9 Ways Pet Parents Know It's Fall, From Endless Flannel Bandanas to Leaf-pile Photo Shoots

From coordinating Halloween costumes to a folder full of recipes for pumpkin-flavored pet treats, here's how pet parents know fall has arrived.

Woman playing in fall leaves with her dog, one of the signs it's fall for a pet parent
Photo: DjelicS / Getty

Fall is in the air, and nobody is more excited for spooky season than you—except maybe your best furry friend. That's why your most exciting autumnal plans include your cat or dog. After all, what kind of pet parent would you be if you celebrated the first most wonderful time of the year without your fuzzy buddy by your side?

With so many fun ways to mark the start of a new season, it's hardly any wonder that so many pet parents adore fall most of all. Here are nine signs you're as obsessed.

1. You've Had Your Matching Halloween Costumes Planned for Months

Whether you decide to do a DIY costume this year or go with a matching costume from the store, there are almost too many ways to make this year's Halloween costume the best one ever! And as a responsible pet parent, you've already brushed up on pet Halloween costume safety tips. Of course, if you're having a hard time narrowing down your options, we've got just the quiz to help.

2. You've Already Bought 2 More Plaid and Flannel Bandanas

And why wouldn't you? Plaid flannel bandanas are an easy way to add a little fall flair to your pooch's or kitty's look, and there are so many great options. Of course, they're just perfect for those fall photos. Speaking of which …

3. You're Ready for an Epic Leaf Pile Photo Shoot

You're keeping close tabs on the trees in your yard because the moment enough leaves fall to the ground, you've got epic plans for a leaf pile photo session. From photos of athletic pups taking flying leaps into the leaves to cozy indoor photo shoots with your kitty, it's clear this is the perfect time of year to snap a frame-worthy photograph.

dog jumping in fall leaves, signs of fall for a pet parent
Gonalo Barriga / Getty

4. You've Swapped Out Your Pet's Summer Accessories for Fall Options

Does your dog care whether her collar features butterflies or pumpkins and ghosts? Perhaps not. Does your kitty concern herself with the difference between a plaid or rainbow cover on her favorite bed? Seems unlikely. But you know the difference, and if it makes you smile, then we think it's definitely worth the effort.

5. You Know All the Pet-friendly Fall Spots

You know exactly which of the nearby leaf peepin' spots, apple orchards, corn mazes, and pumpkin patches are pet friendly. Because, sure, you want to see the gorgeous fall foliage and you're naturally eager to pick out a gorgeous gourd for the front stoop, but you don't want your pup to miss out!

6. Your Weekend Plans Revolve Around Baking Pumpkin Pet Treats

Because a little bit of plain, canned pumpkin is safe for both cats and dogs (when prepared properly), there's no reason your furry friends can't get in on this seasonal goody! These pumpkin carrot dog cupcakes are a real crowd pleaser, and you can't go wrong with these simple pumpkin dog treats, either. But remember there can be too much of a good thing, so always offer treats, including pumpkin, in moderation.

7. You've Prepped the Couch for Scary Movie Night Snuggles

You have a whole list of spooky movies lined up—and you couldn't be more excited to share some cozy movie nights on the couch with your kitty or pooch. Once you've got your snacks ready, set up the sofa with a pet-friendly blanket, maybe a little catnip for your kitty or some chew toys for your doggo, and just press play. And remember, the best part of watching a frightening movie with your pet is that you always have something cute to look at during the scary parts!

8. You've Purchased More Fall Clothes Than Your Pet Will Ever Be Able To Wear

Is it truly so cold out that your cat requires a sweater? Will your pupper freeze without a puffer? Even if you're only adding layers for the cuteness factor, you know you've got plenty of options waiting in your pet's closet. And between now and the first snowfall, you'll be snapping pics of your pet rocking them all!

9. You Have Your Custom Pumpkin Carving Stencil Ready To Go

A generic dog or cat pumpkin stencil is cool, we suppose, but when you're a truly dedicated pet parent, only a more personalized pumpkin stencil will do. And fortunately, it's not hard to create your own custom stencil. All you need is a photo of your pet that shows her face clearly, the ability to trace onto some tracing paper, and time. One pumpkin that looks just like your pet, coming right up!

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