fall activities for dogs

Top 11 Fall Activities for Dogs: Fun Ideas for Your Dog’s Bucket List

Updated 07/12/2024 by Ava Jaine

Fall is the perfect season to step outside and enjoy nature with your whole family, especially your dog. Every day is a blessing. It’s important to make each day count with your pup.

This season, create some special memories with these fun fall activities for dogs.

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Table Of Contents

Cute white dog sitting in the woods surrounded by yellow autumn leaves

Outside Activities for Dogs

As the temperatures cool down and the leaves begin to change, fall offers the perfect scene for enjoying a variety of outside activities with your dog. Here are some fun ideas to make the most of this colorful season.


1. Games for Your Dog

Dogs enjoy running and playing outdoors. It is a great time to get outside and give your dog the exercise they really need before the bitter cold winter season sets in.

Here are some fun outside games you can play with your pup to help them move around and stay active.

Treasure Hunt:

Pick up some healthy dog treats at the store (or make DIY dog treats at home) and play a treasure hunt game in the yard or your local park.

It’s a super fun ‘scent work’ game your dog will love.  Hide the treats in toys or find some hiding places around the yard for them to hunt.


Digging Box:

If you have a dog that loves to dig (like my Dachshunds do), make them their own digging box to hunt for treasures. 

Pick up one of those cheap, off-season sandboxes for kids and fill it with some play sand (dust-free).  Then, hide some new toys for them to dig and find.

Leaf Pile Jumping:

After you rake up all those crunchy leaves into a big fluffy pile, don’t let it go to waste.  Jump in and play with your dog!

They will love jumping and romping in the leaf pile with you.  Just make sure to always prepare your dog with some quality flea and tick preventative ahead of time and do a tick check afterward.


Play Fetch:

Playing fetch with a new ball or frisbee is a great activity you can enjoy with your dog at home or at the park.  It is a fun way to give your dog some cherished one-on-one time and tire them out for the day.

2. Camping

Camping with dogs is a fun and unique way to experience nature together. Find a campground that allows pets and provides lots of space to enjoy the great outdoors with your pup.

Camping will introduce lots of interesting smells, sights, and sounds. This is a great way to socialize your furry friend with new experiences.

As it gets dark, it is important to keep track of your dog. There are lots of animals in the wild that your dog may want to chase.

I like to use this Light Up Dog Collar. It helps me keep track of my black and tan doxie at night, so she doesn’t disappear.

Large dog hanging out in a camping tent with their owner

3. Hiking

Fall is the peak season to enjoy a scenic hike with your dog. It’s cooler outside, the ground is dry, and it is so peaceful to take in the autumn air.

Your dog will love exploring the new trail while enjoying some exercise.


4. Boat Ride

Take your pup on a boat ride! Stick with lakes or ponds to help your dog feel safe and calm. Bring along your dog’s lifejacket, some drinking water, treats, and a comforting toy to help them enjoy the ride.

Your dog should always wear a dog life jacket while on the water – even if they are the best swimmer.

Here are some cute pictures of my pups wearing their doggie life jackets.  My Dachshund, Reno, wasn’t thrilled, per the puppy eyes.  safety first Reno!

dachshund looking submissive wearing an orange lifejacket
german shepherd wearing an orange lifejacket

5. Oktoberfest

If you’ve never attended a fall festival or an Oktoberfest, this is the year to do it!  Many festivals welcome your four-legged friend to join in the fun.

Oktoberfests are famous for their hilarious dog costume contests, pet parades, wiener dog races, and, of course lots of delicious German cuisine for all to enjoy.

The music, games, and tasty treats make it a really memorable experience for the whole family. Check the details of the fall event ahead of time if you would like your pup to participate in the races or parades. Pre-registration may be required.

6. Pumpkin Farm

I love taking my family to the pumpkin farm to pick out our annual Halloween pumpkins.

Did you know that some pumpkin farms allow you to bring your dog with you? Contact your local pumpkin patch and find out what their policy is. If they allow dogs, it could be a great photo opportunity for the whole family.

Tip: At the pumpkin patch, be careful of those tiny spikes on the pumpkin vines. They can really hurt your dog’s paws.

group of small orange pumpkins in a wooden crate

Apple Picking

Ahh.. Apple picking is my all-time favorite thing to do in the fall. Give the apple orchard a call to see if your dog can join in on the fun this year.


7. Fall Family Photos with Your Dog

When you are surrounded by the amazing beauty of the autumn season, it is a great idea to take some scenic photos of your family with your dog.

This makes for some gorgeous keepsakes for your photo albums, and some show off pics for your social media feed. Below are some colorful pictures of my little Dachshund, Eko, enjoying a fall hike.

Here’s my favorite phone tripod with a remote to help take those fall family photos with your dog.

Fall photo of a cute dachshund going on a hike and looking at a creek
piebald mini dachshund in pretty colored fall leaves

For a little inspiration, here are some Beautiful Fall Pictures of Dogs on my Pinterest board.


Inside Activities for Dogs

There will be days in the fall when it is too windy or rainy to go outside.  It is helpful to have a few fun things to do inside as well.

8. New Training Commands

How long has it been since you taught your dog a new training command? It doesn’t matter how young or old they are, it is a great opportunity to have some individual time with your pup.

You could teach your dog how to sit, come, lay down, rollover, shake hands, or play dead. If your pup already knows all of these commands, then teach them something more advanced.

If you have more than one dog, try the two dogs photo pose training video from McCann Dog Training. It’s an advanced trick to teach your pup for some super cute photos.


9. Indoor Games and Toys

Treat Dispensing Toy

The Bob-A-Lot is the best boredom buster dog toy that I have ever found! The Bob-A-Lot dog toy makes it easy to keep dogs happy, busy, and rewarded with yummy dog treats.

It helps reduce dog separation anxiety and provides lots of mental stimulation for pups that get bored easily.

cute piebald dachshund sitting next to the bob a lot dog toy

My Dachshund, Eko (pictured above), loves his Bob-A-Lot toy so much, I had to get a video of him playing with it on our Dachshund Station YouTube Channel.


Dog Snuffle Mat

I found this colorful Dog Snuffle Mat on Amazon.

The snuffle mat is like a “sniff and find” activity mat where you hide your dog’s food and small treats under little flaps and inside hidden pockets.

Note: My dog’s snuffle mat in the picture is an older model, the one on Amazon looks different, but just as fun.

Two dogs looking for dog treats on their snuffle mat

Eko and his big brother, Bastian, both love the dog snuffle mat for every meal.  It’s awesome to see how this mat promotes fun and increases doggie brain power.

Here is a cute video of my dogs playing with the snuffle mat on my YouTube Channel.


DIY Corn Shaker Toy

Corn in a dog toy, totally easy and fall-themed too! My dogs really enjoy this DIY shaker toy, and it was so easy to make. It makes lots of noise and is easy to drag around the house.

How to Make a Corn Shaker Toy:

  • Fill a thick plastic bottle with ½ cup of popcorn kernels or squirrel corn.
  • Seal it up, and stuff it into a large old sock.
  • Secure the end with an old neck tie, laundry rope, or just twist the end of the sock into a knot.
  • Done!
DIY Corn Shaker Dog Toy

10. Pumpkin Treats for Dogs

Adding some pumpkin puree to your dog’s food is a healthy way of adding extra nutrients and fiber to their diet. Pumpkin helps with digestive regularity, eases stomach issues, and it tastes delicious too.

Fall is the perfect time of year to introduce some new pumpkin-based dog treats.

Here are some of my favorite pumpkin-based dog treats. They are easy to make at home and the dogs love them!

homemade peanut butter dog treats

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats

  • Ingredients:

    • 1 cup of Canned Pumpkin Puree (Not Pumpkin Pie Filling)
    • ½ cup Peanut Butter (No xylitol)
    • 2 cups of Flour
  • Instructions:

    1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
    2. Mix canned pumpkin and peanut butter together in a large bowl.
    3. Stir in the flour and combine the mixture until the dough forms.
    4. Roll out the dough onto a clean floured surface.
    5. Cut into fun shapes with your favorite cookie cutter.
    6. Place doggie treats onto an ungreased baking sheet, about a half inch apart.
    7. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

    This recipe makes about 2-3 dozen doggie cookies depending on the size of your cookie cutter.  They will last up to 10 days.


Sweet Potato Dog Cookies

  • Ingredients:

    • 1 egg
    • 2 tablespoon oil
    • 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato
    • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • Instructions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. Mix the egg, oil, and mashed sweet potato in a large mixing bowl, beat until smooth.
    3. Add in the flour and knead until the dough forms into a ball.
    4. Roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thick onto a clean floured surface.
    5. Cut into fun shapes with a cookie cutter.
    6. Place cookies on a baking sheet between one-half inch apart.
    7. Bake for 15 minutes.
    8. Rotate the cookie sheet and flip cookies, then reduce oven temp to 300°F, bake for another 20 minutes.
    9. When cooled, you can store up to 14 days.

11. Dog Halloween Costumes

Dress up your pup!  There are so many adorable Halloween costumes available for dogs of all sizes.

You and your dog can attend a trick-or-treat walk.  This is a fun way to show off your dog’s costume and let them socialize with other dogs too.


My Dog’s Halloween Costumes:

Cute black and tan dachshund wearing a dog witch costume
Cute dachshund puppy wearing a rainbow dog costume for Halloween
Fall Activities on your dog's bucket list

What is Your Dog’s Halloween Name?

Ok, let’s play a game!  Take a look at this chart and combine the first letter of your dog’s first name and first letter of their last name.

Add your dog’s new Halloween name in the comments below.

Fall Activities on your dog's bucket list

What are your favorite fall activities for dogs? Let us know in the comments below.

DIY Healthy Homemade Dog Treats