Posted: September 13, 2018 at 4:01 pm
When pumpkin spice season rolls around, we can’t help by prepare our homes properly. We add autumn leaf decor, pumpkins, Halloween decorations and apple-scented candles en masse. We flip our closets, and start to change up our routines with the waning sunshine. What we have a tendency to forget though, is that our pets ALSO have some seasonal habits and needs. We love our dogs and cats A LOT, and do not want to let our enthusiasm for all things pumpkin drown out our attention to them, so here’s what we’ll be doing in the next few weeks to get them ready for the changing season.
There are several things to consider for your pets when they are engaging in outdoors activities.
First, if you are walking your dog (or cat) more in the darkness due to the sun rising later and setting earlier this time of year, be sure they are wearing lights or reflective materials, as you should be doing as well. It’s easy for cars and cyclists to miss you in the dark, so the more illumination, the better. You can purchase reflective vests for dogs of all sizes now, as well as attachable lights and reflective collars and leashes.
Be aware of the wildlife common to your area, and know that fall can change habits. Deer are often out in greater numbers, or the reduced foliage may just make you more aware of them. Snakes are going into hibernation, and could more easily find themselves under your animal’s nose or paw. Do location-specific research, and be vigilant when out and about.
Watch out for mushrooms. Fall is peak mushroom season, and though the majority of mushrooms are non-toxic, they can be difficult to distinguish from the toxic ones. Keep your pets away from them to be on the safe side. But if you suspect your pet has consumed one, contact your veterinarian ASAP, or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888.426.4435.
It’s still tick season, and with the weather making it ideal for all to spend more time playing outside, be sure you are still checking your animal regularly for these harmful insects, especially after spending time playing in the leaves.
It may seem counterintuitive, but there are seasonal concerns indoors for your pet as well.
The cooling temperatures often drive rodents indoors looking for warmth and shelter. This, in turn, leads to an increased use of rodenticides. What is toxic to rodents is nearly always just as toxic for your pets, so put them in areas that your animals can’t reach. Use them with extreme caution, or consider using non-toxic rodent traps instead.
New school supplies are a hallmark of the autumn, but if you have a dog or cat or other pet prone to eating just about anything (we have a lab, we know), keep the supplies tucked away safely when not immediately in use. Glue sticks, markers, sharp pencils, etc. can all pose a threat to your animal’s health.
While it can potentially mean more vacuuming, don’t deprive your animal of their fall coats if they get them. It’s important for them to remain warm and healthy this time of year.
Start thinking about holiday arrangements now. If you are traveling for Fall Break, Thanksgiving or Christmas, start making your pet sitter or kennel reservations early to ensure you get your pet taken care of in the best possible circumstance. If you know will be hosting guests, and you have a pet with special needs or sensitivities, start making your guests aware or prepare them and your pets as best as possible.
We hope you and your pets have lots of fun enjoying the fall season together! Share pics with us on Facebook! We’ve been sharing lots of photos of our own pets on our Facebook page the past few weeks, so be sure to take a look!