Summer is coming to a close and itís nearly fall! Before you know it, green trees will take on fiery colors, the night will come earlier, and temperatures will drop. There are several things you can be doing right now to prepare your furry friend for the autumn season and the routine changes that come with it.
Gather Warm Supplies
In the months before winter arrives, dogs and cats (especially those with long coats) will experience the loss and regrowth of new fur. This happens because your petís body is getting ready to adapt to cold weather. It will shed the thin summer hair and bring in a thick, winter-ready replacement. Regardless of coat length, it is important to gather pet supplies to keep your pet safe and shield him from the cold.
Sweaters and jackets can provide your pet with extra warmth for extreme weather changes, and there are lots of fun styles to choose from! For both dogs and cats, a snuggly bed, blanket and crate cover will help make cooler nights more comfortable.
Check for Allergies
The changing seasons can trigger allergies in pets, just as it does for humans. Some signs of allergies include:
Skin rashes, redness, or scaling
Sneezing and discharge from nose
Excessive scratching, licking or biting of legs, paws or face
Frequent head shaking
Itching and strong odors from ears
Dr. Jennifer Schissler, a veterinarian with the Dermatology and Otology Service at Colorado State University's James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, states that allergies are unavoidable, but routine checks of the coat, nail, and skin are an important measure of preventative care. If you notice changes in your petís condition, notify your veterinarian for treatment advice.
The kids are back in school, the long vacations are over, and itís time to get back to your regular routine. Your dog will notice that all the extra attention is gone, and that can lead to separation anxiety. Make sure to be mindful of your pet and create a schedule that is right for him. Adjust your walking or playtime routine, and if necessary, hire a pet sitter or walker.
Autumn is also marked by the plentiful growth of mushrooms, so keep an eye on your dog whenever you're out of the house, especially if yourís loves to chomp on anything he sees. While many mushrooms donít pose a high health risk, if ingested, toxic mushroom can be life-threatening.
Beware of Creepy Crawlers and Poisons
Rats, mice and other animals are looking for a warm place to hide from the cold. Be extremely careful with the use rodenticides if you use them and keep them out of your dogís reach. Ingestion of these poisons can be fatal.
According to the ASPCA, snakes are also getting ready to hibernate, increasing the possibility of bites. Be aware of the types of venomous snakes in your area and know which places to avoid.
Manage Pool Safety
If you own a pool, it will most likely not see much use during the cold fall weather. Make sure to use a pool cover that can hold the weight of your dog and enclose the pool area to restrict access from pets. This water can be an icy death trap for pets if youíre not careful.
Prepare for Holiday Travel
Autumn is chock full of fun events and holidays, which means lots of traveling whether by car, bus, or plane. What may be enjoyable for us can cause extreme anxiety in our pets. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare for these events to save on travel costs, plan for pet boarding if needed, and especially to minimize stress for you and your beloved pet.