15 Inexpensive fall activities for dogs

15 Inexpensive Fall Activities For Dogs

Inexpensive fall activities for dogs, anyone?!

Fall is my personal favorite time of the year. Maybe because it always provides much needed relief after a HOT summer here in Central NC.

During summertime, we usually find some relief from the heat in swimming. Other than that, we go for super early morning walks at 5:30 am and stay inside with the AC running during most of the day.

Now without further ado, here are some fun fall activities for dogs I enjoy with my pups.

The best part about them is that they’re inexpensive and typically don’t require more than a car and a full tank of gas – if that!

15 Inexpensive Fall Activities For Dogs

15 inexpensive fall activities for dogs

Disclaimer: This blog post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated in 2023. It contains affiliate links I may earn compensation through at no additional cost to you. 

1. Nature Walks

Take your dog on scenic walks through parks, trails, or nature reserves to enjoy the colorful fall foliage.

Enjoying a fall walk in the NC mountains with Missy
Enjoying a fall walk with Missy in the NC mountains

2. Leaf Pile Play

Rake up a pile of leaves in your yard or a local park and let your dog jump and play in it.

Missy and Buzz LOVED playing in piles of leaves outside our apartment complex in NoVA!

This was their very first fall back in 2012.

3. Pumpkin Patch Visit

Many pumpkin patches are dog-friendly.

Bring your pup along while you pick out the perfect pumpkin(s).

In the picture below, there’s myself with Wally and Lila, a friend’s dog, at a local pumpkin patch in Sanford, NC.

Wally’s wearing the Mighty Paw Sport Dog Harness 2.0 and a Halti head collar (size small, he’s 38 lbs).

Lila’s wearing a Ruffwear Front Range Harness in Campfire Orange.

For a comparison between the two harnesses, check out my blog post Mighty Paw vs Ruffwear Harness – which is better?

Enjoying a fall walk at a local pumpkin patch

4. Apple Orchard Adventure

Visit an apple orchard where dogs are welcome, and pick apples together.

Apples are a fruit you can share with your dog(s), just make sure to remove the core and seeds.

Also, you’ll want to purée them for optimal nutrient absorption. That’s because dogs don’t have the enzyme that breaks down plant cell walls, so we have to do that for them.

Check out my blog post on how to make an easy dog food topper with just 4 ingredients here.

Yep, you guessed it – apples are one of them!

Apple picking with my dog Wally
At an apple orchard with my Feist mix Wally

5. Camping Trip

Spend a night or weekend camping with your dog.

Fall camping can be a beautiful and peaceful experience. All you need is a tent or a camper, and some food for yourself and your pup!

If you’re a raw feeder, check out my blog post on how to feed raw when overlanding with your dog here.

Keeping Wally safe on Mighty Paw's 30' dog leash at a camping site
Camping with Wally

6. Picnic In The Park

Pack a picnic and head to a park for a leisurely meal with your furry friend.

That’s what Missy and I did in the picture below.

Make sure to bring some water for your dog and some treats, along with a blanket or large towel for you to lounge on.

Missy On A Picnic At A Local Park

7. Dog-Friendly Beach Day

If you live near the coast, enjoy a beach day with your dog.

Fall can be a great time as it’s often less crowded.

Just make sure to observe the local beach laws and pick up after your pooch.

Also, don’t forget to water your pup.

I always bring a collapsible dog water bowl and carry water bottles in my backpack when we’re headed out for a day trip to the NC coast.

Trip to Wrightsville Beach, NC, with my friend Laura and our dogs Wally & Lucy
At the beach in Wilmington, NC, with Wally and a friend and her pup Lucy

8. DIY Agility Course

Create a simple agility course in your backyard using items like cones, tunnels, and hurdles for your dog to navigate.

You can also SUPER DIY it like I did in the picture below using crutches, boxes and planters for makeshift obstacles!

Making a DIY agility course for Missy in the backyard

9. Outdoor Photography

Take your pup on a photography adventure – you definitely don’t have to be a photographer for this fall activity!

Today’s smart phones all have amazing built-in cameras that take beautiful pictures.

And fall is a great time of year to capture the beauty of nature and of your dog.

In the picture below, I’m using the portrait function on my iPhone to capture Wally on a fall walk.

He’s wearing the One Tigris dog backpack.

Mushrooms in the background on a fall walk with my dog Wally. He's wearing the One Tigris dog backpack.

10. Doggy Playdates

Organize playdates with friends or neighbors who have friendly dogs.

Let them run and socialize together!

Pictured below is my pup Wally with his best doggie friend Rory.

Feist mix Wally and Goldendoodle puppy Rory

11. Fall-Themed Bake-Off

Bake homemade dog treats using pumpkin, sweet potatoes, or apples, and let your dog be the taste-tester.

Here’s how I make dehydrated sweet potato dog treats.

Missy & Her Dehydrated, Homemade, Organic, Sweet Potato Dog Treats!

And here’s how I whip up some yummy dog cookies using:

Mix everything together in a bowl, then transfer it onto your work surface.

Roll out the dough with a wood rolling pin, then stamp it with a fun bone cookie cutter.

Or any other cookie cutter you want!

Then transfer them onto a baking sheet and bake them at 350° F (175° C) for about 40 minutes.

12. Harvest Festival

Attend local fall festivals or Farmers Markets where dogs are allowed, and enjoy the festivities!

Raw Liver For Dogs: All Your Questions Answered
At a Farmer’s Market with Wally

13. Doggy Hide and Seek

Hide treats or toys around your yard or home and have your dog search for them.

You can also ask your dogs to lie down and stay, then hide yourself and have them look for you!

It’s a super fun game that I love playing with my pups Missy & Buzz.

Learn more on playing hide & seek with dogs here.

Playing A Game Of Hide And Seek
Playing hide & seek with Missy & Buzz

14. Visit a Dog Park

Spend time at a dog park to let your pup interact with other dogs and burn off energy.

Make sure you’re familiar with your local dog park’s rules and actively watch your pups!

That way, you ensure they don’t get into trouble.

Dog park fun
Dog park fun with Missy, Buzz and Shade, a friend’s pup

15. Cozy Movie Night

On chilly fall evenings, snuggle up with your dog and watch a movie or binge-watch a TV series at home.

The picture below features me with my Boxer mix Buzz…and yep, I usually fall asleep on the couch 😉!

Cozy fall time snuggles with my Boxer mix Buzz on the couch
Fall couch time with my Buzz

15 Inexpensive Fall Activities For Dogs: Bottom Line

So there you have it, these fall activities for dogs are my favorite ones!

I love that they don’t break the bank and strengthen the bond between us.

For a few more ideas, check out fellow dog blogger Jessica’s article 19 Activities I Look Forward To In Fall With My Dogs.

She specializes in activities with Dachshunds, but her ideas work for all types of dogs.

What are some of your favorite fall activities with your pups? Let me know in the comment section below this blog post!

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.


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6 responses to “15 Inexpensive Fall Activities For Dogs”

  1. 2 brown dawgs blog Avatar

    Well you know Fall is all about hunting here. The licenses and ammo go up every year, but once you buy them, the cost of walking in the forest or sitting by the river is free.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Oh yes, that’s right, hunting season! I bet you’ll have a blast with your Gang. Good point about the free walks and sits by the river 😉

  2. Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets Avatar
    Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets

    One thing we love to do in the fall here in New England is to go apple picking! Several of our local orchards allow dogs, and they also have some walking trails on the property to explore.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Oh gosh, I love that idea!! I bet that’s a ton of fun! Would you take a picture of your K9 apple picking outing and post it here, or link to a post you might write about it? That would be super cool!

      1. Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets Avatar
        Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets

        I’m not sure we’re going to make it out there this year. But I’ve written two posts about it in the past, and here are the links: http://www.wagnwoofpets.com/bw-sunday-kobi-goes-apple-picking/ and http://www.wagnwoofpets.com/follow-up-friday-101113/. Whoops, make that 3! http://www.wagnwoofpets.com/shebas-bucket-list-item-3-check/

        1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

          Thanks so much for sharing your posts! I looked up all of them – now I want to go apple picking with my pups 😉

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