Outdoor October by Dad Dog Zack Manko
With fall (or as Sorsha calls it, Autumn) officially upon us, it’s time for trees on fire with colors, crisp mornings, and shorter days. It is also time for dads and dogs to be on the lookout for those special fall treats and activities that will keep our family and home happy. While for many fall begins and ends with pumpkin spice lattes, there is plenty more about this season that is worth celebrating, doing, and pursuing for the health and enjoyment of your pack and home.
Cooler weather is a great reason to get outside and move around. Your dog will not overheat as fast in the reduced temperatures and will most likely appreciate a few extra tosses of the old tennis ball. Getting outside to enjoy some cool sunshine and fresh air will also do wonders for your health and immune system.
There are also few things more enjoyable than taking a walk in the brisk air of an autumn evening and watching the sun paint the sky with shades of blush. Plus, Sorsha tells me I look good in plaid, which is a major fall fashion staple - one more reason to get the leash out and hit the sidewalk or trail.
Yard Work and Play
Even though grass-mowing season is just about over, there are still plenty of things to do around the yard to keep you busy. However, fall has a way of making yard work more enjoyable.
For example, as the trees lose their leaves, many of us have rakes and big garbage bags in our future. However, before we bag up those piles, letting your kids or pets jump through them can be a crunchy, colorful, and fun experience. You might even want to dive in yourself! Just be sure to check your dog (and kids!) for ticks, burrs, or other objects, as leaves and tree debris can often hide a number of unwanted things.
Speaking of trees, another great activity you can do is plant one. While planting something right before winter may seem foolish, the seeds will actually stay insulated by layers of warm soil. Check with your local conservatory or arbor organization to see how deep you should plant to avoid the frost line in your region. Also, always remember to check with authorities before digging in your yard (even if it is with your paws).
Halloween (or Howloween)
Of course, one of the "funnest" things to do in the fall (especially if you have kids) is to go trick-or-treating. While many areas are eschewing this activity this year, many others are leaving it up to us to be responsible and self-regulate.
Even if you are a part of the former, you can still plan for next year! You could start making those costumes now or think of a theme that you and your dog can both dress up for. Carving pumpkins is also definitely still on the table (both literally and metaphorically). Sorsha also wants to remind you that if you do go out, most costumes already have a mask built in!
No matter what you decide to do this fall, take some time to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful colors!