Autumn hikes are the best! Your adventure dog thinks so, too. The cooler temperatures are more comfortable for thick coats, the changing season brings forth new scents, and the bustle of critters before winters adds new entertainment. Changes in the season mean slight changes in the hike as well. Check out these tips to keep your adventure dog hikes going into autumn.
It’s hunting season! Ducks, bow hunting for deer, and other little critters. Whether you hunt or not, your dog’s safety comes into play this time of year. Be sure to put an orange or pink vest on your dog to distinguish them from other animals. Our Great Dane looks like a deer, it’s very important that we place a vest on her while out hiking in the fall. Even if you think you’ll be staying on the trail, accidents happen, he might get loose.
Xena-doo in her pretty pink coat! Great Danes have a thinner coat and a thin skin layer. When the temperature drops, her jacket comes out. Perfect timing for hunting season.
Most dogs are fine in the fall with their built in fur coat. Those with shorter coats or naked dogs, may need an extra layer. Senior dogs also have a harder time regulating their body temperature. A light jacket or sweater is helpful for dogs having a hard time keeping warm. This can also double as their visibility vest.
Keep your pup hydrated, even in the fall. The blistering heat has gone away, yay! Hiking the trail can still make a pup thirsty. Bring plenty of water and dish for your adventure dog to drink out of. Our favorite dish is the silicone collapsible style. Sturdy enough to hold water, yet compactable.
Respect Autumn Critters
If you’ve ever sat in the woods in autumn, you’ll have noticed a frantic amount of activity from the critters. Squirrels are preparing, winter is coming. The increased activity from these prey animals will have your pup intrigued and that prey drive peaked. Take care to keep your adventure dog on leash, don’t allow them to chase the wildlife. Remember that this is their home, we are visitors. They have enough to worry about.
Xena loved the squirrels at Interstate State Park, MN. You can look, but you can’t chase!
Paws? What? In late autumn, we may have snow on the ground in northern parts of Minnesota. The fresh snow may cause snowballs to form between your dog’s toes, especially fluffy dogs. Some preventatives include; salve or balm specially made for dog feet, boots for tolerant dogs, and checking your dog’s feet frequently.
Be Aware of State Park Hunting Schedule
If you’re planning a State Park hike in Minnesota between mid-October to mid-December, be sure to check the hunting schedule. There are limited hunting opportunities in the state parks, but it’s good to know beforehand. The dates can be found on the DNR website, some area of the parks may be closed during these dates.
Basic Trail Etiquette
No matter what time of year you’re hiking with your adventure dog, follow Basic Trail Etiquette for Adventure Dogs.