Fall isn’t just the season of pumpkin-spiced lattes. It’s also the perfect time to get outside with your pup and spend some quality time together. Below, we’ve rounded up 10 different suggestions for dog parents looking for canine-friendly ways to celebrate fall with their fur children. Hope you enjoy 10 Fun Fall Activities You Can Do with Your Dog!
Visit a pumpkin patch.
Nothing says fall quite like a trip to your local pumpkin patch. Check to see if any of the patches in your area allow pets so you can bring your dog along to help you pick out the perfect future jack-o’-lantern to grace your front porch. Once you bring the pumpkin home, you can even feed your dog little scraps as you carve it up. Pumpkin is rich in fiber as well as vitamins A, E and C and potassium and iron. It’s safe for dogs to eat in small quantities, and can even act as a supplement to help reduce diarrhea in the case of an upset tummy. Just be sure not to feed them the seeds, as these can pose a choking hazard.
Take your pup apple picking.
After pumpkins, apples are a close second in terms of classic fall produce, and visiting a local orchard is a great way to pass a crisp autumn afternoon. Once again, check the orchard’s policies to see if they allow dogs before you drive out. While dogs can also eat apples in small quantities, the seeds contain cyanide and the core poses a choking hazard, so keep an eye on your pup while you’re actually at the orchard. Once you get home, you can feed her a bit of the apple in small slices or incorporate it into homemade dog treat recipes.
Compete in a costume contest.
Many cities and towns hold fall festivals to celebration autumn, and the activities often include costume contests for both dogs and humans alike. Dress your dog up in his most creative costume and parade him before the judges to see if he is the best-dressed of them all. Bonus points if you create matching costumes for you and your dog, and double bonus points if you wear the costumes to trick-or-treat. (Just don’t actually feed your pup the candy!)
Photo Credit: Mister Bentley
Visit a winery.
While wineries are usually open in some capacity year-round, fall is the perfect time to visit since you won’t break into a sweat as soon as you set foot among the vines. Do some research to see if there is a pet-friendly winery near you. If there isn’t, or if wine isn’t your thing, there are bound to be bars near you that offer beer and spirits as well as room for your four-legged friend on the patio.
Take a day hike.
Autumn is one of the best times of the year to explore parks and nature reserves near you. The temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold (finally!), and the trees have their fall foliage on full display. Many parks allow dogs as long as they are properly leashed, so plan out a hiking route for you and your pup one weekend when the weather is nice. Be sure to bring poop bags with you, as leaving poop behind is usually against the park rules (not to mention gross and rude to other park-goers).
If you’re ready to level up from a day hike, fall is also the ideal time for overnight camping trips. While camping requires more planning and packing than a simple hike, these trips can be a great way to leave the stress of the city behind and enjoy some quality time out in nature with your dog. Be sure to bring everything that your pup will need, including food, water, bowls, a dog bed or sleeping pad, a leash, a first aid kit and, of course, dog treats to reward good behavior.
Photo Credit: Henry + Baloo
Check out a dog park.
If you don’t live near any parks that are suitable for hiking or camping, chances are that you do live near a dog park. Make a playdate with your pup and take her out so you can enjoy the nice weather together and celebrate the falling temperatures. As always, follow good park etiquette, and don’t bring any dog toys with you unless you’re willing to lose them in the park.
Jump into some leaves.
You’re never too old to jump into a pile of leaves, whether you’re a human or a dog. If you have a yard, it’s easy enough to rake together a big pile of leaves as they start falling and then roll around in it with your pup. Before you jump in, make sure to double check the pile for sticks or other hard/sharp objects that could harm someone (human, canine, or otherwise) in case any hazards are hiding out among the leaves. Also make sure your dog/dogs have a flea and tick prevention working for them : )
Celebrate football season.
While other sports are also in season, football is undeniably associated with fall. To get in the football spirit, host a tailgate or watch party on game day and invite your friends and their pups over so both you and your dog can get some social time during the game. If that sounds like too much effort, you can always purchase themed toys—such as a football-shaped ball—to help your pup pretend like he’s part of a 12-man squad himself. Just don’t forget to yell “hike!” each time you throw the ball.
Cuddle up on cold days.
Alas, not every fall day will be perfect weather. If you’re faced with rain, cold temperatures or other inclement weather, opt for a quiet day in and curl up on the couch with your dog. Hot tea, a blanket, scented candles and a good book or TV show (for you) and a fun toy (for your dog) will soon have you both forgetting your weather doldrums—especially if you take frequent breaks for belly rubs.
From pumpkin picking to camping and everything in between, these 10 activities are a great way to enjoy fall with your dog in ways large and small. Try one or two ideas to shake up your routine or complete all 10 to truly become the most fall human-and-dog duo of them all.
Another GREAT Thing to do is to Donate to your Local Shelter or a Wonderful Rescue and spread the word to ADOPT DON’T SHOP! It’s Adopt a Shelter Dog Month but let’s keep the message going ALL YEAR ROUND!!! Let’s get all the Pups a loving forever home!!!
A Big Thank you to:
Jordan Smith is a full-time stay-at-home mother of 2 daughters and a new dog Luna! She loves blogging, crafting, and spending time with her family. She also enjoys strolling the streets of downtown Charleston, South Carolina and all the amazing food her hometown has to offer.
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