Fall Tips to Keep Pups Safe


Our dogs’ needs change with each season. Fall has arrived and our pup experts are here with a few tips and tools to ease the transition into the pending colder months.

If your dog is like a lot of Minnesotans, she loves fall. A perfect break from the heat without having to go out quite yet into the icy, winter tundra. Piles of leaves provide the perfect place to dig, burrow, and explore. Yet all the fall festivities can be overwhelming for dog parents trying to steer clear of Halloween and other autumnal hazards.

Beautiful fallen leaves, while being an amazing playtime spot, can also be home to ticks and fleas. Many species of fleas and ticks—including deer ticks which spread Lyme disease—can survive throughout Minnesota’s winter months. Make sure you check your pup after the fun, and talk to your vet about flea and tick prevention to protect pups from contracting serious conditions that can lead to lifelong health issues.

Many dogs like to munch and crunch on all the dead leaves. If you catch your pup taking an interest in eating leaves, make sure to monitor them on walks and take care to remove leaves from their spaces, as eating leaves can lead to tummy issues. Additionally, many varieties of wild mushrooms flourish in the fall, a few of which are toxic to dogs. Be extremely cautious with your dog around all types of mushrooms, and contact your vet immediately if you think they may have ingested any. If you have a yard that your dog has access to, it is a good idea to sweep over it frequently, especially after rainfalls, and safely remove any mushrooms you find.

Everyone’s favorite fall holiday, Halloween, also brings additional access and opportunity for our naturally curious doggos to get into trouble. By now, we likely all know that chocolate is extremely dangerous for dogs, yet it bears repeating that candy and chocolate are everywhere this time of year. As dog parents it is our job to be extra vigilant—inside and outside our homes—about what our pups may be able to get their paws into. Same goes for decorations. New shiny lights and toys around the house can be enticing to even the most well-behaved dogs. Make sure everything is out of their reach to the best of your ability.

Speaking of Halloween, foods, and decor, be sure to keep any jack-o’lanterns away from all pets, as they can easily become a fire hazard. Or, opt for LED candles instead of live flames. Also, remember to toss out that rotting pumpkin ASAP, before the pup gets into it and gets sick. Ingesting too much pumpkin of any kind—especially skin, stems, and moldy flesh—can be dangerous for dogs. 

Finally, protect your pup from extreme changes in temperature. With Minnesota weather’s unpredictability, fall can feel like anything from a second summer to a brutal preview of the oncoming winter. Expect seasonal allergy flare ups and airborne flus like “kennel cough” to be commonly circulating this time of year. Cracked paws and joint issues also commonly arise at the onset of colder weather, so keep an eye out for new signs of discomfort in your dog. 

​When your dog is done romping and rolling in the leaves, come to Dog’s Day Out. With eight bathtubs and four, ideal-temperature dryers, we are sure to have all the tricks, treats, suds, and space your pup will need for a fall cleanup. DIY baths are available on a walk-in basis. Full-service baths and grooming are by appointment. 


The advice provided is based on many years of experience as dog parents and operators of one of the largest and longest established dog daycare and boarding facilities in the Twin Cities. Always consult your veterinarian. When not sharing advice, our dog bloggers — Frannie, Lyle, and Helen — share a space with their people, Downtown Dogs owner Ralph Bernstein and his wife, Abbe.