5 Tips to Have a Howling Good Time with Your Pup This Fall

Corgi with pumpkin
Your local Guide to Fun Fall Activities for the Whole Pack! 

The seasons are changing and here in Montgomery County, MD that means for most of us the days of hanging out by the pool and planning trips to the Eastern shore are coming to a close. Fear not! The fun is far from over. There are many ways to celebrate the change from hot summer days to cool autumn nights and opportunities for family, friends, and community to all come together. From pumpkin patch trips to spooky Halloween haunts, there’s a little of something for everyone to enjoy.


Here 5 great tips to keep your pets safe during the fall festivities:

  1. Be mindful of decorations: Lions and tigers and bears! Oh my! I cannot count the number of times I have had to calm a dog down and redirect their attention while out on a walk because of some new spooky inhabitant in their neighbor’s front yard. Although we might love the creepy new additions to the landscape, dogs don’t quite get it. So for safety’s sake, never leave a pet unattended with any decor. Specifically, items that use cords or electrical wires, anything that uses flames (think jack-o-lanterns) or anything edible. Gourds, pumpkins and decorative corn are generally safe unless they become moldy and produce mycotoxins.
  2. Keep the human treats out of reach: ‘Help yourself’ style containers might be great for trick- or – treating convenience, but they also allow for easy access for pets if they are left unattended. Additionally, one of my greatest feats in recent years was running interference on one of my clients small (read: close to the ground) diabetic dogs (in double danger from chocolate and other sweets) after Halloween night. I spent a week scouring the ground during all of my dog’s walks picking up stray candies and candy wrappers.
  3. Keep non-trick-or-treating pets safe inside and away from the door: For some pets, the whole idea of strangers wearing odd things and arriving in droves to their home, while everyone gets treats that they are not welcome to can feel like a real nightmare. Others may enjoy the excitement of meeting new friends but there is a large percentage of dogs who want nothing to do with it, and that’s okay! Set up a safe space where your pet can retreat and be away from the action. Treats like frozen Kongs, or a special bone may keep them busy and unaware of what’s going on at the front door. If your dog goes into stranger danger mode when hearing the doorbell, maybe cover it up with something, rendering it temporarily inoperable just for that night.
  4. Wear your dog out before the festivities begin: A tired dog is a happy dog! Go for a nice extra long walk, or take your dog to play at the dog park so they can get that pent up energy OUT. Short on time? Hire a dog walker to do the job for you!
    Make sure that your pet is wearing proper identification: If plans go awry and your pet gets accidentally let out of the house, make sure that you have your pet’s identification tags or microchip information up to date. Better safe than sorry!
  5. Lastly, if you plan on dressing up your pup, make sure that the costume has been tested out beforehand! Do a test run to make sure that sizing is correct and that your pet can tolerate all aspects of your planned costume.

Halloween is supposed to be fun, so let’s ensure that it can be a great time for the whole family, fur kids included.

Did you know that there are many fall-related dog-friendly activities in our area? Here’s a list of activities that you and your pup can enjoy!

Strut Your Mutt Logo

10/5 Strut Your Mutt
9am-12pm @ Wheaton Regional Park
2000 Shorefield Rd, Silver Spring, MD

Best Friends Animal Society is teaming up with Your Dog’s Friend to help save the lives of Homeless dogs and cats. Please consider donating or walking with Your Dog’s Friend. Admission is donations and fundraising.

Piketoberfest Logo

10/6 Piketoberfest
12-4pm Pike & Rose
North Bethesda, MD
Everyone’s favorite FALL FESTIVAL is back! Meet-up in the neighborhood with your friends and family. Enjoy everything from live music to a craft beer garden, kids activities, sand castle exhibit at The Beach and more!

Howl-o-wine Logo

10/12 Howl-O-Wine Fundraiser at Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard
18125 Comus Rd, Dickerson MD 20854
Do you love wine and dogs? Howl-O-Wine is Fun for the Whole Family! Join us at Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard for a day of wine tasting (must be 21+), food trucks, shopping, silent auction, raffles and our famous doggie costume contest with prizes!

Doggie costume contest: Registration 12-2pm
$10 for first dog, $5 for second
Contest begins at 2:30 pm
*Best couple or ensemble
*Funniest Dog
*Scariest Dog
Judges Choice
*Best of Show


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