Summer Fun 2017 via NEPA Drone

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Summer Fun 2017 via NEPA Drone

Summer lovin' and we're havin' a blast!  Hiking, playing, swimming and soaking up the glorious sunshine makes our canine campers happy as can be!   Click below to view this amazing video shot and produced by NEPA Drone!   Also...stay tuned for our fall edition...COMING SOON!

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Giardia - A Small Pest with Big Problems

Mud season is upon us so we wanted to give you some information on a pesky microscopic protozoa that lurks in the mud and standing water  -  Giardia. 

Giardia can live for months in standing water and mud. Prolonged freezing temperatures will kill most or all Giardia but as soon as temperatures warm up in spring, Giardia survival rates will increase. You can understand how warmer weather, muddy dog runs and dog parks and dogs congregating en masse day in and day out, some of them silent carriers of Giardia, creates perfect breeding grounds for the protozoa. There is simply no way around it. It will always be present in city dog parks, dog runs and here at camp.  Dogs can ingest the Giardia cyst by drinking infected water, eating mud or feces or just stepping in it then licking their paw.

Once the Giardia enters the dogs body, several things can happen:

1.   The dog's immune system will eliminate the protozoan from the body on its own. Puppies in general will not have an immune system strong enough to do this but are more likely to develop active Giardia.

2.   The protozoa enters the dog's small intestine and starts to reproduce Giardia cysts that can then infect other dogs/cats/humans.

3.   The dog might or might not show symptoms of infection. The dog can become a silent carrier, infecting other dogs, not showing any symptoms OR the dog can become ill, be taken to the veterinarian, diagnosed and treated for Giardia. Note that having once been infected with Giardia does not guard against future infections.

A dog suffering from active Giardia might have diarrhea (smelly and mucusy stool) vomiting, dull coat and weight loss. Many dogs though, will test positive for Giardia but never show any of the above symptoms. Also, some dogs can be infected and not show symptoms for years but a sudden stress on the immune system can bring out the active disease. In general, the incubation period for Giardia is 7 days to 3 weeks (showing symptoms or not.)

If your dog has been diagnosed with Giardia, follow your veterinarian's instructions. Giardia is commonly treated with Panacure or Metronidazole. Wash bed linens and dog bed covers and use Clorox/bleach based products on surfaces to kill the microscopic protozoa. Wash your hands. Giardia can spread to humans BUT note that Eva herself has been working in vet's offices, ran a doggy daycare and dog camp and done tons and tons of dog rescue crawling around in dirty shelter pens for years and she has never contracted the disease. Of course wash your hands after handling dog feces!

The good thing is that, in general, Giardia is easy to treat (although some dogs can get stubborn cases), especially if the dog is healthy with a strong immune system and well cared for.  Typically, Giardia is NOT not detrimental to the dog's health.  It can however become annoying and expensive to keep treating your dog for Giardia AND some dogs seem to be more susceptible than others. It is of course a very different story with the dogs we rescue in Southern shelters. Being they are many times malnourished and stressed, Giardia can inflict real health concerns and sometimes even death in small, sickly puppies. Very sad!

So what does Giardia mean at dog camp and how do we handle it ? 

We will never be able to hinder dogs with Giardia to attend camp. We will not ask every client to do a Giardia test before coming to camp. It is not practical for any dog owner to bring their dog to the veterinarian for a fecal test every time they are about to board their dog at our dog camp or another boarding facility. Further, there will always be false negative tests as the swimming protozoa itself and the cyst containing the "egg" is not always present in every fecal sample depending on the protozoa life cycle. 

Here at camp, we disinfect all indoor surfaces and wash all dog bed covers and mutt mats on a daily basis and we pick up poop all day long.  We can not however, eradicate every puddle of water on 56 Acres or disinfect nature, which will invariably contain Giardia at times since city dogs is our lifeblood most likely bring in Giardia to camp now and then. Due to severe winters on our mountain, Giardia is not a problem year around at camp. It is a different story in where freezing temperatures can stay away for weeks even during the winter months.  However, as the temperatures continue to warm up in the Endless Mountains it will become activate at camp just as in the city and we will see cases increase.

What we do appreciate is when our clients tell us their dog has been diagnosed with Giardia so we can keep track of how common it is throughout the season. Communications and sharing of information is always best way to keep parasites at bay!

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There's Nothing More Irritating Than a Rash

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There's Nothing More Irritating Than a Rash

While we are loving all of the beautiful signs of spring here at camp, it also means that "rash" season is upon us.  As you know, we are out hiking and playing in nature all day with the dogs so unfortunately, it's impossible to avoid certain flowers and plants that can irritate the skin. 

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An Intro to Socialization with Chad Mackin & Jason Vasconi

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An Intro to Socialization with Chad Mackin & Jason Vasconi

Eva's Play Pups Countryside Dog Camp is so excited to announce that we have two renowned experts in dog socialization together for the first time!  Chad Mackin and Jason Vasconi are presenting this incredible workshop at our 52 acre farm located in the beautiful Endless Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania. 

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Winter 2016 at Camp - via NEPA DRONE!!!

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Winter 2016 at Camp - via NEPA DRONE!!!

Though the weather outside was frightful, camp was still delightful for our furry friends!  We bundled up and kept moving to stay warm and still had plenty of adventures outside during the winter months.  We are now so excited to share with you some footage from this past winter taken via Drone.  Thank you so much to John Lubeck of NEPA Drone!   Enjoy the show! 

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Investing in Your Pups' Stay with Us!

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Investing in Your Pups' Stay with Us!

As always and most importantly, THANK YOU for being valued and loyal clients. Many of you have entrusted us with caring for your four legged loved ones for years and others have recently become part of the Eva's Play Pups family. 
Your continued support and patronage are the reason we are able to provide our one-of-a-kind Endless Mountains experience for your pets.  We want you to know how much we sincerely appreciate your business.

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Guest Blog  -  Car Travel Tips for You and Your Dog – To Stay Safe and Enjoy It

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Guest Blog - Car Travel Tips for You and Your Dog – To Stay Safe and Enjoy It

Welcome to another one of our Guest Blogs!  We are so excited to feature this article, originally published by on Labrador Training HQ submitted by Jodie Clements and written by Tara Schatz.  

Car Travel Tips for You and Your Dog – To Stay Safe and Enjoy It

Gorilla / Bigstock.com

Gorilla / Bigstock.com

One of the most awesome things about dogs is they are always up for an adventure, whether it’s a ride to the post office or a cross-country road trip.

Dogs usually make great traveling companions — they don’t tell you how to drive or ask if you’re almost there. In fact, many will just take any travel opportunity to catch up on their beauty sleep.

Traveling with your dog can be fun and rewarding, but it does require some extra planning to keep them safe and happy in the car. If you’ve been itching to hit the road with your favorite companion, but don’t know where to start, this article is for you.

Should You Bring Your Dog on Your Next Road Trip?

Your dog will probably consider traveling a grand adventure, but the truth is, not all dogs, or their human companions, are always up for great adventures.

The following guidelines will help you decide if your dog has what it takes to be a road warrior.

You Should Definitely Travel With Your Dog if…

  • You are willing to search out destinations and accommodations that allow dogs.
  • Your dog is happy in the car and doesn’t get car-sick.
  • Your pup enjoys visiting new places.
  • Your dog is up-to-date on all required vaccinations.
  • You don’t mind exercising your dog while traveling.
  • Your dog has some basic obedience skills and is comfortable socializing with people and other dogs.
  • You have the space in your car for your pup and all of his belongings.
  • You’re willing to skip over destinations that aren’t dog-friendly.

You Should Consider Traveling With Your Dog if…

  • Your dog is not well behaved or doesn’t respond to basic commands.
  • Your travels will take you to places that aren’t dog-friendly.
  • You won’t have time to give your dog the proper exercise and attention he needs.
  • Your car is tight on space.
  • Your dog experiences car sickness.
  • Your dog doesn’t enjoy traveling.

Please Don’t Travel With Your Dog if…

  • Your dog isn’t up-to-date on vaccinations.
  • Your pup suffers from fear or anxiety.
  • Your dog is not trained or socialized.
  • Your dog has shown signs of aggression toward people or other dogs.

Socialization for Traveling Puppies and Dogs

I mentioned above that you shouldn’t travel with your dogs if they aren’t socialized.

Dogs who haven’t been properly socialized are often fearful of new situations, anxious, or aggressive. To ensure safe and happy travels, it’s important to make your dog feel comfortable in new or unfamiliar situations.

Socialization occurs when your dog is a puppy, generally before 12-weeks of age. Socializing your puppy to new experiences while he is young will encourage him to be flexible and open to new situations later on. You can read more about socializing your puppy here.

If you are working with a pup who will eventually travel with you, it’s even more important to socialize them to different environments, surfaces, and people.

Older dogs may be more set in their ways, but you can still help them make positive associations with new experiences. The key is to take it slow. Here are some tips for preparing your puppy or older dog for car travel.

  • Be sure your dogs have plenty of chances to ride in the car. If they are nervous, just have them practice getting in and out of the car without going anywhere. Keep it positive, and don’t just drive to the vet and the groomer. Take your dog to the park, the woods, the lake. You want him to love car rides!
  • Expose your dog to traffic. Try and walk your dog on all kinds of streets with all kinds of traffic. Find roads where the cars are moving fast, where there are lots of pedestrians, and where traffic is backed up.
  • Encourage your dog to walk on all kinds of surfaces. Pavement, sand, grass, gravel, boardwalks, metal grates. You get the idea.
  • Expose your dog to crowds of people. There’s a good chance that your travels will bring you in contact with lots of people. Your dog should be used to seeing and interacting with babies, kids, and people of all shapes, sizes, and colors.

Training Tips for Preparing Your Dog for Car Travel

Traveling with your dog will be more enjoyable for both of you if you can work together as a team. In order to keep your dog safe and yourself from going crazy, you should work with your dog on basic obedience and leash skills before even thinking about traveling together.

Here’s what your dog should know before any road trip.

  • Come. Your pup should reliably come to you whenever you call. Even if you plan to keep your dog leashed all the time — you just never know when you’ll need it. The Humane Society of the United States has a great article about teaching your dog to come when called.
  • Stay. This is another really useful command, especially when you’re getting in and out of the car. Ideally, when you give your dog the stay command, he should stay put until released. Check out this practical guide to teaching stay for more information.
  • Loose-Leash Walking. A dog that pulls you around the block is no fun to walk or travel with. Teaching your dog to walk calmly by your side will make life so much more fun for everyone. This article will help you teach your dog not to pull on the leash.

While these skills are the most important, you can teach your dog all kinds of commands that will help him be a better traveler.

If you want to give your dog a well-rounded education, I highly recommend the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program. Dogs who go through the program learn basic obedience and skills to help them integrate fully into their lives as human companions.

What to Pack When Traveling with Your Dog

  • Your dog’s identification tags. Obviously you won’t actually be packing them, but your dog should wear them at all times. Be sure your contact information, including a cell-phone number, can be found on your dog’s tags.
  • Vaccination records. Be sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations before any trip.
  • Flea and tick medication. How do you keep pests off your dog? Whatever method you choose, be sure your dog is protected before you travel.
  • Food and water bowls
  • Food and water
  • Leashes. Pack a short leash for regular walks and a longer one for exercising your dog.
  • Your dog’s bed. If you’ve got the room, your dog will love you for it. If you’re short on space, consider a travel bed like this one from Doggles.
  • Treats and toys
  • Poop bags
  • A treat pouch for training
  • A dog first aid kit for emergencies. The First Voice Basic Pet First Aid Kit contains supplies for minor medical emergencies.

Tips for keeping your dog safe and happy in the car

  • While traveling, it’s important to keep your dog secured in either a crate or a safety harness. A crate should be well-ventilated and large enough for your dog to stand, sit, and lie-down in. Whether you use a harness or a crate, it’s best to get your dog used to it before you actually hit the road. Read the Ultimate Guide to Crate Training for an in-depth look into using a crate with your dog. Always secure your dog’s crate in the car so it won’t slide around if you have to stop quickly.
  • Feed your dog at least three hours before a long trip to help prevent car sickness, and never feed your dog in a moving vehicle. If your dog tends to get car-sick, you can sprinkle a bit of powdered ginger on his food
  • Never leave your dog alone in a very hot or very cold car. It can be dangerous, or even deadly.
  • In addition to identification tags, make sure you pet is micro-chipped. This can be a lifesaver if your dog is ever lost.
  • Never let your dog ride with his head out the window. He could easily be injured by a flying object.
  • Bring water from home. Drinking water from a new area could upset your dog’s stomach.
  • At some point, you’re going to travel with a wet dog. You may want to invest in waterproof seat covers and floor liners for your car.

Conclusion

Traveling with your dog may not be easy, but it can be one of life’s greatest pleasures, provided you’ve planned ahead. With proper training and careful packing, your dog will be ready for trips big and small.

Start planning your next dog-friendly road trip, and be prepared to fall in love all over again.

 

CLICK HERE to see the original post. 

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NEW BABY + YOUR FURBABY = ?????

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NEW BABY + YOUR FURBABY = ?????

You're having a baby--fantastic! And you have a wonderful four legged companion--life couldn't get any better! As your pregnancy progresses, you may be thinking, will the dog like the baby? How do I ensure that a safe relationship will form between the two? 

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New Vans, New Adventures, New Prices!

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New Vans, New Adventures, New Prices!

In order to ensure that we remain the Best Country Camp for dogs in the Northeast, we have invested heavily in additional features to further improve your dog's experience with us  - from the time we pick your pooch up until the time he/she returns home from vacation.

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Training the Trainer - Getting Owners Involved

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Training the Trainer - Getting Owners Involved

Eva’s Play Pups Countryside Dog Camp is very selective about which trainers we agree to work with and our reasons why.  Dani Santanella of Urban K9 is one of those trainers.   Dani has been educating dog owners on how to have better lives with their pooches for the past ten years.   She works under the philosophy that open lines of communication between the canines and their owners.  Without a doubt, this can make a happy home for all.  

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How to Beat the Winter Blues with Your Dog

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How to Beat the Winter Blues with Your Dog

You know just how frustrating it can be when falling snow and bitter cold have you stuck in the house all day in the middle of the winter. It can be just as boring for your dog, who would much rather go outside and play. There are plenty of ways to fend off cabin fever that will occupy and entertain both you and your dog.

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Bark, Train, Love

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Bark, Train, Love

 “I realized that helping humans and dogs communicate better is the best way to save these amazing dogs’ lives,” Jason says. “I decided being a Dog Trainer is the path for me.”

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Baby It's Cold Outside!

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Baby It's Cold Outside!

When you peer out the window of your home and see fluffy white flakes of snow floating down from the sky, you may think about how beautiful it is.  However, it is also a good time to consider whether or not you’ve really prepared for your dog to handle the harsh conditions of winter weather.  

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Holiday Hints for Keeping Fur Babies Safe & Happy

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Holiday Hints for Keeping Fur Babies Safe & Happy

With the crisp chill of winter in the air and Christmas carols on the radio, the holidays are upon us - and with them the need to keep a close eye on all of our pets. Changes in routine, dangerous foods, and decorations which may cause injury are just a few of the things which can lead to your dogs or cats falling ill or getting hurt. Your pet should be able to enjoy the holidays with just as much cheer and contentment as the rest of the family, so to keep these few tips in mind to keep your furry friends safe.

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Safety Doesn't Happen by Accident!

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Safety Doesn't Happen by Accident!

Keeping your best furry friends safe at dog camp is just as important as making sure they enjoy themselves and have a good time when exploring the trails with their new canine friends. We at Eva’s Play Pups take a number of careful steps to ensure that all of our campers are protected when it comes to everything from interactions with other campers to a sudden bout of diarrhea. Safety is our priority and we are committed to keeping every dog staying at camp from being harmed in any way. 

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Ticks Bite!  Get the Facts.

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Ticks Bite! Get the Facts.

Ticks may be thought of simply as pesky little blood-suckers, but to your dog’s health they are certainly more than that.

All species of ticks want to attach to your dog, but for purposes of this article, we shall concentrate on the deer tick.  The deer tick is the vector for an array of diseases including anaplasmosis, tick paralysis and the dreaded Lyme disease. As someone who has had a dog that had contracted Lyme disease, and actually contracted the illness herself, Natasha can tell you that this is nothing to mess around with.  Lyme disease can cause fatigue, fever, muscle and joint aches - and if left untreated serious heart disease and chronic arthritis.  In the case of her own dog, it also racked up major vet bills and left him completely fatigued for nearly six months.  He would still eat normally and maintained most behavioral patterns, but a good six months of his 7th year of life was robbed to sleeping.  He had to undergo many injections over the months to provide vitamins his body couldn’t hold onto as well as oral medications. All this came from her backyard on Long Island.

Lyme disease is found very commonly in the northeast.  Actually the highest concentration of ticks in the entire country is found on Shelter Island - an 8,000 acre island-town between the twin forks of Long Island.  But do not think that New York City is immune to this pesky parasite!  Deer ticks carrying Lyme Disease have been collected in city parks in all 5 boroughs according to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.  Even NYC dog meccas Prospect Park and Central Park have deer ticks so the city setting is not immune to these parasites.

We have been very fortunate to have never had any tick problems at Eva’s Play Pups Countryside Dog Camp.  This is most likely since the property is at a higher elevation where the temperatures are cooler and due to the fact that we also have a 6-ft. fence which keeps deer off the property.  However, this month has proven to us that this it is still the northeast!  After years of tick free bliss we found ticks on two campers after they romped in the woods with us for a week! Yikes!  We did discover that one of these furry friends had no tick protection whatsoever.  However, protected or not, it is inevitable that being in the great outdoors, there is always the risk of having ticks at camp.  This time of year is when ticks are especially hungry, latching on to available warm puppy bodies.  For this reason, we have to and we do take precautions.

This week at camp we are working hard to make our beautiful property less attractive to ticks!  We brought out the brush hog and are cutting down tall grass and brush all over our 30 Acres.  It is a lot of work but well worth it! Ticks love to hang in tall grass and dark damp places, so we are simply eliminating those places. We also do a daily tick check on our client’s dogs and our own dogs.  Not having seen ticks up here for years, this was not part of our daily routine - but now it sure is.  So far, we have not found any pesky blood suckers on our furry friends.

What dog owners should do:  Apply tick prevention to your dog’s health routine. Lyme disease is a serious disease that can cause fever of between 103 and 105°, lameness, swelling in the joints, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Being proactive will provide your dog the optimum protection.  We prefer Advantix brand based on personal experiences (Eva’s dogs are out and about all year long in the woods and she has never found a tick on her dogs using Advantix.) We are by no means medical professionals so we encourage you to approach your vet about what products to use before making any decisions.  

We are fully aware that there are dogs who react badly to pesticide ingredients common in most tick preventions.  Eva herself has a senior dog who cannot be in contact with any of the commercially available flea and tick products on the market.  So, what to do?  While there are natural alternatives, it is unclear whether they are as efficient in repelling fleas and ticks as medications such as Advantix or Frontline.  However, they are a natural non-toxic alternative and should not be discredited.  We do ask at camp is that you let us know if your dog is on natural tick and flea prevention so we can take extra care in looking over your dog for his/her safety.

Should you forget to apply tick prevention before sending your pup to Eva’s Play Pups Countryside Dog Camp, simply e mail us at dogcamp@evasplaypups.com.  We would be happy to apply Advantix for an extra charge of $20.  We hope that you will find this to be well worth the peace of mind for your furry friend.

Now that we have taken all the precautions and been as proactive as possible, let’s get out there and enjoy fall to the fullest!   Happy Hiking!

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Endless Mountains Hiking 101 - Part 2 -  Sniffing Out Some Trails

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Endless Mountains Hiking 101 - Part 2 - Sniffing Out Some Trails

We hope you enjoyed our last post about preparing your pooch for a hike and that you learned some helpful tips and tricks!  In Part 2 of our Endless Mountains Hiking Series, we will share with you some of the local trails in Northeast PA that Kaitlyn has scouted for us.  It is important to remember, however, that though hiking with your best fur buddy is certainly beneficial for both of you, not all hiking trails love Fido as much as we do.  Always be sure to do your research before hitting the trail.

1.  Elevated at 1000 feet, Lackawanna State Park is one of the most popular hiking spots in northeastern Pennsylvania.  With eighteen miles of looped trails devoted solely to foot traffic, fifteen miles of additional trails open for biking and other uses and an ample water supply it is a great place to hike with your dog.  The best part - if you plan on spending the day at Lackawanna, there are many options as far as things to do in addition to hiking.

Have a picnic!  There are plenty of picnic tables provided.

Go Horseback Riding or Mountain Biking. However, you should be mindful if you decide to horseback as many of the foot trail bridges are not built for equestrian crossing.

Fish, Boat or Swim!   The park is surrounded by Lackawanna Lake and there is also a pool at the park that is open from 11 AM to 7 PM Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.

Hunting is allowed.  For this reason, you may want to keep your dog on a leash so they don’t wander off or chase something into a dangerous area. There are also signs along the park stating that while hunting is permitted, dog training is prohibited, probably for safety reasons.

Go Camping!  Campgrounds and camping cottages provide those who wish to stay on site with amenities such as flush toilets, warm showers, and electric hook-ups.

Do Some Winter Activities.  In the winter, visitors can cross-country ski, sled, and toboggan through designated areas of the park as well as ice-fish and skate.

2.  Located not far from Carbondale, Merli-Sarnoski Park features fifteen miles of nature trails for hiking with your four-legged friend, although you must keep them on a leash. Given the park’s rural location, it’s best to bring any food and drinks you and your dog might need with you to the park. Along with the trails for hiking and mountain biking, Merli-Sarnoski Park also provides a soccer field as well as basketball and volleyball courts. The 35-acre lake is stocked with fish on a regular basis by the Fish and Boat Commission and allows ice fishing during the winter months as well.

3.  While the Lake Scranton Walking Trail does not allow pets, you are very likely to see a friendly squirrel or a deer unafraid of humans passing by. This quiet and easy three-mile nature hike on a paved trail, located only a short drive from I-81, provides beautiful scenic views of the lake as you follow the path. The Lake Scranton trail is very well-traveled given its closeness to the city as well as local apartments and homes only a short distance away.  You more than likely will be sharing your hike with joggers and moms spending some quality time with their little ones while pushing strollers.

 

4.  The Pennsylvania portion of the Rails to Trails system lists many fantastic hiking spots across the state. The trails located closest to Eva’s Play Pups Countryside Dog Camp are the D&H and O&W trails, which run parallel to one another and stretch from Simpson, Pennsylvania to the New York state border. On these trails, you can catch glimpses of the Lackawanna River as well as wildlife, such as the bald eagles who nest at Stillwater Dam. You can bring your dog and hike, bike, or even ride a four-wheeler down these well-tended hiking trails. If you are a beginner or looking for an easier hike, these would be your trails. After a few minutes, once you get into the deeper part of the trail and if you’re comfortable with your dog's recall, it is safe to keep them off-leash or on a long lead.  Consider bringing bottled water and snacks for yourself and your dog and also keep an eye out for wild animals which may cross your path.

5.  The Keystone College Trails wind through the woods on the school’s rural campus for about seven miles, allowing for both casual hiking and a tough run. Only a half-hour drive from Scranton, Keystone College’s trail system provides a variety of terrains to chose from.  The biology department even posts informational placards along the trails to identify the different flora and fauna a hiker might see along the way. There is a pretty ample water supply here for your dog, but don’t ever hesitate to bring something along for them just in case, as this hike can take up to three hours. Given the trail’s proximity to campus and the town of Factoryville, you are unlikely to encounter predators such as bears or coyotes.  When you finish with your hike, you can even stop for a bite to eat at Keystone’s Giants Grill.

This list is just a start to exploring the many hiking experiences you can enjoy in northeastern Pennsylvania. Always remember to think ahead about what you might need to do or bring to prepare yourself and your pooch.  And as always, be sure research any place you are going with your pup ahead of time so you can have a safe and fun hiking trip.

Article contributed by Kaitlyn Hankins

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