Fall Activities to Socialize Your Dog, Safely
By: Tess Marty
Table of Contents
- Excitement of Fall
- Leaf Pile Romping
- Apple Picking
- Scenic Hiking/Camping
- Pumpkin Patches
- Local Events (costume contests, fall festivals)
- Photoshoot Tips
Enjoying the Change of Seasons Safely with your dog
As we step out for our morning walks and feel the air becoming cooler, many pet parents find excitement in embracing the change of seasons. We’ve been finding indoor activities for our pets to keep them occupied and lengthening those evening walks to get in some exercise. What better way to enjoy the fall than planning some adventures with our pups?
From colorful scenic hikes to pumpkin patch photoshoots, there are plenty of activities to do that include your dog. In this blog post, we'll explore some fun activities while prioritizing safety.
Leaf Pile Romping for Pups
Few things are more quintessentially fall than the sight of colorful leaves falling to the ground. Gather a pile of leaves in your yard or a local park and let your dog enjoy some playtime. However, be cautious of hidden hazards like sticks or rocks. Always supervise and ensure your dog doesn't ingest too many leaves, which could upset their stomach. The crunch can definitely be irresistible to some! According to the ASPCA Poison Control Center, leaf piles that have been sitting waterlogged for too long can harbor fungus or bacteria that if ingested, can cause stomach upset, as well as the tannins in acorns. Remembering this, if you have dry leaves in your yard that you can rake up into a pile, your dog might get great enrichment from foraging for their ball amongst all of the smells. Just think of all the squirrels who ran past those leaves when they were still on the tree!
Apple Picking with Your Dog
Visiting an apple orchard is a delightful autumn outing. Many orchards welcome well-behaved leashed dogs. Be sure to check ahead of time. Bring a (human!) friend along in case there are any non-pet-friendly areas like food and drink stations, or pack up a bark-cuterie picnic to enjoy when you’re done! Remember to keep your dog leashed and pick up any waste. Apples can be a healthy treat for dogs in moderation. They provide vitamins A and C, fiber, calcium and phosphorus, and lots of antioxidants! Make sure you’re washing off your apples before feeding or ensuring your orchard doesn’t use pesticides. Avoid feeding them apple seeds as they contain cyanide. If your dog does ingest one or two seeds while you’re out picking, don’t panic, it normally takes a larger dose for any side effects, but it’s best to be safe and monitor! You can google some dog-friendly apple orchards here.
Take Your Pet on a Scenic Hike
Fall is the perfect time for hiking with your dog. The cooler temperatures and stunning foliage make for an ideal outdoor adventure. Hiking with your dog is a great way to practice some training skills, too, like their recall, loose leash walking, directional cues like “this way” or “let’s go,” and important safety commands like “leave-it.”
If your dog doesn’t have a foolproof recall to keep them on-leash. This doesn’t have to mean no exploring! You can follow where they want to go and sniff, or you can opt for a long lead. This will not only keep your dog safe, but other dogs on the trail that may not want to say hello. Be respectful of others. If someone else doesn’t want to say hello, their dog might not be unfriendly, but might be practicing passing distractions, could be training other cues, or might just prefer to be left to their hike. Keep an eye out for wildlife like squirrels and deer that might excite or spook your dog. A well-fitted harness can provide better control to keep your dog safe.
Before you head out, research dog-friendly trails and ensure your pup is up to the challenge. Don't forget to pack essentials like water, a leash, treats, and waste bags.When you get back, do a thorough tick check. This season, ticks love to hide in damp foliage on the ground. Make sure your dog is up to date on their preventative, and maybe even do a quick scan halfway through your adventure.
4. Have Some Pumpkin Patch Fun
Pumpkin patches are a favorite fall destination. Many patches allow dogs on leashes, but verify your local farm’s pet policy. Use the opportunity to pack their cutest bandana and have a fall-themed photoshoot among the pumpkins. While dogs can have pumpkin, be sure your dog doesn't nibble on any decorations or unripe pumpkins, which can lead to tummy troubles. The leaves and stems on pumpkins are prickly, and uncooked pumpkin may be hard to digest. Your dog may see pumpkins as a brightly colored, delicious-smelling toy, so watch them carefully around those cute mini gourds!
5. Bring Your Dog & Enjoy Local Events
Discovering local fall-themed events that both you and your furry bestie can enjoy has become so easy. You can find local activities by browsing Eventbrite, a platform for uncovering exciting happenings in your area. Google is also a great resource for pet parents looking to It’s important to double-check the event details to ensure that your pup is welcome. For New Yorkers, check out NYC Pet Events for the most up to date list of events in all five boroughs.
Some events may have specific pet-friendly policies or restrictions, and researching will guarantee a hassle-free and enjoyable experience for both you and your furry friend. If your pup gets a little too excited during dog-friendly events, you can consider bringing along some Happy Hounds CBD treats to keep their baseline a little less hyper.
6. Canine Costume Parade: Howl-O-Ween Events
Halloween just passed, but plan your pup's Halloween costume ahead of time. Enjoy a halloween celebration with your pet by organizing or joining a local costume parade. Dressing up your pet can be a hoot, and the sight of them in a cute costume is sure to bring smiles to many faces. Make sure you prioritize your dog's comfort and safety above all else.
Choose costumes that are non-restrictive and allow your dog to move freely. Ensure that the costume doesn't obstruct their vision or hinder their ability to breathe comfortably. While accessorizing can add charm, be cautious with items that could pose a choking hazard. Start practicing getting them comfortable with their costume by positive reinforcement and slow introductions to things like shirts over the head or hats, and consider using hemp oil drops with salmon oil to calm their nerves while training. Keep in mind that not all dogs enjoy wearing costumes, even with practice, and forcing them into outfits can be stressful. If your pup seems uncomfortable or distressed, it's best to skip the costume and focus on enjoying the parade together without added stress just for the sake of pictures.
Happy Hounds proudly sponsors and attends many seasonal events from the famous Tompkins Square Dog Run to demonstrations in our retailers and with our rescue partners.
Now, let's talk about how CBD can benefit your adventure buddy during the fall season:
7. How Dogs Can Benefit from Hemp This Fall
As the weather cools down, some dogs–especially older dogs–may experience joint stiffness or discomfort. Hemp-based CBD has gained popularity as a natural supplement that may help alleviate these issues. CBD works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating pain and reducing inflammation.
Supporting Your Dog's Overall Wellness
Hemp soft-chews is not only used to address specific issues but can also contribute to your dog's overall well-being. A full-spectrum Hemp oil with Salmon oil or soft-chew may help boost their immune system and maintain a healthy coat.
Calm Pets for the Holidays
Calming chews can be especially helpful during the Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas when you may be traveling or having guests over. Try Happy Hounds, Calm Peanut Butter soft-chews. They are perfect for social anxiety and traveling to keep your pets stress-free for up to six hours. You can also add the Calm + Coat Tincture Drops to their favorite treat, peanut butter kong, or their wet and dry food.
Engaging in seasonal activities can be incredibly rewarding for both you and your dog, helping strengthen your bond and providing enrichment. Always prioritize safety by keeping your dog on a leash, carrying essentials, and being vigilant of potential hazards.
Enjoy the fall season with your dog, and may it be filled with wagging tails, crunchy leaves, and warm moments that you'll cherish forever! Some of these could be uncomfortable, but Happy Hounds hemp chews can help your dog ease into social activities!