As the weather starts to cool off and the leaves on the trees change colors, you’re likely getting ready to do some of your favorite fall activities. If you have a furry friend—or a few—at home, don’t be afraid to bring them along! There are tons of fun fall activities both cats and dogs can enjoy to help make the season even more festive.
Fall is actually a great time for pet parents to start thinking harder about pet exercise and enrichment. As the temperatures drop and life gets busier with the start of the new school year and approaching holidays, our pets might not get out as much as they did in the spring and summer months. Shorter days and lower temperatures can even cause mood changes similar to seasonal affective disorder in pets.
To ensure that your pet is happy, entertained, healthy and well-loved this fall, try out these six activities.
- Enjoy the brisk weather with a hike: As the seasons turn, adventure enthusiasts and casual walkers alike love to hit the trails and enjoy the beautiful fall scenery. This is the perfect opportunity to get your pet out for some exercise and a change of pace! Choose a pet-friendly trail to bring your leashed dog (or cat!) along and spend time with the whole family exploring all that nature has to offer. Not only is this a lovely activity, but it’s also good for making sure your pet gets exercise as the temperature drops and giving them some extra enrichment with new sights, sounds and smells.
- Make backyard chores fun: Raking leaves may not be your favorite activity, but it could turn into a super-fun one for your furry friend! While you’re doing backyard cleanup, rake your leaves into a pile and encourage your pup to dive in or toss a ball in and have them fetch. They’re sure to get hours of free entertainment! However, be mindful of leaf piles that contain things like sticks or rocks, since these can be dangerous. Only encourage your dog to jump into leaf piles you create yourself that you can ensure are safe.
- Dress up for Halloween: People aren’t the only ones who can dress up for Halloween! Pet costumes are also adorable and tons of fun. Get creative and put together a costume for your furry friend! Then, see if there are any Halloween activities in your neighborhood to join in on. Halloween parades, costume contests and trick-or-treating for pets are all fun activities your disguised pooch or kitty can enjoy.
- Visit a farmers’ market: Fall farmers’ markets are often jam-packed with delicious treats for humans and pets. But more than that, they’re great places for pet parents to bring their four-legged friends to enjoy the crisp Autumn air and a change of scenery. Double-check that your local farmers’ market is pet-friendly, then set out to stock up on some local goods.
- Make a festive fall pet treat: Lots of our favorite fall foods—pumpkin, sweet potatoes, berries and apples, to name a few—are also safe for our pets to eat! Treat your cat or dog to a yummy fall snack using a few easy recipes. Just make sure to calculate these treats into your pet’s daily calorie count and double-check with your vet if you’re unsure of whether pets can eat a particular food safely.
- Snuggle up at home: Perhaps one of the best fall activities to do with your pets is not active or outside—it’s calm and indoors! As the seasons change, give yourself time to relax and unwind. Of course, there’s no better way to do that than by snuggling up with your furry friend and making them feel loved, too! Curl up with a blanket, apple cider and a spooky movie marathon and enjoy some chill time with your pet.
The fall season provides endless opportunities to have fun with your pup or cat. After you’re done with a nature hike, apple picking or cooking up a treat with your pet, make sure to pay attention to your pet’s health needs, too. Keep a watchful eye out for fall dangers like pesticides and insects, stay on top of your pet’s fall allergies for itch relief and start making plans for your pet’s winter exercise and feeding routines. By combining fall activities with wellness, you and your pet are sure to have a fantastic season!