I don’t know many people that say they hate Autumn.
We all complain about the gloom and the damp, the cold weather and the grey skies, but there’s the brightest colours to make it all feel good.
Yesterday whilst with a client, the leaves from her Lime tree suddenly rained down like confetti, fluttering around us as her puppy played and chased them around.
Autumn, for our dogs, brings all the smells and damp earth that they love. The smells of wild animals sneaking around at night, the hunting amongst piles of fallen foliage, are a dream landscape for a dog.
Of course, there is something really heartwarming for us about kicking through crunchy leaves and seeking out conkers.
Now is the time of year to take your dog for longer, rambling walks. Let your dog sniff to his heart’s content as he potters around following the squirrels’ paths as they tease him from high above.
Let the dogs learn how to play with one another, especially those of you with puppies. Set up a nice Autumn walk, wrap up warm, even think of getting a little coat to keep puppy warm whilst their coat develops. Find nice adult dogs that are generous with a youngster. Let them get to know one another and have a little game. There are fewer things more enjoyable than watching your dog caper about with another one!
Along with leaves and damp comes plenty of mud! Leave some towels laid out flat by the door, so that you and your dog can come in without fear of transferring the wet any further. It keeps the doormats a little cleaner, and towels soak up most of the moisture from their paws. There’s nothing to stop you bundling them around your dog too, for a drying off cuddle, as long as you both enjoy this of course!
If your dog really is soaking, and you know this is likely, set up a drying crate. Our Collie used to jump into every dyke possible, some very silty! I would then try to send him to swim in a clearer one, before we came home. At home I had set up his crate by the door with a tasty chew placed inside and a few treats thrown in as we arrived. Inside the crate were dry towels with a few more over the top to catch the inevitable shaken off water.
Result? One dry, clean-ish dog by the time he had finished his chew. It also gave me lots of time to change my shoes and clothes into something a bit more indoor-friendly.
Next, another favourite Autumn pastime. Cuddling on the sofa with my dogs snoozing on a blanket, watching repeats of ‘Bake Off’ and seeing the squally weather remaining firmly outside the window.
See above for a lead to keep your dogs close and let them explore when you want. Click the image for more info.