Ever thought about how to adjust your dog’s exercise routine for fall? It’s not something we really think about sometimes. The weather shifts and our days change, but we just go with the flow. For our pets, however, they feel the change more than we think. It’s an adjustment that they need to ease into and that’s where we as their humans come in to help!
Adjusting your dog’s exercise routine for fall is important to ensure their well-being and safety as the weather changes. Remember that every dog is unique, and their exercise needs can vary between each. Pay close attention to your dog’s behavior and adjust their routine accordingly to keep them happy and healthy during the fall season.
Here are some 10 tips on how to adjust your dog’s exercise routine for fall:
Changing Their Walking Hours
With shorter daylight hours, consider shifting your walks and outdoor activities to earlier in the day to ensure sunlight. This will keep the routine the same but shifting the hour from what it was during the summertime.
Monitor Outdoor Temperature
Autumn means cooler temperatures. As the summer heat starts to lessen, we are more conscious to take our dogs outside for some exercise. But that still means you need to pay attention to the weather forecast and adjust your outings accordingly. Once it starts to get cooler, some dogs may need a light sweater for warmth.
Vary Exercise Types
Does it get rainy where you are live? In the autumn is a great time to begin Incorporating indoor activities like puzzle toys, obedience training, or interactive games to combat the rainy, or particularly chilly, weather.
Related article: 6 Brain Games for Dogs
No matter the weather, it is important to stay hydrated! Even in cooler weather, dogs can get dehydrated. Always carry water and a portable bowl on outings. Even if it is for a trip around the block, your pet may need some water at any point.
Related article: Is Pet Hydration Serious?
Careful of Leaf Piles and Other Hazards
Be cautious around piles of leaves! Sometimes people would sweep up their tree’s fallen leaves and cover up objects that we do not see. There could be hidden objects or even critters hiding under piles of leaves that can pose a danger to your dog.
Watch Their Feet
Check your dog’s paws for signs of discomfort or injury due to colder or wetter ground. Dogs can have dryness, chapped, and cracking feet that may lead to discomfort when they walk. There are paw wax or boots to protect them. If you notice your pet walking awkwardly, check their paws, they might be suffering from the cold ground.
Adjust Activity Levels
Depending on the weather, dogs can have a slightly different energy level. Some dogs may have more energy in cooler weather, while others might slow down. When you are playing with them, manage the length and energy you are giving your pet to exercise. Adjust the intensity and duration of activities to suit your dog’s energy levels.
Have Supervised Play
If you have a fenced yard, supervise outdoor play to ensure your dog doesn’t get into mischief with fallen leaves. If you are going to a socializing doggie group play, make sure your pet is safe from other autumn debris that may surface near the play area.
Safety During Dusk/Dawn
Times change and your schedule may not be the same. If you are used to walking your dog at a set time after work, chances are the time may effect when you well get sunlight. As darkness falls earlier, if you walk your dog during dusk or dawn, make sure they are visible with reflective gear. Both you and your dog should have protection if walking out in the dark.
Related article: 8 Dog Walking Essentials for National Walk Your Dog Week
Be aware that some dogs may develop allergies in the fall. Just like humans, dogs can get those pesky allergies either from the weather or autumn plants. Keep an eye out for signs like itching, sneezing, or watery eyes. Consult your vet if you suspect fall allergies.
It is always good to do your research and learn what you can about your pets. Know that every dog is different and may react differently compared to other pets. Watch and listen for your pet’s needs and allow them the space to be themselves.
Have a happy and safe Autumn, from The Fire Hydrant Team!