Fall is the most beautiful time of the year! The colors of nature are in full bloom, the weather is cool and comfortable, and of course, Halloween celebrations are around the corner.
In fact, it’s the perfect time for going for an outdoor adventure with your dog. In the fall, there’s less chance of overheating and more chance of exciting adventures in nature and amazing photographs.
If you’re planning on getting outdoors with your dog this fall, here are some fun things you should consider doing! We’ve also included some outdoor safety tips for both you and your dog, so you can have the best and most secure experience.
Take a Hike
What better way to experience the full glory of fall foliage than to go on a hike with your dog? The weather is ideal for spending time outdoors and if you want some amazing photos for your social media profile, now is the perfect time to get them!
Pick your spot and plan to head out early so you can get a full day of hiking in. If you have a lot to carry, you can get your pup their own backpack so they can help carry the load. Just make sure you keep it light.
On the other hand, if your pup is small or old and may tire easily, you can get a special backpack for yourself to place them in when their legs can’t handle the trails anymore.
If a hike is too short a time outdoors for you, camping is the next best thing. It’s an excellent way for you and your dog to spend some time bonding together away from the hustle of everyday life.
Packing for you and your dog is the most important part of camping. Your dog will need their own packing checklist!
Here’s what you’ll need to consider:
- An appropriate dog bed
Although it’s tempting to have your dog snuggle up with you in the sleeping bag, it may be a good idea to get them their own, raised dog bed for comfort. Don’t forget to bring a warm blanket, as fall temperatures can drop at night.
- Collapsible food and water bowls
A dog’s gotta eat! Whether you’re planting yourself in one spot or doing a bit of hiking along with your camping, you’ll need a portable feeding station so your pup never goes hungry or thirsty. Don’t forget to take some of your dog’s favorite food and a few treats along too!
The rough terrain can be hard on a dog’s paws. Invest in a set of dog booties to protect their paws from hot ground, cold or wet ground, slippery surfaces, and sharp or uncomfortable objects under-paw.
Head to the Dog Park
Nothing makes a dog happier than taking a flying leap into an enormous pile of dry leaves! Fall is the best time for this kind of leaf-scattering activity.
Going to the dog park may seem like a simple and slightly boring activity. But we can guarantee that it’s never boring to your pup!
If you want to make it a little more exciting, you can take along a frisbee or ball to throw for your dog. If your dog is well-socialized, they can hang out with other dogs who are at the park at the same time. Make sure the other dogs’ parents are okay with this first!
Stay Away From Trick or Treaters
Not all dogs are going to be comfortable around people in strange and scary costumes! Likewise, not all people (in costume or not) are going to feel safe around dogs.
Halloween is right in the middle of fall. If possible, whatever outdoor activity you’re doing, staying away from trick or treaters.
Firstly, your dog may get a big fright if they see something they can’t explain. Secondly, the trick or treaters might get as big a fright if they see an excited dog bounding towards them, or a terrified dog growling at them.
Stay away from the creepy festivities and you should be just fine!
How to Stay Safe Outdoors
Whatever outdoor activity you choose to take part in with your dog, safety should be the first thing on your mind. Here are some things you should consider to keep your pup (and you) as safe as possible on your adventures.
Dress for the Weather
Fall weather is on the cooler side, but it can also be a little unpredictable. Layering is the key to staying warm without overheating.
Your pup will naturally be warmer than you, thanks to their fur! But as fall goes on and winter creeps closer, you’ll need to take your dog’s warmth into account as well.
Don’t assume that just because they’re furry, they’ll be toasty in cold weather! Especially if you’re planning on being outdoors for long periods of time (like hiking) or overnight (like camping), you’ll need to make sure your dog stays warm.
We recommend purchasing a winter jacket for your dog if the area you’re in is particularly cold. Pair this with those dog booties, and your pup will be both stylish and warm.
Accidents happen. Being prepared can help you minimize the effects and speed up the process of healing or getting help.
We highly recommend putting together a first aid kit for both you and your pup. You know what a human kit should include, but here’s what to add to your dog’s:
- Bandages and gauze
- Saline solution
- Activated charcoal (helps with poisoning)
- Antiseptic lotion (ask your vet about the best one)
- Pain medication (be sure to check this with your vet first)
Also, if you’re going to an area where there’s water or you’re planning on being in or on the water, a dog life jacket is a good idea.
Make sure your pup has a collar with their name and your contact details, and a microchip. Also, it’s a good idea to research the names and contact details of the vet nearest to where you’ll be and keep them close at hand just in case.
Going for an outdoor adventure with your dog in the fall should be on your bucket list! Whatever you enjoy doing, your dog just loves spending time with you. Being out in the great outdoors, in the fresh air, surrounded by beautiful fall colors are just extra bonuses!
About the Author
Mike Powell has been caring for, training, and learning about dogs since he was a child. He shares his knowledge and passion for all things dog-related on his website, Dog Embassy.