahshikinghounds@outlook.com. Hikers are signed up on a "first come-first serve basis" and you must have a confirmed reservation to attend a hike. If you don’t get an email from Hiking Hounds, assume they didn’t get yours!

Please be sure you can actually make the hike; if we have late cancellations, a dog gets left behind without a hike.

Start time is 9 AM. Hikes are typically 3-5 miles at a brisk pace with elevation changes and provide vigorous exercise for our volunteer hikers as well. They do not cancel hikes because of rain, as our pups don’t mind getting wet. Hikers generally return to the shelter at 16 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville around 11:30 AM to 12 PM.

Hiking Hounds operates with the following updated protocol: PLEASE READ 

 AHS has relaxed their masking requirements for vaccinated individuals. Hiking Hounds has made some changes to our protocol as well:

  • We will continue to ask all volunteers to stay in the parking lot, and not come into the front of the building. The hike leaders will sign in the volunteers and will bring the dogs out to them; it is safer for the dogs to keep them outside.  
  • We will maintain a 6 foot bubble as usual, for the safety of our volunteers and the dog's safety and comfort; this includes the parking lot and the trail. 
  •  We will continue to eliminate bandanas and cards about the dogs; we can promote them thru social media.
  • We will continue to have one hiker go ahead of our caravan with all the Arboretum passes. That hiker will alert the security personal at the gate & will swipe ALL the passes so each hiker does not have to handle them. 
  • When we return to the shelter, all volunteers will again stay outdoors and the hike leaders will come get your dog. This is our normal procedure as our dogs always need social distancing.  
  • All equipment that we use will be sanitized between hikes.

 For more information visit the Hiking Hounds Facebook page.


Join Mountain Mutts Every Monday and Wednesday

Screen Shot 2021-04-21 at 2.30.17 PMNothing could be finer than a hike in Carolina in the morning... especially with dogs! If you're looking to enjoy the beautiful outdoors with some deserving dogs and animal lovers, consider becoming a volunteer hiker for Asheville Humane Society's "Mountain Mutts." The more hikers, the more dogs that get some quality time outside of the animal shelter.

Mountain Mutts convenes in the parking lot at Asheville Humane Society (Forever Friend Lane, off Pond and Brevard Roads near the WNC Farmers Market) every Monday and Wednesday morning beginning at 8:30 AM. The Monday hike is about 4 to 5 miles, while the Wednesday hike is slightly easier at 3 to 4 miles on flatter trails.

New hikers are encouraged to join Mountain Mutts, but you must first register as a volunteer and go through some basic training. If you have an interest, please contact the Asheville Humane volunteer coordinator, Kelly Paul by email: volunteer@ashevillehumane.org or by phone: (828) 761-2001 ext. 307.

Image: Asheville Humane Society Mountain Mutts


Asheville Humane Hiking Hounds - May 30

Screen Shot 2021-01-03 at 2.45.08 PMHiking Hounds is one of the most popular Asheville Humane Society volunteer activities. Each month, volunteers take shelter dogs on hikes as part of the enrichment programming. You'll spend a few hours in Bent Creek hiking the trails with dogs who will love you for it.

The next hike is Sunday, May 30.

Spots for two new hikers will be available on each hike.

If you are a new hiker… once you sign up for a hike you will be sent a link to a virtual orientation. You must watch this, and sign a waiver before attending a hike. All new hikers will come on their first hike without a dog; you will be paired with a hiking buddy to become familiar with the process of the program, and make sure this is an activity you will enjoy. 

If you are a seasoned volunteer… you are asked to watch the orientation as a refresher and you will be sent the link when you sign up for a hike.  

Note: New and repeat hikers alike are required to sign up in advance. If you'd like to sign up for this hike, email ahshikinghounds@outlook.com. Hikers are signed up on a "first come-first serve basis" and you must have a confirmed reservation to attend a hike. If you don’t get an email from Hiking Hounds, assume they didn’t get yours! Please be sure you can actually make the hike; if we have late cancellations, a dog gets left behind without a hike.

Start time is 9 AM. Hikes are typically 3-5 miles at a brisk pace with elevation changes and provide vigorous exercise for our volunteer hikers as well. They do not cancel hikes because of rain, as our pups don’t mind getting wet. Hikers generally return to the shelter at 16 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville around 11:30 AM to 12 PM.

Hiking Hounds now operates under these Covid-19 protocols:

We will ask that no one sign up for our hikes if they are at risk or have compromised immune systems. If you sign up and begin to feel ill, we ask that you cancel immediately.

We are asking all volunteers to stay in the parking lot, and not come into the building. The hike leaders will sign in the volunteers and will bring the dogs out to them. AHS is asking that ONLY hike leaders enter the building, no volunteers; anyone in the building must wear a mask. You will not be allowed to use the restroom inside the building, so plan on using the port-a-john at the Arboretum, or the woods. 

Bring hand sanitizer if you have it.

Please bring a leash of your own (if you have one), the fewer objects changing hands the better. 

We will maintain a 6 ft bubble as usual, for the safety of our volunteers and the dog's safety and comfort.  

We will eliminate bandanas and cards about the dogs; we can promote them through social media.

We will have one hiker go ahead of our caravan with all the Arboretum passes. That hiker will alert the security personal at the gate & will swipe ALL the passes so each hiker does not have to handle them.  Please bring a mask with you as the Arboretum requests wearing a mask in common areas.

 When we return to the shelter, all volunteers will again stay outdoors and the hike leaders will come get your dog. This is our normal procedure as our dogs always need social distancing.  

All equipment that we use will be sanitized between hikes. 

For more information visit the Hiking Hounds Facebook page.


Asheville Humane Hiking Hounds - May 23

Screen Shot 2021-01-03 at 2.45.08 PMHiking Hounds is one of the most popular Asheville Humane Society volunteer activities. Each month, volunteers take shelter dogs on hikes as part of the enrichment programming. You'll spend a few hours in Bent Creek hiking the trails with dogs who will love you for it.

The next hike is Sunday, May 23.

Spots for two new hikers will be available on each hike.

If you are a new hiker… once you sign up for a hike you will be sent a link to a virtual orientation. You must watch this, and sign a waiver before attending a hike. All new hikers will come on their first hike without a dog; you will be paired with a hiking buddy to become familiar with the process of the program, and make sure this is an activity you will enjoy. 

If you are a seasoned volunteer… you are asked to watch the orientation as a refresher and you will be sent the link when you sign up for a hike.  

Note: New and repeat hikers alike are required to sign up in advance. If you'd like to sign up for this hike, email ahshikinghounds@outlook.com. Hikers are signed up on a "first come-first serve basis" and you must have a confirmed reservation to attend a hike. If you don’t get an email from Hiking Hounds, assume they didn’t get yours! Please be sure you can actually make the hike; if we have late cancellations, a dog gets left behind without a hike.

Start time is 9 AM. Hikes are typically 3-5 miles at a brisk pace with elevation changes and provide vigorous exercise for our volunteer hikers as well. They do not cancel hikes because of rain, as our pups don’t mind getting wet. Hikers generally return to the shelter at 16 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville around 11:30 AM to 12 PM.

Hiking Hounds now operates under these Covid-19 protocols:

We will ask that no one sign up for our hikes if they are at risk or have compromised immune systems. If you sign up and begin to feel ill, we ask that you cancel immediately.

We are asking all volunteers to stay in the parking lot, and not come into the building. The hike leaders will sign in the volunteers and will bring the dogs out to them. AHS is asking that ONLY hike leaders enter the building, no volunteers; anyone in the building must wear a mask. You will not be allowed to use the restroom inside the building, so plan on using the port-a-john at the Arboretum, or the woods. 

Bring hand sanitizer if you have it.

Please bring a leash of your own (if you have one), the fewer objects changing hands the better. 

We will maintain a 6 ft bubble as usual, for the safety of our volunteers and the dog's safety and comfort.  

We will eliminate bandanas and cards about the dogs; we can promote them through social media.

We will have one hiker go ahead of our caravan with all the Arboretum passes. That hiker will alert the security personal at the gate & will swipe ALL the passes so each hiker does not have to handle them.  Please bring a mask with you as the Arboretum requests wearing a mask in common areas.

 When we return to the shelter, all volunteers will again stay outdoors and the hike leaders will come get your dog. This is our normal procedure as our dogs always need social distancing.  

All equipment that we use will be sanitized between hikes. 

For more information visit the Hiking Hounds Facebook page.


Mountain Mutts - Mondays and Wednesdays

Screen Shot 2021-04-21 at 2.30.17 PMIf you're looking to enjoy the beautiful outdoors with some deserving dogs and animal lovers, consider becoming a volunteer hiker for Asheville Humane Society's "Mountain Mutts." The more hikers, the more dogs that get some quality time outside of the animal shelter. Mountain Mutts convenes in the parking lot at Asheville Humane Society (Forever Friend Lane, off Pond and Brevard Roads near the WNC Farmers Market) every Monday and Wednesday morning at 9:30 AM. The Monday hike is about 4 to 5 miles, while the Wednesday hike is slightly easier at 3 to 4 miles on flatter trails.

New hikers are encouraged to join Mountain Mutts, but you must first register as a volunteer and go through some basic training. If you have an interest, please contact the Asheville Humane volunteer coordinator, Kelly Paul by email: volunteer@ashevillehumane.org or by phone: (828) 761-2001 ext. 307.

Image: Asheville Humane Society Mountain Mutts


Down Dog Now Open in Asheville

Screen Shot 2021-04-26 at 11.27.19 AMDown Dog, a dog bar and yoga studio, has opened for business at 51 Sweeten Creek Road in Asheville. The dog bar is open Monday through Saturday, 12 to 9 PM and Sunday 12 to 7 PM.

This information is from the establishment:

Our Bar is An indoor/outdoor dog-friendly space to enjoy craft beer with your favorite pet.

Our space is designed for both humans and dogs in mind. Upon entry, let your dog off-leash to play both inside the bar and outside on our patio. We have play structures and agility equipment to keep them engaged while owners can grab a drink and socialize.

Inside the bar is a ‘Leashed Dog Area’ for anyone that would like to visit but keep their pup on-leash and close by. This is a fenced in area right by the bar, so you can post up and order a beer without having to leave the enclosure.

Dogtenders are on site at all times to monitor your dogs and ensure they’re playing safely. Our staff is trained to look for behavior that is unsuitable for group play, and they may ask owners to move to the leashed area if they witness any repetitive behavior that puts others at risk.

We have 10 rotating taps with local craft beer, cider, and kombucha, as well as a variety of canned and bottled options.

Although we do not have an on-site kitchen, guests are welcome to bring in outside food! Stop by Old School Subs next door and grab a sandwich or take advantage of the many food trucks we have on-site throughout the week.

Please review the Dog Bar Rules before coming: https://www.downdogavl.com/dog-bar-rules

Image: Down Dog