Posted by on September 3, 2015

Spring Forward, Fall Back…

 Once your dog has transitioned to your family’s new schedule, fall is essentially the perfect time to be a dog. It’s not too hot and not too cold, the air is brisk and fresh and people want to spend more time outdoors. Fun fall activities for your dog generally include anything that will get him out of the house to act like a dog. If you have a fenced yard and can simply let your dog run and play, you will see a great improvement in his health and in his behavior.  Walking, jogging, puppy play dates, fetch and Frisbee™ are great fallback activities for exercise and fun.  You can also try blowing bubbles for your dog, hiding toys in a sandbox so he can dig for them and raking a pile of leaves for him to jump through.

For pet parents, the start of a new season is also a reminder to take care of seasonal treatments like flea and tick medication, grooming, checkups and immunizations. A clean, protected and healthy dog is ready for fall adventures and the coming cold weather.

You’re Welcome…

 Try to include your dog in the same fall activities in which the rest of the family participates.  For example, if you have scouts in the family, hiking and camping are great fall activities to try with your dog.  Many campgrounds are happy to host pets as well as people.  If your clan includes athletes that are carted back and forth to practices and games, fall is ideal for rolling down the windows and letting your dog’s ears flap in the wind on your way to the fields.  Well- behaved dogs can play with parents and siblings and watch the action on the sidelines.

Autumn is one of the best times of the year to plan a mini or extended dog-welcoming vacation.  Visiting a pet-friendly hotel or bed and breakfast in the “off season.” can be a treat for all as prices are lower, but often beaches, pools, and additional perks are available since the crowds are sparse.  Many state parks and outdoor monuments, pumpkin patches and wineries are pet friendly, as well.

Be Prepared…

 Check beforehand to confirm well-behaved, leashed dogs are allowed to accompany your family to each destination. Don’t show up at someone’s home with your dog as an uninvited guest.  The last thing you want is to have to leave your pooch in the car when everyone else is out and about, especially early in the season when it’s still too warm inside a closed car.  Wherever you go that pets are allowed, be respectful and clean up after your dog.

Always leash your dog when in public. A leash will not only help keep your pet safe, but help people you come into contact with feel more comfortable – not everyone is a dog lover and many are afraid of dogs.  Pack a favorite blanket so your dog has a safe place for resting and plenty of fresh, cool water and healthy snacks.

Practice Makes Perfect…

Fall activities are a wonderful opportunity to practice proper etiquette with your dog.  Consider enrolling your dog in a few behavior classes to prepare him.  Be sure he understands basic commands so that you can maintain control and keep him safe.  Teach your dog not to bark unnecessarily.  Reinforce proper manners with other people and other dogs, especially appropriate greetings.  Wait to take your dog to an off leash park until you are sure how he will react around other dogs.  Fall will include family fun for all if your dog knows how to act and react in public.

Cold Nose Lodge offers dog training, daycare, luxury boarding, grooming and a retail boutique. For more information on the Lodge, please visit our website.

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