Looking for ideas to create pawsome autumn memories with your dog? We’ve got nine fall activities for your dog that will inspire you to make the most of the season.
This year may be different than any we’ve ever experienced. That doesn’t mean you and your dog can’t enjoy all the beauty and wonder of autumn. Take a moment to plan out some fun from late summer onward…
Visit a Sunflower Field
Nothing quite captures the beauty of the turning year like a field of tall sunflowers. They radiate the blaze of summer with the hint of the cooler days to come. They make a sunny bouquet. One sunflower head will give you an amazing amount of seeds to roast and enjoy as a snack. (Yes, your dog can eat peeled, unsalted sunflower seeds.)
Plus, they make a pretty amazing photo op!
Typically, sunflowers are in bloom from the middle of summer to early fall. Those sunny yellow petals will be in bloom for about 2 weeks. Some farms plant their sunflower fields in stages, so they’ll have continuous blooms over a longer period of time.
Call ahead to make sure your sunflower field is dog-friendly.
Pro Photography Tip: Sunflowers are tall. Your dog is short. Bring a prop such as a chair or a crate to give your dog a boost.
As the heat of the summer lessens and the days grow shorter, it’s the perfect time to slip on your hiking sandals and head out for a waterfall hike with your dog.
Summertime crowds will ease up. You might even find you have the waterfall all to yourself – especially if you hike during the weekday.
Be aware crowds will return once the fall foliage is in full swing.
Pro Hiking Tip: If your dog enjoys splashing in the water, make sure you bring along a life vest for her. Currents can be strong around waterfalls.
Attend Dog-Friendly Fall Festivals
This year may be a little different than most. Many fall activities for your dog have been canceled. But some outdoor locations are still holding special dog-friendly days. You can find one nearby.
Check your local botanical gardens, rescue fundraising events, farmers’ markets and garden centers for scheduled activities.
Pro Festival Tip: Many events will have reduced capacity limits. If you need to purchase tickets, make sure you do it early to avoid missing out.
Fall Road Trip
Listen – you hear that? It’s the open road calling your name. Are you going to answer?
Your dog will love an autumn road trip. Whether it’s a quick day trip or a couple days’ tour, you’ll make forever memories.
This year is probably not the best for a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants adventure. Calling ahead to make sure your chosen locations are open is super important. Check local advisories and mandates. Sit down and plan out an itinerary.
Hit the road!
Pro Travel Tip: Make sure you have all the essential your dog needs. We’ve got a packing list all prepared for you.
Visit a Pumpkin Patch
This is puzzling to me: most sunflower fields welcome dogs. Pumpkin patches… not so much. You may have to do a lot of digging to locate a pumpkin patch within driving distance that welcomes your best friend.
Not to despair. If you’re local patches are not accommodating, many farm stands or farmers’ markets that sell pumpkins and fall décor welcome your well-behaved dog to come with you.
Pro Pumpkin Patch Tip: Make sure you are an exemplary owner while visiting. Keep your pup on leash and bring your potty bags. Let’s show farmers our dogs can be good guests at pumpkin patches.
Make Pumpkin Goodies
Now that you and your dog chose the best pumpkin to bring home, it’s time to make some pumpkin treats you both can enjoy. It’s a yummy yet nutritious fall activity for your dog.
Pumpkin seeds are a great addition to your dog’s diet. But you need to make sure they are roasted, shelled and unsalted. Chock-full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, pumpkin seeds provide your dog will great health benefits. Benefits for us, too.
Pumpkin itself has long been used in dog foods and treats. Most dogs love it – even on its own.
Check with your pet health care professional to make sure pumpkin and seeds are safe for your individual dog.
Pro Goodies Tip: Recipes abound on how to incorporate pumpkin in your dog’s diet. Make sure you research all ingredients thoroughly to make sure they’re appropriate for your dog.
Rake Leaves Together
Do we even have to tell you how much your dog will love this activity? Share the fun – but don’t expect to make much progress in tidying your yard!
Big pile of leaves means more fun than you can know for your dog.
Don’t have a yard with falling leaves?
- Maybe you could offer to rake for a neighbor or older relative.
- Bring a small rake with you to a local park that has lots of trees to create a leaf pile.
- Even a walk down a leaf-strewn path will give your dog plenty of new smells and a great time to take photos.
Pro Leaf Raking Tip: The best way to ruin the fun? Dog bombs hidden under those red and orange leaves. Make sure you keep your yard spotless for a few weeks before the leaf fall so you can play without worry.
Make a Halloween Costume
Alright – so this is more for US than our dogs. But you have to admit how fun it is to dress your cooperative dog in a Halloween costume. Scary, funny, trendy – whatever costume you choose is up to you. Most dogs just tolerate this silliness. But coming up with a ‘couples costume’ for you and your dog brings a whole new level of togetherness for All Hallow’s Eve festivities.
Some organizations may still have dog costume contests this year. Check your local events pages to see if one is happening near you.
- Why not organize a Halloween dog party for some of your dog’s best pals?
- Or accompany your kids on their Trick or Treat route.
If your dog is not having any of this costume business, you have options. Make a festive Halloween themed bandana or purchase a new collar and leash combo to help set the mood.
Pro Halloween Costume Tip: If you decide to create your own dog costume, give yourself plenty of time for construction. If you want some ideas, see these posts.
Corn Maze Fun
Like pumpkin patches, it’s not easy to find corn mazes that allow your dog to navigate alongside you. But if you do find one, it’s worth its weight in gold.
Many corn mazes that allow dogs will organize a dog-day at the field after the prime fall season is over and they are ready to close. Contact your local mazes and ask if they will offer a dog-friendly day.
Pro Corn Maze Tip: Your dog may sniff out the exit in record time. It’s not about the maze as much as it’s about spending time with your doggo. Pack a blanket and some cider, doughnuts and puppy treats for a picnic when you’ve navigated your way out.
Excited to experience these nine fall activities for your dog? What other fun things do you have planned for the fall season? Share them with us in the comments below and we’ll add them to our list!
Keep these ideas on-hand – Pin to your favorite Pinterest board!