The air is turning crisp and the days are getting shorter — all signs of fall! Just because the weather is cooling, doesn’t mean that you need to stay inside with your dog all day. There are many activities that you can do together in the fall to build the bond you share.
Take a hike. Fall is the perfect time to take your dog for a hike — the temperatures are cooler and the foliage sighting potential is perfect. Find a dog-friendly hiking spot and use this map to see when the foliage will be in full bloom in your area. Speaking of things in “full bloom,” it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the appearance of some of the common toxic mushrooms in your area that you and your dog could encounter while on your hike so that you can best keep your dog safe on (and off) the trails.
Visit the pumpkin patch. When you go to find pumpkins for your Halloween festivities, bring your dog along for the fun! Many pumpkin patches allow dogs to join you on the hunt for the perfect pumpkin — just check with them before you go to make sure they’re canine-friendly.
Apple picking. If you live in (or visit) an area that grows apples, take your dog along for a fun apple picking adventure. Your dog will love taking a stroll in the crunching leaves. Apples are a good source of vitamin A, so your dog can enjoy them too. Just make sure to cut them up first to prevent your dog from eating the core.
Make fall-flavored dog treats. You can make treats for your pup with the apples and pumpkins you’ve picked, as both are full of fiber and vitamins that are healthy for your dog. Pumpkin and apple can be added directly to their food or mixed with yogurt or oats to make a delicious treat. Just make sure to use plain pumpkin (not the pie mix) and leave out the sweeteners.
Dress them up for Halloween. If your family is dressing up for Halloween, dress your dog up in costume, too. There are so many creative costume ideas for dogs — the possibilities are endless! Make sure to read-up on these Halloween safety tips first.
Practice socialization. When picking your kids up from school (if it’s ok and safe to do so) bring your dog along! You can help socialize them to children, loud noises, bells, and other adults in a variety of different outfits. Make sure to bring along the treat bag for a successful training session.
Remember: fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are still active in the fall. When you’re planning fun fall activities to do with your dog, make sure your plans include keeping them up-to-date on their preventative medications to protect them from diseases that can be passed from these pests to them year-round. Cases of Leptospirosis tend to spike in the fall, so talk to your vet and make sure your dog is up-to-date on their Lepto vaccine.