We love October. It is universally the favorite month of the DOL crew. Pumpkins, apples, Halloween, falling leaves, squirrels hoarding things, cooler weather, and an almost tangible sense of magic. To celebrate the arrival of this most perfect time of year, we put together a list of October awesomeness that you can share with your dog(s)!
They’re orange, they’re adorable, and the possibilities for this goop filled squash are endless! With all the pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin lattes you’ll be eating and drinking, it seems only fair to share some of the pumpkin love with your dog too. It just so happens that pumpkin’s high fiber and nutrient content make it a great doggie snack, supplement, or treat addition. Pumpkin can help with both canine diarrhea and constipation as it aids in digestion and settles tummies. It is also a good source of Vitamin E, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Potassium.
- Buy plain canned pumpkin, not the spiced pie filling.
- Mix it in with food or use it as Kong filling for dogs with upset tummies, to lower the treat calorie count for dogs on diets, or as a healthy addition to give your pup a taste of the season!
- Bake it into treats! We found homemade pumpkin dog treat recipes here, here, here, & here!
- Not into cooking? Pick up some treats that already include pumpkin like those made by Fruitables.
Cooler Weather = More Time Outside!
What better time to go for a hike, take a class, or just play with crunchy leaves in the backyard? October is when our respite from triple digits makes its stay official and cool mornings and evenings make pups and people alike start feeling frisky. Grab the leash and take advantage of this beautiful season with your dog!
- For a hiking guide, we love the Best Hikes with Dogs book series which happens to come in a Central Texas edition. You can also check out Every Trails’ online Austin area guide. Want to really see the leaves change color, head out to Lost Maples! Looking for a local day hike a little more off the beaten path? We love nearby Buescher State Park.
- Our favorite local trainers have awesome things happening year round but October is the perfect time to get outside for a fun group class experience. Check out what The Canine Center for Training and Behavior, Steve DeBono Dog Training, and Rancho Mondo Northwest Canine Resource Center have going on this month!
Want some personal guidance on your hiking experience? The Canine Center and Steve DeBono Dog Training both offer awesome group hiking classes for you and your dog!
While they’re available year round, apples are actually in season in the fall. That means you have access to more delicious, fresh, seasonal varieties right now than you will at any other point in the year. Apples are packed with phytonutrients, Vitamins A and C, and plenty of fiber. They also have that sweet, crunchy, tooth cleaning effect. All of these things that make apples tasty and healthy for you apply to your dog too!
- Slice them up and use them as treats! Just make sure dogs don’t eat the seeds or core (which contain traces of cyanide – eek).
- Bake them into tasty homemade dog treats! Need a recipe? Check here & here!
- Teach your dog to bob for apples! Yes, we are serious. :-)
It is all happening, folks. Haunted houses, costumes, trick or treating, scary movies, creepy decorations, pumpkin patches, jack-o-lantern carving, and more. If you don’t love it, we don’t know how to help you. Complain though we will about Christmas decorations popping up before Thanksgiving, the DOL ladies have already been caving to the awesomeness of doggie Halloween toys and fantasizing about what costumes our dogs will wear…or what they would wear if we could get them to wear a costume…
- Halloween toys! They are cute! They are spooky! They are everywhere! If you are going to buy your dog a toy this month, it may as well be a ghost, ghoul, pumpkin, spider, bat, werewolf, vampire, monster, or cute cotton candy corn.
- Halloween costumes! Look, except in circumstances of tutu wearing pitties or adorable rescue and advocacy themed swag, we’re not big dog dressers (cough cough *lie* for truth, see Jen and Jules in matching sweaters). But if your dog will sport a Halloween costume, there is no excuse for them to not strut through town looking fabulous, frightening, and/or hilarious!
- Let your dog go trick or treating! We don’t mean the neighborhood procession. Set up treat stations around your house and work your dog through them, having them perform a different skill at each one! Why should Fido miss out on all the trick or treating fun? Especially if he’s looking fabulous and frightening in his chupacabra costume…
We are not the only ones who think October is the perfect time to celebrate! Here are our picks for local events that guarantee you a lovely way to spend a fall day:
- Love-A-Bull’s annual Pittie Pride Parade! We have attended this every year since it started and it’s been a blast every time! We will be there this year and it will be the first event at which Dogs Out Loud sets up a booth. We can’t wait!
- Dogtoberfest Austin! Rescue pups, costume contests, wiener races, and more! This year they’ve added something called the DogtoberTROT.
- The Midtown Mutt-Minster Dog Show! Featuring some of the best categories around, free nail trims, spruce-ups, and microchipping, and boasting one of our lovely directors as a judge, this event is tons of fun with proceeds benefiting Austin Pets Alive!.
- Donkey Dash and Doggy Dash 5K! Run with your dog, enjoy the gorgeous weather, and finish at Doc’s Backyard!
Oh, and did we mention that tickets for Patricia McConnell, PhD’s 11/13 visit and lecture benefiting Austin Humane Society go on sale October 15th? As if we needed anything else to feel giddy about this month!
Happy October, Austin! We hope it’s a great one for you and your canine pals!
*Photos courtesy of BCxFour, Dawn Morehouse, and Crocker Pet Parade.