From fun festivals to cozy nights by the fireplace, there’s plenty to adore about the fall season—especially if you’re a pet parent. Along with colorful foliage and pumpkin spice lattes, autumn brings tons of fun fall activities to make uniquely seasonal memories with your furry friend. The change in seasons is also a good reminder to make sure your pet’s up to date on their vet visits, flea and tick treatments, and all those other easy-to-forget necessities.
So, what are the best fun things to do at this time of year—and what pet parenting tasks come with it? We’ve created a free printable checklist of all the best fall things to do.
Click to download and print our fall to-do list, and read on for more tips and tricks for these fun fall activities.
It’s spooky season, after all—and you know the best costumes are going to fly off the shelves, so start brainstorming costume ideas for you and your pup early. We’ve got plenty of inspo for dogs and cats to get those Halloween vibes flowing.
Visit a Pet-friendly Fall Festival
What’s better than sipping warm apple cider, taking a hayride to a pumpkin patch, wandering through a corn maze or apple picking? Doing it with your pet by your side! Local farms or farmer’s markets often stage fall festivals, and many are welcoming to pets. Call in advance to ask about their pet policy, and make sure your pet is comfortable and calm around other people and animals before you bring them along.
Whip Up a DIY Treat
If loving pumpkin spice lattes is basic, well, call us basic. The seasonal drink has become an essential part of autumn, and you don’t have to leave your dog out while you’re drinking one, either! Check out our recipe for dog-friendly PSLs, as well as tons of other DIY goodies you can make for dogs, cats and more.
Plan a Leaf Peeping Day Trip
If your pet is into walks in the woods, fall is the ultimate time to do it. Together, you’ll enjoy the colors of the fall foliage, the crisp autumn air, and all the new sights and smells of the season. Plus, you know those gorgeous trails will make the perfect backdrop for your next IG post.
Let Your Pet Play in a Freshly Raked Pile of Leaves
Lots of pets love leaves—especially if it means disappearing into a giant pile of them. The bad news is that this activity might make clearing your yard take a little bit longer than usual. The good news? The cuteness factor more than makes up for it!
Carve a Jack-o-lantern With a Pet-Inspired Design
Sure, everybody carves pumpkins for Halloween—but not everybody will have a special jack-o-lantern for their favorite furry friend. Carve a pawprint, your pet’s name or, if you’ve got serious artistic skills, their portrait into a pumpkin for your porch this year.
Gear Up for Game Day
Football season is back, and you’re going to want the whole family to rep your favorite team—pets included. These jerseys, bandanas and more will let everybody know who they’re rooting for during the next football game or tailgate.
Donate or Volunteer at Your Local Animal Shelter
It’s the season of giving, after all! And for animal shelters, rescues and pet food banks across the country, it’s one of the busiest times of the year. Find an organization near you and donate supplies using Wish List, or call them up and ask about volunteer opportunities.
Plan a Scary Movie Night With Your Pet
Go ahead, turn your house into a haunted house. Turn off the lights, curl up under a blanket, and settle in for a night of cinematic frights with your pet. They may not understand the spooks and scares, but they will certainly enjoy the opportunity to cuddle up beside you.
Fall Healthy Pet Checklist
Scan Your Yard for Acorns and Pinecones
They might make your backyard look extra autumn-y, but acorns and pinecones are also potential hazards to your pet. Acorns contain tannins which can cause upset stomach in dogs, while pinecones (and the pine needles and sap that often come with them) can cause intestinal irritation and vomiting if ingested. They’re both choking hazards, too, so scan your yard regularly and keep an eye on your pet while they’re out there.
Ice and salt can be tough on pets’ paws, too, so consider using dog boots or paw balm while they’re out for walks.
Refill Your Flea and Tick Preventative
Pests don’t take the cooler months off, so it’s important to keep your pet’s flea and tick prevention current all year long. Check the date of your pet’s last dose, and order any refills you may need to last all season long.
These favorite fall activities are sure to keep you and your pet happy and healthy all season long. From bucket list ideas to essential healthy tasks, autumn is sure to be a favorite season for you both.