Willow, a bichon frise, maltese and havanese mix wearing a gorgeous fall autumn dress.

11 Things to Do to Prepare Your Dog for Fall

Essential Tips to Keep Your Dog Warm and Happy

The first breath of autumn was in the air, a prodigal feeling, a feeling of wanting, taking, and keeping before it is too late.

Fall is a season that people look forward to every year, but it isn't a season that can only be enjoyed by people. Our pets can enjoy seasonal changes just like we do. When it comes to fall, ensuring that your dog has a good time can often come down to preparation. With the right preparation, your pet can enjoy any season and all the wonders that come with them. Let's explore what you can do to make sure that your pet is ready for fall.

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What Does the Fall Season Mean for Dogs?

Willow a bichon frise, maltese and havaense mix wearing an adorable fall autumn dress in Los Angeles, California.
Are you falling in love yet ☺️

For humans, fall can mean pumpkin patches, apple picking, haunted houses, and pumpkin spice lattes. For dogs, however, fall can mean something completely different. Regardless of how your pet personally feels about fall, there are changes that come with this season that can have a huge impact on how they experience the season. There are quite a few changes that you can always count on, and they are likely to impact your pet and their health.

Cool Weather

One of the more obvious changes in fall is a steep change in temperature. When fall rolls in each year, it means that it is time for the temperature to start dropping. This can happen very quickly, and it can vary quite a bit from one day to the next.

Cold weather means different things for different pets. While some dogs come equipped with thick coats that can help them to push back against the chill in the air, other dogs don't. Understanding how your dog's coat can influence how they perceive the cold during this season is very important. Failing to do so could harm your pet. Remember, just because a dog has a thick coat, it doesn't mean that they are impervious to the effects of cold.

Ask yourself: how do I keep my dog comfortable in cold weather? Then, act accordingly!

Chance of Snow

With the changing temperatures, fall often brings snow. Though this might not be true in every single location, in many places, the fall season can bring snow with it. Snow can have a surprisingly big impact on pets. Some pets might love chasing snowballs, but other pets might be more interested in staying inside.

Snow is a powerful force, and most of us realize this when we drive in it or when we have to break out our big coats. Since this is the case, it really shouldn't come as a surprise that snow can also have a big impact on dogs. While you might have your snow boots when you head outside, there is a very good chance that your dog is heading out there completely unprotected. In some cases, accommodations must be made.

New Sights and Smells

Fall is more than just cold weather and snow. In fact, fall can come with some exciting changes for pets. Most dogs are easily excited by new sights and smells, and you might see their more curious nature come out during this time. This is because when the seasons change, it often leads to new sights and new smells being present.

Don't be surprised if your pet seems more interested in sniffing or exploring than usual. In the same way that we marvel over snow or falling leaves, our dogs marvel over the smell of these things and the changes that come with them.

11 Tips to Prepare Your Dog for Fall

Dog resting on the ground while on a hike through the woods during fall season.
Taking a break and enjoying the view 🍂🍃🍁

It is always a good thing to have a plan in place for the changing seasons in regards to your dog. Every season brings unique challenges and exciting new opportunities. Having a plan that can support your pet during each new season can ensure that they will enjoy it safely.

Your annual fall routine is something that you will probably develop throughout the course of your dog’s life. However, there are some common ways to prepare that you will probably want to incorporate, even if you change things up a little bit. Let's look at some of the more typical ways to prepare your dog for fall and keep them safe during this season.

1. Figure Out How to Keep Them Warm in Sweater Weather

Fall brings a swift change in temperature, and this means that you must take swift action to keep your dog warm in the face of this new chill. When you’re looking for ways to keep your dog warm, it can be exciting to support your pup with clothes that allow them to embrace both fashion and function. You might wonder: should I dress my dog in clothes? During this season? Absolutely! Investing in comfortable dog hoodies to keep your dog warm is a great option.

Adorable French Bulldog wearing the Puffer Dog Jacket with detachable hood from online dog clothing store they made me wear it.

Battle the Cold

Keep Warm

This awesome puffer jacket is perfect for layering season and just what your pup needs to brave the chilly weather.

For pets that are looking to stay more comfortable in colder weather, we offer a variety of adorable options. Our Puffer Dog Jacket is perfect for pups who need extra support against the cold. For dogs that just want a little more warmth, our Snuggle is Real Dog Hoodie and Personalized Dog Hoodie can add that little extra bit of protection. The best dog hoodie is the one your dog loves most. Don’t hesitate to explore dressing up your dog for fall by seeking out the most comfortable dog sweatshirt you can find!

Dilla French Bulldog and Boston Terrier mix wearing Personalized Dog Hoodie from online dog clothing store they made me wear it.

Keep Warm


This awesome personalized dog hoodie is stylish and as soft as can be to protect your furbaby from the cold season.

2. Plan for Exercise and Activities

Some people love cold weather, and some people hate it, and that's just a fact. However, whether you love or hate fall, you must be sure to make a plan to ensure that your dog gets enough exercise and stimulation during the fall season. If you don't like the cold, there is a very real chance that, prior to owning your pet, you would just settle down inside under a nice warm blanket. However, when you own a dog, they become your responsibility. In some cases, this might mean going outside when the weather is cold.

It is common for pet parents to take their pets out less during colder seasons, and sometimes this is not fair to dogs. If you have an active dog that likes to go outside and enjoys long walks, then leaving them inside can be hard for them. As a pet parent, it is your responsibility to figure out how to make sure that your dog gets enough exercise and mental stimulation during the cold weather seasons. If you are not up for going on some of these walks, you might consider alternatives like doggy daycare or indoor play.

3. Have a Plan for Halloween

Halloween is a holiday that so many of us look forward to, but it isn't always the best holiday for dogs. If your dog is the kind of dog that gets stressed out or triggered every single time the doorbell rings, chances are that Halloween is a very bad time of year for them. During this season, it is more common for people to ring doorbells as pranks, and most people expect visitors on Halloween night. If this is likely to stress your pet out, you will need to have a plan in place.

Labrador wearing the Deadly Killey Chucky Halloween dog costume from online dog clothing store they made me wear it.

#1 Halloween


This scary dog costume is perfect for small to medium-sized dogs that want to make a scary impression.

For dogs that are upset by this, it can be beneficial to turn off your porch light and not interact with trick-or-treaters. Allowing your dog to be terrorized by the doorbell all night is not good for their mental health, and this kind of stress can stick with them for days after the holiday is over. Take precautions to make sure that your pet is safe, comfortable, and protected during Halloween. If they are feeling relaxed, don't forget to put them in one of our cute Halloween dog costumes!

4. Get Them Groomed

Pet parents often think that summer is when pets shed the most, and this is true, but it is not the only time of year when this happens. Pets that are known to shed often hit two big points of shedding throughout the year. The first is when it starts to get warm, but the second is when it starts to get cold.

You might be surprised to learn that your pet will throw their coat in preparation for fall, but this is true in a lot of cases. As your pet prepares to grow their winter coat, they will often get rid of their old one. For this reason, it can be helpful to take the time to get your pet groomed before you get too far into fall. This can help to alleviate some of the discomfort, and it can also be good for keeping fur off your floors.

5. Pick Out Some Fall-Friendly Snacks

It isn't a secret that most of us have changing eating habits during the fall season, and this is something that you can absolutely include your dog in. Every single year, people share their recipes for pumpkin spice dog treats, small doggie pies, and holiday meals. Picking out some of these fun seasonal snacks is a great way to spoil your dog and make sure that they get to enjoy something extra special. The right fall treats can go a long way at boosting puppy happiness.

6. Make Sure They Have a Comfortable Place to Go Potty

When it gets cold, potty time can be very different for pets, especially if there is snow on the ground. Chances are that you would not want to squat into some snow to go to the bathroom, right? So, why would we ask our pets to do it without complaining?

As the snow starts to roll in, a really nice thing to do for your dog is to make sure that they have a comfortable place to go to the bathroom. This might mean shoveling out some of your patio or the grass in your yard to help give them a comfortable place to go potty. For pet owners that live in apartments, it can simply help to look for areas where the snow is not as deep. This is a small courtesy that can have a huge impact on your pet and their comfort.

7. Protect Those Paws from Snow and Salt

Cold air and snow can spell disaster for paws in the fall, and as a pet parent, you must find ways to keep your dog’s paws safe. There are many different steps that you can take to protect your pets’ paws.

One effective way to do so is simply to invest in boots or some other form of paw protection for your dog. Making this kind of investment can ensure that your pet's paws will stay completely safe and warm anytime that you take them out for their walks or to go potty.

Protecting your pet's paws doesn't necessarily have to include them wearing boots, especially if your pet is uncomfortable with them. It is important to note that most pets don't like wearing boots at first, and many of them do get used to it. Boots and paw coverings will allow your pet to completely protect their paws from cold and snow. However, if this is not an option, you should still at least invest in a paw washing station. Washing your pet's paws before they walk inside can help to remove dirt, snow and ice, and the salt that is used to break up snow on walkways.

8. Be Aware of Changing Animal Habits

You might be able to see the way that fall changes the habits of your pet. Your dog might not want to go out as much as they used to, and that is just fine. With that being said, it is important to understand that dogs are not the only animals with habits that will change during this season.

In some cases, wildlife will end up closer to your house, and this is a very important thing to know. Always be on the lookout for potential wildlife encounters anytime that your pet is outside to ensure that nothing happens to them. When there is less food available outside for wild animals, they might just end up venturing closer to your home. Dogs of all sizes can be at risk because of this.

9. Plan Out Their Holiday Meal

Most of us look forward to an annual holiday meal or two, and it stands to reason that dogs should get to enjoy this too. For this holiday season, take the time to plan out your dog's meal just like you plan out yours. It can be a nice opportunity to treat your dog to something extra special and to include them in your holiday celebration. Just remember to run any food options by your vet if you're not sure.

10. Make a Travel Pack

Many pet owners travel during the holidays, and this generally falls during the fall season. If you plan to be traveling with your pet, make a travel pack in advance. Having a dedicated pack can ensure that your pet has everything that they need no matter where you end up. Consider toys, food, treats, and anything else that will help your pet to feel more comfortable in a new location.

11. Let Them Enjoy the End of Summer

One of the best ways to prepare your pet for fall is to allow them to truly enjoy the end of summer. As we enter our last few weeks of warm weather, be sure to take full advantage of them. Go outside, take longer walks, visit the beach, or go on a camping trip. Allowing your dog to enjoy the summer season to the fullest is a great way to help them prepare for and embrace fall.

The Takeaway

French Bulldog and Boston Terrier mix, Dilla, standing up rocking the  the Southwestern Dog Sweater in Sagebrush from online dog clothing store they made me wear it.
Looking stylish and feeling cozy in this adorable dog sweater.

Dogs are surprisingly adept at understanding when seasons change, but it is still up to you to help them to embrace each new season comfortably and safely. As you take these steps to prepare your dog for fall, ask yourself what other steps you might want to take that are specific to your dog. A little extra love and care can ensure that your dog enjoys fall every single year.

Until next time, thank you for reading!

About the author: Gabrielle is the loving pawrent to adorable pups Willow and Dilla. Growing up surrounded by dogs, she always dreamt of having her own. Willow and Dilla came into her life and changed everything. Now, she's crazy about pampered pooches, and her perfect day involves dancing with her husband, dressing up her furbabies, and cuddling them to sleep. For Gabrielle, life is all about spreading love and joy with her adorable canine companions by her side.