It’s hard for many of us to see summer slip away, but knowing that the fall season is here hopefully makes it easier. What do you love most about this time of year? For me, autumn is about admiring the fall foliage, decorating the house with seasonal touches, picking apples and pumpkins and then using them to bake seasonal goodies, planning Halloween costumes and the Thanksgiving menu, and enjoying the comfort of the cooler mornings and nights. For others, it’s football games and dare I say pumpkin spice everything?! Whatever you enjoy the most, fall really does offer something special for everyone. As you plan your fall festivities, don’t forget to include your precious fur baby!
Continue reading for some fun fall activities you can enjoy with your dog (and super cute dog pics!)
1) Take a Fall Foliage Hike
Watching the leaves change from brilliant green to the various shades of yellow, red and orange is one of the best things about living in the northeast. It literally brightens up the day! The only problem is that the fall foliage doesn't last long enough. The peak foliage dates are approaching quickly, and you can enjoy its beauty while taking a hike with your pup. Dogs love taking a walk or hike, especially on hiking trails while investigating the different smells and exploring a change in environment. The cooler temperatures are an added bonus. BringFido is a great website that helps you find dog-friendly hiking trails all over the world! And to predict the timing of fall foliage around the US, click here.
2) Plan a Getaway:
Consider planning a getaway with your dog and your friends and family. The off-season offers something even more special for your pup: Freedom!
Go to the Beach: During peak season, many beaches prohibit dogs during daytime hours or even at all. However, during the off-season, more beaches are dog-friendly which means your precious pup will most likely be able to run around and have fun with much more freedom, and the weather this time of year makes it even more bearable to be outdoors.
Go Camping: If you love camping (or “Glamping”), then plan an autumn nature excursion with your dog so you cab be one with nature! Your dog will love exploring the great outdoors and bonding with you.
But, before going, please make sure to do some research:
Find a pet-friendly campground or beach.
Make sure your dog's vaccinations are is up-to-date.
Double-check your dog’s ID tag or microchip to make sure all the contact information is correct and up-to-date.
Pack your pup's essentials: food, treats, water, portable bowls, harness, leash, ID tags, "poop" bags, medications, toys, blankets, towels, etc...
Find out if there are leash length requirements or any other rules.
Talk to your vet about flea and tick prevention.
Bring an up-to-date photo of your dog just in case your pup runs off. This way you’ll have a current photo to show campers or beach goers (If you're like me, I'm sure you have plenty on your phone!)
3) Bake Seasonal Dog Treats:
If you're anything like me, when you hear “Pumpkin” your mind immediately goes to "Fall". The two tend to go hand in hand. But did you know that pumpkins are also considered a superfood for dogs?! It’s a wonderful source of essential vitamins A, C, and E. In addition, it’s high in beta carotene, potassium, and fiber. Because it is a nutrient dense food, pumpkin offers many health benefits to dogs, such as:
Natural Constipation Relief
Natural Diarrhea Remedy
Aids Weight Management
Promotes Eye Health
To learn more about the benefits of pumpkin for dogs, click here.
You can scoop a little pure pumpkin puree (we like Green Valley’s organic pumpkin puree) onto your pup’s kibble at mealtime or use it as an ingredient to make some delicious fall-inspired dog treats! Make sure you offer only canned pureed pumpkin, not canned pumpkin pie mix, which has added sugars and spices. Check out some pumpkin recipes below or use Dough ReMia’s Pumpkin Doggie Dough for an easy and healthy dog treat that is still fresh from your oven but without the mixing and mess!
No-Bake Pumpkin Peanut Butter Bites
1 cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
¼ cup Greek yogurt or milk
3 cups old-fashioned oats (divided into 2 ½ cups and ½ cup)
Blend together pumpkin, peanut butter and yogurt (or milk) using a mixer until combined. Slowly add in 2 ½ cups oats and mix well. Using a cookie scoop or spoon, form balls and roll into remaining ½ cup of oats to coat. Refrigerate the treats until firm (about 1 hour) Serve!
* Healthy "PUPkinccinos"
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
¼ c pumpkin puree
2 TBS old-fashioned oats
½ tsp. Honey
⅛ tsp cinnamon (and a sprinkle!)
In a blender, mix together all ingredients until smooth. Serve right away in a small bowl. (*garnish with a small dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon, if desired. Please check the ingredient label and ensure the whipped cream does not contain xylitol because it is a sugar substitute that’s toxic to dogs. I only add it on special occasions and do not recommend making it a regular in your dog’s diet.)
MORE Pumpkin Recipes to try, click here.
Need Cookie Cutters? Click here. We've got you covered!
Check out our previous blog posts for more delicious and easy dog treat recipes.
4) Tailgate Together
As I'm sure you are very much aware, fall also means football season! If your pup enjoys socializing, plan a tailgate or party with some friends and their pups. They are sure to love all the extra attention and a fun game of fetch, with a football of course! If you want to take it even further, you can wear matching jerseys or other football gear!
5) Attend a "HOWL - o - Ween" Event
Check out local happenings around your neighborhood for fall-themed events taking place at local Farmer Markets or nearby Dog Parks that cater to dogs. It's a fun family activity to dress up together! Or host your own "HOWL-o- Ween" event to help raise money for local dog shelters or dog rescues and hand out prizes for best dressed! (We'd love to see photos!)
6) Stay Home and Snuggle-Up with a (Scary) Movie
The best part of this plan is getting cozy with your pooch! Pop some popcorn, grab blankets, turn on a favorite movie (doesn't have to be scary of course!) and cuddle up with your BFF for some fall flicks in the comfort of your home. Does it get much better than that?!
7) Head out to a Pumpkin Patch, Pick Apples or Run through a Corn Maze Together! Just make sure that dogs are allowed and you have enough "poop" bags to clean up after your pup. And, don't forget to snap some photos for some awesome photo ops!
Whatever you decide to do with Fido, just cherish it! Quality time with your dog is priceless, no matter the season!