Fall is an exciting season full of pumpkin patches, apple picking, spooky ghosts, and candy galore! With all the excitement, it’s important to keep in mind a few safety precautions for you and Fido as the weather cools down.

We’re detailing seven fall Fido safety tips here for an auspicious autumn!


School is back in session! Depending on your family structure, that may or may not be a big deal. However, if you have a puppy, this is a prime time to work on socializing skills.

With more kids out trekking to school and hanging out at the bus stop, consider making a detour in your regular walking route to encounter kiddos. The sooner you socialize your puppy with children, the better.

Most of your pup’s socialization should take place within the first three months of their lives – this is when they are primed to soak up everything around them and learn about the world. Positive experiences with children during this time period will go a long way towards your pup growing into an adult dog that handles kids with class.

The story is different if you have an older dog – in which case, tread carefully. Socializing an adult or aggressive dog with kids is much more dangerous, but it can be done with the help of a certified trainer or behaviorist.

You might start by simply positioning your dog where he has children within eyesight, and reward him for being calm. Be careful though – giving your dog treats if he becomes frantic near kids might reinforce that he should be scared of kiddos. This is why it’s best to work with a trainer who can provide appropriate guidance for slow socialization.

If your dog isn’t ready for kid-friendly encounters, get the low down on the kids’ walking route to school and work to actively avoid those areas. Avoidance is a perfectly adequate solution until you’re in the proper, prepared position to handle your dog’s issues.



It’s probably not news to anyone, but chocolate can be dangerous for dogs. Chocolate contains a chemical compound called theobromine that is poisonous to canines, and ingesting it can result in anything from tremors to heart attacks!

In truth, bigger dogs don’t need to worry too much about ingesting a mini Butterfinger or two – only dark chocolate is a real danger for larger canines. Thankfully, most kids aren’t fans of dark chocolate, so kid candy tends to be milk chocolate only!

Smaller dogs are much more at risk, and unfortunately, they are lower to the floor with prime access to fallen goodies.

To keep canines safe, have the trick-or-treat collection sit up on tables or in cabinets.



It’s sad but true – daylight is fading fast!

Shorter days might mean you’ll really have to dash out the door when you get home from work in order to ensure Fido gets his much-needed walk.

It’s important that you keep both yourself and your dog visible in the evening, and there are a few different ways to accomplish this.

Some owners opt to put flashing lights on their dog’s collars, or even purchase LED dog collars that shine bright (and are pretty cool looking). You may also want to get a reflective vest for yourself, and consider walking with a flashlight to seen and be seen.

It’s also worth noting that most cool-weather dog jackets will have reflective trim that can keep your pooch visible to cars while keeping him cozy. Fashion and function, the best of both worlds!


Everyone loves a good leap in a leaf pile, but the truth is that you never know what’s under a prime pile of leaves.

Sharp objects or pieces of class could be hidden under those lovely fall colors, so it’s best not to let your dog leap through sidewalk-strewn leaf piles with total abandon.

Poison oak and poison ivy can cause trouble for dogs in the fall as well, as they can be a bit more difficult to detect with all the increased vegetation on the ground.

In truth, dogs don’t usually have issues with poison ivy, as their thick fur protects most of their skin from the plant’s itch-inducing urushiol chemical. Unfortunately, one good pat or cuddle session with your pooch could get that poison ivy all over you, and you’ll definitely feel the effects!

For this reason, make sure to bathe your dog regularly if you suspect he has come in contact with poison ivy.\


As the weather cools down, it’s normal for us humans to want to spend more time indoors catching up on our Netflix queue. However, your four-legger still needs exercise – and in all likelihood, he wants more than a short walk or two each day!

There are a number of ways to get Fido more movement even when you’re feeling more like a couch potato. For one, Wag and Rover are two dog walking services that make it easy to grab a walker nearby and schedule a stroll for your pooch.

You may want to also consider taking up a new sport with Fido, like canicross (where your dog and you run together as partners) or urban mushing (if you’ve ever wished your dog could jog alongside your bike or skateboard, definitely check out urban mushing)!

These sports don’t just keep you and your dog active – they are also great for strengthening your bond and learning to trust one another. Most owners find dog sports really rewarding as relationship-building tools!


While mosquitoes and bees fade away with the fall, ticks and fleas are still out in numbers. As the weather grows cooler, they’re looking for a warm and cozy home to hunker down in for the winter.

Don’t slack on your dog’s flea and tick treatments, or you may find yourself with some problematic buggers in your home. There are several different kinds of flea and tick repellants you can use, from collars to topical applications, so choose whatever will work best for you and your dog.

Make sure to also do regular tick checks on yourself and Fido after any hikes or outdoor adventuring!


Fall is a great time to leave the house and enjoy the outdoors! The changing leaves are gorgeous, and many dog and human pairs will take to the trails on hikes.

Keep in mind there are a few additional precautions you’ll want to take when hiking with dog in tow.

Make sure you gear up with a solid dog hiking harness – the best harnesses will feature bright colors and have attachment options for lights and bells to keep your dog visible and within earshot (not to mention your dog won’t be able to sneak up bears or other beasties that could do them harm). Measure your pooch for a well-fitting size and avoid anti-pull harnesses while hiking, since they limit mobility and can be very uncomfortable for hiking.

While you may be tempted to let your canine frolick off-leash, you really shouldn’t consider this option until you can bet $100 bucks on that he’ll come when called. Your dog really needs top notch recall abilities before you can safely let him wander off-leash.

If your dog isn’t quite ready for free run romping, opt for a long line and start training your pooch to work on coming when called. Nature is full of distractions, so hiking is actually a perfect training time!

Even if you do decide your dog can handle off-leash adventuring, you may want to consider a dog GPS collar for big hikes. They are pricey and usually require a monthly subscription, but if your dog goes missing on a huge mountain, you’ll never question their value again!


That about covers it for our fall safety tips. Do you have any advice we missed for fall with Fido? Let us know any other tips you have and what you think of our suggestions in the comments!

About the Author: Meg Marrs is the founder and senior editor at K9 of Mine, a dog care resource site dedicated to dog training, gear reviews, breed info, and more. In Meg’s book, there is no greater joy in this world than a batch of puppy kisses.




I got my start in dog rescue by using Facebook to help network dogs who were in high kill shelters in San Bernardino, CA.  While that was fulfilling, I really wanted to be more hands-on and interact with the dogs who were being saved.  I wanted to personally see the transformation from a scared shelter dog to a happy and adoptable dog.  So far I have fostered four wonderful dogs for The Rescued Dog and hope to foster many more!  I also love volunteering at the adoption events and watching when a match is made between a dog and their new owners.


My design thesis in my senior year of college revolved around re-designing the animal sheltering system. I spent hours and hours a day volunteering at a handful of shelters. I saw someone bring in a terrified dog as he screamed at shelter staff: “I just don’t want the damn thing anymore..” That was the tipping point for me… Also, this is my favorite quote…ever: “All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed. For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.”


Life has so much to offer if we remember to look beyond ourselves. I volunteer because it continuously teaches me something new about people, about cooperation, about compassion, and about myself. I have a great passion for animals. We have three rescue dogs that came to us in 2008.  Since then I’ve wanted to work with an origination that helps save dogs and put them in forever, loving homes so when I came across this opportunity with The Rescued Dog to help I jumped at the chance.  I am passionate about their mission to save dogs from high kill shelters and I truly believe that help comes in many forms, volunteering is one way to accomplish what we are supposed to accomplish in this lifetime.


I started volunteering with TRD in 2015. Volunteering has been great. I love dogs, I mean who doesn’t right?! However, I do not own a dog…not yet. I live vicariously through the rescue. If you can’t afford to adopt a dog or don’t have the ideal living situation to have a dog, like me, you can still “scratch your itch,” that’s a great thing about volunteering with us. So, the irony is I have been telling you about how great it would be to adopt a rescued dog and save them from their unfortunate circumstance and put them in a happy and caring home, and in my case, I didn’t know it then, however, the rescue saved me. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to be a part of and for filling my need to be around so many furry friends.


I was introduced to rescue as a child when I met a greyhound rescue organization one night at Balboa Park and convinced my parents to adopt one.  Our family greyhound Bookie and I were best buds for the ten years we had him.  Since then I have been a sucker for rescue dogs.  I am so glad I was introduced to TRD by a friend and fellow foster, and have had a chance to work with some great people and dogs, and found my little buddy, Madison!


I was introduced to The Rescued Dog while working at a local shelter.  I was excited about their mission to save dogs from high-kill shelters & wanted to participate with this mission.  I love working with the TRD team and fosters to get these pups out of the shelter, into a great foster home and finally on to their furr-ever homes!


I have always been a firm believer that doggie cuddles could save the world. So, when my mom said she wanted to start fostering dogs I was very excited. In the short period of time I have been volunteering with The Rescued Dog I realized I want to be an advocate for change. I took on this role not only to push myself but to also be a bigger voice for all of the shelter animals, since they can’t do that on their own.


The bond I have with my dog, Otis who I rescued about 2 years ago,  is that of a family member, a best friend, and a companion. Saving dogs from high kill shelters is a rewarding task, but adding a new member to someone’s family is life changing. Rescued is truly the best breed.


I got involved with rescuing dogs when my own dogs and animal loving kids got a touch older and realized I had a tiny amount of free time to fill! My kids begged for Chihuahuas, Daschunds, Huskys etc….so naturally I thought fostering would be great!  Once I got in, I was hooked and wanted to do more to help shelter dogs find the forever love my own dogs had. In regard to volunteering, I believe that if we all give a little we can accomplish a lot!


10 years ago I took a road trip from Philadelphia to San Diego with my beloved English Bulldog.  As a travel nurse, I was given the opportunity to move across the country, and with working only three days a week, I had time to volunteer with my first passion, rescue dogs.  Through volunteering, I met an amazing group of women who shared my same vision, so we collaborated The Rescue Dog!  I am so proud of our accomplishments and I look forward to continuing to educate and save lives!


I was fostering for the SD Humane Society but was looking for a rescue I could become more involved in. A friend foster failed with TRD so I filled out an application. I feel like I’ve found my calling! There is nothing like getting a dog right out of the shelter and making him feel safe. Now as an adoption coordinator I get to see the rescue through to the end, a great family and a forever home!!


I rescued my first dog in 2010 and started volunteering with a rescue a year later and loved it! After meeting a few amazing friends, it became evident rescue work was more than just a fun hobby. I truly believe the best dogs are rescued dogs and have come to find my true passion in life is in dog rescue. Fostering is one of the most rewarding experiences one can have and I highly recommend it to everyone! I can’t imagine my life without dogs, and thankfully I’ll never have to. I’m so excited to be working with such a fantastic group of people and I can’t wait to see what The Rescued Dog accomplishes!



It is easy to buy a dog from pet stores, online ads, or from dog breeders, but rescuing a shelter dog is definitely more rewarding.  How can you not admire that once sad dog, now all waggy and happy because they’ve been given a second, sometimes third chance at finding their forever home?  The ability of these pups to recognize and embrace their new life never ceases to amaze me.  The Rescued Dog saves dogs from high kill shelters and prepares them to meet and be adopted by a loving family.  TRD fills the corners of my life and it makes me happy to know I’m doing something worthwhile for these sweet pups.  Having rescued – and been rescued – by my own dogs proves that rescued really is the best breed.


My passion for rescuing dogs comes from my great experiences with rescue dogs in my life. I personally have had my life brightened by many great rescue dogs, and I have seen how having pets, and dogs particularly, has improved the lives of my friends and family. For me, the best part of dog rescue is seeing the connection that dogs and people make, and knowing that when we connect the right dogs with the right people, we are improving the lives of everyone involved, both human and canine.