Getting ready to head out with your pet for some fall fun this coming weekend? October brings us cooler weather and great places to socialize our pets, along with pumpkin and costume photos galore! Here are a few tips to make your pumpkin patch visit more success and less of a struggle!
Know your dog and respect their boundaries. If your dog isn’t thrilled about other dogs or people in their space, consider a laid back event that doesn’t exclusively cater to pets or crowded with people. Knowing yours and your dog’s comfort level is important to understand what events are okay to attend.
Do the prep! If the event or location you’re planning to visit isn’t specifically advertising for a pet-focused event, make sure they do indeed allow dogs. Call beforehand or check their website. Some pumpkin patches or festivals don’t cater to pets.
Get the ya-yas out. If your dog is cooped up all week while you work and bursting with energy, go for a light jog or spend some time playing BEFORE you get in the car. These events will most likely feature having your dog sitting (and staying, at least briefly) for photos and walking on a loose leash.
Bring delicious treats! Don’t be afraid to carry treats and reward your dog for remembering their manners ‘in public’. This is especially true with younger dogs. Keeping rewards available can help your dog maintain composure even while excited. Practicing your dog's recalls and polite greetings with strangers is also a great way to keep your pup engaged while strengthened their desired behavior.
Remember to be fun. While it’s great to have those Instagram-worthy photos of your joyful fall outing, enjoying the present moment is important. Don’t worry about getting the perfect photo or going to the perfectly atmospheric pumpkin patch. If your dog- or you!- aren’t having a good time, don’t try to stick it out - go find something that everyone WANTS to be doing.