The dog days of summer are behind us. Temperatures are beginning to drop, which means your pup can enjoy their daily walks without battling the heat. Fall is the perfect time to get outside and stay active—especially if you have a weight management goal for your dog.
Pet parents should take advantage of the mild weather while it lasts. Before you know it, winter will keep people and pets holed up in their homes. There are plenty of activities that can help your dog maintain a healthy weight before snow settles on the ground. Check out some fall-themed exercises that will help keep your dog in shape.
Fall activities to keep your pup in shape
A change in season brings fun, new ways to switch up your dog’s exercise routine. Dogs can tag along for many of our favorite fall activities, whether that’s a game of football or a hike among the colorful trees. The festivities of fall offer many alternatives to the typical walk around the block. Your pup will maintain a healthy weight, all while enjoying something new!
Here are the top exercises to try with your dog this fall.
- Corn maze: Take your dog on an extra-long walk through a corn maze. Walks can get mundane when your pup follows the same route every day. By contrast, a corn maze is filled with twists and turns that will engage your dog’s senses. Corn mazes are great exercises for dogs because they have to keep trekking along until you discover the way out. (Note: While most corn mazes are dog-friendly, it’s best to double check before you arrive.)
- Bar crawl: Fall is the time for brew festivals. Take your dog out on the town to fulfill their daily walk and provide opportunities for socialization. Bar crawls require a ton of walking, so they’re a great way to tire out your pup. The sights, sounds and smells will pique your dog’s curiosity. Plus, they get to practice good behavior around people and other pets. Just be sure the venues allow dogs on their outdoor patios and beer gardens.
- Leaf pile: Romping through the leaves is a classic fall activity your dog will love. Rake the leaves into a pile, then let your pup dash, burrow and roll around to their heart’s content. Dogs jump at the opportunity to play in leaves because it’s a game they get to enjoy only a few times each year. The way fall leaves rustle, crunch and scatter in every direction is sure to get your dog’s heart racing. Just make sure to remove all sticks and rocks from your pile, so your pooch doesn’t get hurt!
- Backyard football: Upgrade your dog’s usual game of keep-away by getting into the spirit of football season. Grab a group of friends to toss around a foam football in the backyard. Your dog can get in on the fun as they sprint from one person to the next and try to snatch the football out of the air. Keep-away is a highly intense workout that can help your pup maintain a healthy weight. It’s an especially useful exercise if your dog needs to burn a lot of energy in a short amount of time.
- Scenic hike: Savor the crisp air by taking your dog on a hike through the woods. Thanks to fall’s cool temperatures, you can stay outside for longer periods of time without the risk of heat stroke. This makes it possible to spend a whole afternoon out on the trails. Choose a route with various elevations to give your dog a challenge. Hiking with your pup also gives you an excuse to marvel at the changing colors on the trees.
Ask your vet about weight management
Exercise should be a part of every dog’s daily routine. It’s necessary for their overall health, whether your dog needs to shed a couple of pounds or simply maintain their current weight. While exercising offers many health benefits, pet parents should consult their vets about safe weight loss regimens. If your dog is overweight or obese, follow a vet’s guidance on the proper ways to achieve those weight loss goals.
Every dog has a different exercise schedule. Age, breed, size and medical history will determine the ideal frequency and intensity of your dog’s workout sessions. Your vet can provide all the information you need to establish an exercise routine that will keep your pup at a healthy weight.
As the seasons change, the need to exercise stays the same. Trying fun new activities can get you in the fall spirit while helping your dog manage their weight. Fall is only here for a couple months, so make the most of it by spending time outdoors with your canine companion.