Fall is here, which means there are plenty of fun things you can do with your dog to make the most of this season! From exploring the outdoors to dressing up, here are 5 great fall activities that both you and your dog are sure to enjoy.

1. GO ON A HIKE TO ENJOY THE FALL FOLIAGE

A fall hike is always a good idea. You and your dog will both get some exercise and fresh air as you take in the changing colors of the trees. Your dog will likely enjoy crunching through the leaves and finding new things to sniff, and the cooler temperatures won't put either of you at risk of overheating or getting worn out too quickly. As with any public space, be sure that you choose a trail that is dog-friendly and the appropriate length for your dog to walk. BringFido is a great resource for finding dog-friendly trails in your area.

a German Shepherd sitting on a hiking trail in front of trees during fall

Don't forget, just like with any hike or walk, to keep your dog on his leash and bring along a dog water bottle or travel bowl in case he needs a drink. You also don't want to forget waste bags so that you can pick up after him. It's always better to take shorter hikes than forcing your dog to take longer ones. Look out for signs that he's getting tired (such as excessive panting) and take a break if you need to!

2. FIND A DOG-FRIENDLY PUMPKIN PATCH

Its not fall without planning a trip to your local pumpkin patch! Before you head out, first consider whether your dog is a good fit for coming along. You'll want to make sure they are well trained, socialized, and have had a little bit of experience in busy places. Double-check to make sure that the pumpkin patch you're going to does allow dogs before simply showing up with your dog in tow. Some pumpkin patches may have certain areas that are off-limits to dogs but will still have dog-friendly areas, such as a corn maze. They may even have dog-friendly events such as a costume contest. You may want to also consider letting your dog pick out a pumpkin of their own while you're there!

a small black dog happily standing in a pumpkin patch

If your do go to a pumpkin patch together, remember to follow proper etiquette. Bring plenty of waste bags and pick up after your pup each time he does his business. Keep him on his leash at all times and try to avoid large crowds if possible. You will also want to be mindful of small children, other dogs, and possibly other animals that may be on the property since many pumpkin patches tend to be on working farms.

3. PATIO DINE AT A LOCAL RESTAURANT

a lady and her dog sitting on a restaurant patio with beers talking to friends

Before winter weather arrives, make the most of outdoor dining by dining al fresco at your favorite local restaurant! Mild fall temperatures are much more comfortable than hot summer weather and will make outdoor dining a more pleasant experience for both you and your dog. Before you leave, don't forget to double-check that the restaurant you're going to is dog-friendly, especially if it's one you've never been to before. If you've never taken your dog out to eat with you, you will need to ensure that your dog is properly socialized. For dogs who are already experienced in going to restaurants, make sure they eat, exercise, and do their business before you leave to go eat. Check out this post for more tips on bringing your dog to a restaurant.

4. PLAN A FALL PHOTOSHOOT

a cute puppy during a fall holiday photoshoot

You can never have too many photos of your dog! Fall is a great time to plan a photoshoot because it provides gorgeous scenery and backdrops. Golden hour (just after sunrise or just before sunset) is one of the best times to take photos due to the beautiful golden glow and soft natural lighting. One pro tip is to "get on your dog's level" by laying down on the ground on your stomach to take photos. This will help you to better capture his natural expressions and poses. Who knows? One of these photos might be worth entering in a photo contest or getting printed and framed.

5. FIND A DOG-FRIENDLY HALLOWEEN COSTUME

a small dog in a lady bug dog-friendly halloween costume

This can be a fun way to add some festivity to your Halloween season. Whether you're taking your dog along for trick-or-treating or just taking some cute pictures, everyone can find joy in seeing your dog dressed up! When choosing a costume for your dog, be sure that it's dog-friendly and safe for your dog to wear. Keep these things in mind:

  • Make sure the costume does not restrict movement or any other functions such as breathing, barking, selling, or hearing.
  • Check for choking hazards on the costume. Be sure you remove any elements that your dog may try to chew and swallow.
  • Be sure that the costume is made of non-toxic materials.
  • Help your dog get used to moving in it by coaxing them with treats or toys. Some dogs may initially freeze up when wearing clothes and may not know that it's safe to move around.
  • Don't keep your dog in the costume for too long. If at any point your dog starts to seem annoyed or uncomfortable, take it off. Items like masks or shoes should also be limited in their use.

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