Fall Pet Care Tips for Cats and Dogs
Mix It Up
Did you know that canned pumpkin is good for your dog's diet? The soluble fiber in pumpkin can help with digestive issues, while the antioxidants and essential fatty acids in the seeds promote healthy skin and fur and urinary health. Additional nutrients found in pumpkins, such as beta-carotene and iron, might reduce the likelihood of your pet developing cancer. Try mixing 1-2 teaspoons of canned pumpkin in your dog's food.
Get Active Again
Has summer heat kept you and your pet from your outdoor activities? If so, your pet might be in need of extra exercise before cold weather sets in. Take advantage of the beautiful fall days and go for a run, toss a Frisbee, or take your pet to the local dog park. It's important to ease into increased exercise to prevent injury. Fall is also a good time to brush up on training. Make sure your dog hasn't gotten rusty from the lack of involvement during the summer months by going through all the basic commands.
Beware of Allergies
You're not the only one who can get the curse of fall allergies. Your pet can be just as susceptible to allergens as you. If you see your pet itching more than usual, you might want to check with the vet to identify any possible allergies. Keep leaves raked and grass cut short to eliminate irritation to your pet's skin.
Coping with Shedding
In early fall, pets begin shedding their summer coat to allow room for their winter coat. For many pet owners, this means pet hair on your couch, your clothes, and everywhere in between. But it doesn't have to be that way. Make time to brush your pet weekly, if not daily, depending on your pet's shedding habits. Brushing your pet will allow you to catch most of the unwanted hair before it ends up around your home.
Stay Clear of Pests
The fall months are known for all kinds of pests, the most common of which are fleas and ticks. Check your pet after coming indoors to make sure they aren't bringing in any unwanted guests. Also, be careful about where your pets play. Fall is notorious for snakes trying to prepare for hibernation. Make sure you are aware of any venomous or dangerous snakes in your region, and steer clear of letting your pet roam through long grass.
No matter the season, always be sure that your pet has access to water. It is important that the water is clean to avoid any bacteria from entering your pet’s system. Also remember that in autumn, nighttime temperatures often drop below freezing. If your pet spends a lot of time outside, check for ice formation in their water and remove any floating chunks that could lead to choking.
Enjoying the Festivities
Many pet owners love to dress their pets for Halloween and take them trick-or-treating with the kids. Remember a few safety tips around the holidays:
- When taking your pet out, keep it close and put reflective clothing on it, if possible, to reduce the risk of your pet being injured.
- Keep an eye on the candy. Chocolate can be deadly to dogs, so make sure your children know to keep it out of reach.
- Food can become a problem during Thanksgiving as well. Keep an eye on pets trying to steal from the feast.
Fall months can bring chilly days and colder nights. If your pet primarily lives outside, make sure it has a warm place to go at night. During storms, it is also suggested that you bring your pet inside to prevent it from getting wet and possibly getting frostbite or hypothermia. Small pets should also be watched closely during the cold months and kept as warm as possible.
Fall marks the return of children to school. That means crayons, markers, pencils, glue, and other school supplies strewn about the house. Make sure that these supplies are not in places where your pet can get a hold of them. Certain types of markers and glue can be toxic to pets, and there is always the possibility of choking on small objects. It's important that you share this tip with your children so they can help keep their fuzzy friend safe.
Do you go crazy with decorations for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas? Be sure to remember pet safety when setting up your decorations. Pets might try to chew on electrical cords, giving them a shock that can be damaging to their health. Keep your cords and electrical decorations away from your pets and make sure to control excess cords, ropes, or lights to avoid your pet getting tangled.