5 fun games you can play with your dog this autumn
Ah, fall, the weather is cooler, pumpkin spice is back in season, and it’s the perfect time to head outdoors with your pup! At Ruffgers, we love using play as part of our positive dog training.
Fall is the perfect time to get some fresh air and make the most out of the cooler weather. Enjoy these fun fall games for dogs that the whole family can enjoy together!
1. Pumpkin Scavenger Hunt
Clear out a couple of small pumpkins, including the seeds, and hide some of your pup’s favorite treats inside a few of them! Place the pumpkins at different intervals in your yard, and let your dog have fun finding which pumpkins are “tricked” and which have the treats!
You can also spread a little peanut butter on the outside of the pumpkins to spark your pup’s interest! If you have children, this game can be expanded to include little trinkets for them as well!
Pumpkin is a safe food for dogs, so long as its unsweetened and contains no seeds. So, don’t worry if your dog starts to go to town and gnaw on some of the gourds! They’re a fun fall treat that’s healthy, too!
2. Go on a Scenic Hike
If you plan on taking any long trips this fall, you may look into dog boarding for your four-legged friend. But before you head off on an adventure, you can bring your dog with you for a beautiful fall hike.
Just make sure you bring plenty of water, and you may want to invest in some doggy hiking booties as well to protect their paws.
Hiking is great for dogs because it stimulates multiple senses at once; they love getting to exercise, but they also love all the new sights, sounds, and smells that trails introduce. Let your dog stop and sniff — it’s in their nature! However, keep them on a leash at all times. Even well-trained dogs can get overly excited and dash off to explore.
3. Head to a Dog-friendly Pumpkin Patch
Dogs can have just as much fun finding the perfect pumpkin as we do! Look up dog-friendly pumpkin patches and get your furry friend ready for a festive afternoon. Dress them up in a cozy fall sweater, or even a traditional flannel. Working breeds will love being able to carry things or even haul a small wagon with a pumpkin inside.
You can also let your dog help you settle on the right pumpkin. Select a few that you like, and whichever one they sniff or lick, that’s the one you take home. Commemorate the occasion by carving their choice into a special doggy-themed jack-o-lantern!
Many pet-friendly pumpkin patches also let dogs participate in events like apple picking and hayrides! It’s the perfect way to spend a nice day out as a family.
4. Have a Game Day at Home
Don your team’s favorite jersey, and get one for your pup, too! Then head outside for your own game with their favorite ball. Dogs get bored just like people, and they need plenty of outdoor time and stimulation to feel their best.
Ball games are one of the best ways you can incorporate playtime into dog training, helping them burn off energy and minimizing unwanted behaviors.
You try switching things up by using a ball launcher or rolling their ball in some grass or dry leaves before the game. Engaging their strongest scent — smell — can make the game even more enjoyable for your dog.
You can also toss a ball between two people and have your dog try to catch the ball! If they miss, you score a point. When they catch it, they score a point. This can be a good dog training exercises to teach your dog how to release on command.
5. Have a Halloween Party
Host a paw-some Halloween bash with your pup. Invite friends and family, along with their furry friends, to partake in plenty of pup-friendly festivities. Include dog-friendly fall foods, like unsweetened pumpkin slices and cooked, skinned sweet potato. And put your own spin on bobbing for apples by hanging some toys or treats from string and letting dogs jump up to grab them.
Make trick or treat goodie bags for the pups, including small, soft toys, and some tasty treats. You can also have a costume party where your dog’s dress up in their spookiest (or cutest) attire, then have a group photoshoot!
You can also look for a doggy daycare near you that hosts fun Halloween events. This is a great place for your pup to release pent-up energy and make some new furry friends.
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