NORFOLK, Va. — People spoke. Dogs barked. Staff members at Norfolk Botanical Garden heard them.

The garden said it would turn Sunday Dog Days from a primarily summer program into one that was available to guests year-round.

On Sundays in June, July, August, September, and October members of Norfolk Botanical Garden and their dogs were able to visit the grounds for free. People who weren't members could bring their dogs for $5 for a dog, plus the regular admission price for a person.

The same pricing applies now that the program will extend throughout the year.

Membership information can be found here.

There are a few rules:

  • Dogs have to be on leashes at all times.
  • Dogs aren't allowed in the Children's Garden or the Butterfly House.
  • Dogs aren't allowed on trams or boats.

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The garden said that it's BYOB -- "Bring Your Own Bowl." There is fresh water available throughout the garden, so you can use drinking fountains and bottle fill stations to put water in your dog's bowl. If you forget to pack one, you can stop by the gift shop or you can visit the Marigold & Honey Cafe terrace where your dog can enjoy some refreshment from March to October.

You can't bring your dog to the garden's Million Bulb Walk, but you can bring your dog to Barks & Bulbs in January.

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If you do stop by Norfolk Botanical Garden when it's hot, remember that the temperature of paved surfaces can be almost double what the air temperature is. It's a good idea to keep your dog on grassy areas on those days. The garden said you'll want to press the back of your hand against a paved surface for seven seconds to make sure that its temperature will be comfortable for your dog and not too hot.

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