At long last, autumn is finally here. Time to put away the sunscreen and break out the fleeces! With temperatures returning to a range within reason, outdoor activities are on the upswing, and not just for people. That slight nip in the air means the weather is perfect for puppy play time, too.
Before the days get too short, and the nights too cold, make sure you take the time to give your dog a few final days in the sun. Here are a couple ideas:
1. Take a Hike!
A day in the woods can easily become the highlight of your pup’s week. All the new smells of fall, the new territory to ‘claim,’ the terrain to conquer -- help your dog get back to their roots with a few hours out in nature. Just remember, this is not a typical walk. A good hike should go for a couple of hours, and you should be prepared to go at your dog's pace. Let them stop to sniff the roses -- it's the reason you brought them along.
Related Article: Hiking With Your Dog
2. Gettin' Leafy With It
You are going to have to rake the yard anyway, so why not let your pooch have a little fun in all those leaves before your bag them up? Just like little kids, most dogs understand and appreciate the delicate nuances of jumping rump first into a pile of leaves. Granted, it can elongate the raking process, but weigh that against the fun you are going to have watching your pup romp around.
Tell me that doesn't look fun. Just make sure they are protected against fleas and ticks.
3. Puppy Picks a Peck of Apples
The cornerstone of fall activities -- apple picking. If you live in an area with a dog friendly orchard nearby (which are cropping up more and more), make a point of bringing your dog along. What may at first seem like an activity that only people can participate in, apple picking for a dog is more like an elongated walk, interrupted from time to time with little snacks. That’s right -- dogs like apples too! Just don’t let them eat the seeds, or they may get a tummy ache.
Related Article: Go Apple Picking With Your Dog at Fishkill Farms
4. Dogs Without Borders
Thanks to the ever increasing availability of places specifically designed for dogs to play, unencumbered by leashes, it's easier than ever to give your dog a chance to have free reign. Whether it’s a fenced-in dog park, or an open agility field with the obstacles and all, every dog should have the chance to run around uninhibited. Also, this can be a great time to add some socialization into their regimen. It is never too late for your pup to make some friends.
Helpful Site: Find a Local Dog Park Today
5. Gotta Be Fetch
Fetch -- the old standby. When all else fails, this surefire fun time only takes a dog, a yard, and something to throw to get started, and the entertainment can last for hours. Now, you can get fancy with it and pick up some sweet dog-toss swag, but even if all you have is a ratty old tennis ball, your dog is going to love it. Try mixing it up with disks or a rope so you can end the game with a little tug of war (just make sure you have a release command).
Related Article: Teaching Your Dog to Play Fetch