The official start of fall is right around the corner - can you believe it?! Summer just flew right on by...but autumn is definitely our favorite season around here, so we're pretty excited. We can't wait for apple cider, all things pumpkin, scary movies for Halloween. And, of course, we are planning on including Riley in many fun fall activities! There are tons of things to do with your pup while it's still warm enough to be outdoors.
If you and your dog are athletic/outdoorsy, take your dog hiking! My husband and I aren't really outdoors-type of people, and Riley can only go on a couple of short walks before he poops out for the day (hey, he's an old man!). But I've always thought going for a hike would be a relaxing and healthy way to bond with your dog. The fall weather will ensure great weather and beautiful sights! Just be sure to do your research: Double-check to make sure the trail allows dogs (and see if they need to be leashed or not), bring plenty of water, make sure your pup is protected from ticks, and don't forget the poop bags! (Psst...if your dog is older, a puppy, or has health issues, hiking probably isn't the best activity. Unless it's a very short hike!)
(Photo from here - a great resource for hikers!)
Pumpkin picking! One of mine and Jared's favorite things to do in the fall is drive to Wisconsin to pick up apples, cheese, and pumpkins. We have never attempted to bring Riley along, but it's definitely an idea for the future. There are many apple orchards and pumpkin patches that allow dogs as long as they're leashed, and lots of farmer's markets as well. A bonus: Pumpkin (pure, not sweetened) is great for a dog's digestive system!
(Photo from this amazing photographer's website - so cute, right?!)
Go camping or stay in a pet-friendly cabin. Fall is always an amazing season for camping, especially if you're near a lake where your dog can really have some fun! Another option is renting a dog-friendly cabin, which Jared and I did last spring. It was so much fun, and Riley spent a lot of his time enjoying the breeze from the porch - he even went out on the pontoon with us!
Raking leaves...or, in your dog's case, playing in them! My family's young dogs love to roll around in a pile of leaves - just like you used to do when you were a kid! It's a great form of exercise for the both of you, especially if you take breaks to play a game of Frisbee. (Just don't forget to check your dog for ticks/other bugs afterward!)
(A hilarious still from this adorable video)
Ham it up for Halloween! We love Halloween, and we kind of go all out for it at our house. Riley actually enjoys wearing clothes, so we like dressing him up for the holiday - obviously nothing restrictive or uncomfortable, though. If you live in a neighborhood that is full of fellow pet-owners, it would be fun to take your pup trick-or-treating to collect dog biscuits and treats! (But be careful of your dog sneaking human candy or chocolate! And don't forget to leash your dog and notify your neighbors!) Some bigger cities also have Halloween-centered festivals or parades that are often pet-friendly. I'm curious to know: Do you dress your dog up for Halloween? What is your pet's costume for this year?
(My husband and I are especially fond of nerdy Halloween costumes for dogs, especially this Harry Potter-inspired get-up!)
Also keep in mind that sometimes the best fall activity to do with your pet is to snuggle up inside with a blanket and a movie...at least, that's mine and Riley's favorite activity for the cooler nights!
A great resource for finding dog-friendly activities and events in your area is Bring Fido - check it out!