In honor of National Dog Day, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is pleased to announce “Trails ‘n’ Tails” with a special invitation for the community to bring their four-legged friends to the garden from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23.

Tails Trails

The winner of the 2013 “Who’s That Doggie in the Garden?” photo contest. (Santa Barbara Botanic Garden photo)

This event began as a way to let the community know that the garden is always dog-friendly (there is even a Doggie Membership!), but has truly grown into a celebration of all things canine. Always dog-friendly, the garden’s dog-centric activities will include:

» One free admission for visitors with a leashed dog

» “Who’s That Doggie in the Garden?” photo contest

» Dog vendors with giveaways and offers

» Training demonstrations by the Santa Barbara Humane Society

» Doggie prize raffle

» Doggie docent tours and doggie hike

»Santa Barbara Police Department K-9 demonstration

» Dog adoptions

The garden’s fifth annual event offers a number of new activities this year. Among them a presentation by the City of Santa Barbara Creeks Division about the negative impact dog waste has on our local watershed and the importance of cleaning up after your dog both at home and while on walks.

“We wanted to hold this event to draw attention to the fact the Garden is always dog-friendly,” SBBG Executive Director Dr. Steve Windhager said. “Our easy-to-walk paths and beautiful landscapes are the perfect settings for leashed dogs — and their owners, too.”

Visitors are encouraged to pose for the “Who’s That Doggie in the Garden?” photo contest. The winning dog will be the face of Trails ‘n’ Tails in 2015. A special botanical dog hike touring the garden’s less traveled trails will be led by a trained volunteer. The hike provides dogs and their owner’s physical exercise while learning about California’s native landscape.

Professionally trained veterinary staff from Advanced Veterinary Specialists will be onsite to teach about the warning signs of heat stroke, how to treat canine bee stings and how to care for tired paws in the great outdoors.

Raffle drawing prizes to be awarded include gift certificates for dog grooming and pet medical care, a dog toy gift basket, and doggie clothing. Drawing tickets are $5 each or three for $10, and winners need not be present to win.

“Trails ‘n’ Tails” is generously sponsored by Advanced Veterinary Specialists, Santa Barbara Humane Society, Camp Canine, Dioji, KEYT-TV, City of Santa Barbara Creek Division,, and Equine and Canine News.

As attendance is limited by our conditional use permit, only 205 people can be allowed into the garden at one time. Visitors are encouraged to use public transportation via MTD’s bus number 22 on the weekends. All dogs must be on-leash to enter the garden.

— Rebecca Mordini is a communications coordinator for the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.