We’ve made it (almost) through the heat of the summer. Soon it won’t be necessary to be up at the crack of dawn or wait for the sun to go down to walk our four-legged sidekicks. With the cooler temperatures coming and the beauty of the fall scenery, it’s the perfect time to have a list handy of all the fun activities to get into this season.
1. Visit an apple orchard.
Recently, we visited Sky Top Orchard in Flat Rock, NC. After seeing lots of dogs perusing the plantation with their owners, drooling at the trees heavy with apples, we resolved to take our pup next year. Dogs love the opportunity to be with their people, and they can also enjoy a tasty treat afterward. Apples contain vitamins A and C, and are low in protein and fat – so they make a great treat for dogs! According to Dr. Oscar E. Chavez, DVM and chief medical officer of JustFoodForDogs, “Some senior dogs, or dogs prone to certain illnesses, must limit their meaty treats due to protein restrictions, or stick to a low-fat diet.” For these dogs, apples are a tasty alternative to store-bought treats. Just make sure to core the apples and cut them into bite-sized pieces first.
2. Eat some pumpkin.
Speaking of healthy snacks, pumpkin is another great alternative to dog treats. And when the rest of the family is enjoying their first pumpkin spiced lattes of the season, why not let your dog get in on the festive flavor? Adding a few spoonfuls of pumpkin puree to your dog’s dinner or making treats using canned pumpkin will add fiber to your dog’s diet and is a great way to prevent and cure constipation. Stay tuned for our “Cook for Your Pet” post later this month where we’ll share some yummy pumpkin recipes for your dog.
3. Take a nature hike.
With the cooler temps and the changing colors of the leaves, this season is the perfect time of year to lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails with your dog. Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, for you and your furry sidekick. Check out this map identifying dog-friendly national parks. Before you travel, check specific park websites for information that will help you plan your hike with your pet. Many parks follow the same basic rules, and you can find those by reading about how to be a Bark Ranger. Most importantly, make sure to keep your dog on a leash, for their safety and the safety of other pets and wildlife!
4. Go camping!
We shared lots of great tips for enjoying camping trips with your pup in our post, Camping With Your Dog. This time of year is perfect for camping because the weather is cooler and the scenery is beautiful. Camping is a great way for you and your dog to bond without the distractions of screens and to-do lists and to enjoy the great outdoors. But remember, temps that feel amazing during the day can quickly turn chilly at night. You may want to consider co-sleeping, for the extra warmth. Your dog will love being close to you as you snooze.
5. Embrace Halloween.
Go ahead, invest in that Halloween costume and let your dog parade around in it all month long--assuming he’s comfortable in it. He’ll love the extra attention and you’ll be sure to get your money’s worth out of the outfit. Consider having a pet costume party and hand out awards for most creative, scariest, and most hilarious costumes. Serve pumpkin dog “cookies” or hand out a small bag of homemade treats as party favors. Who knows, it might become a tradition to get the neighborhood pack of dogs together for a costume gala. Be sure to follow Halloween safety for all the dogs at your party! Your dog will love it and you’ll enjoy the company as well.
Enjoy Your Fall!
So, go ahead, lace up your walking or hiking shoes, strap on that leash, and enjoy the gorgeous fall weather while you can! Then, go get a pumpkin spiced latte for yourself and treat your dog to an “approved” pumpkin dog biscuit. Happy fall, ya’ll!