After a particularly hot and humid summer, there’s nothing more refreshing than when the air turns crisp and the heat is finally OFF! However, the brisk air and colorful fall leaves also bring a variety of health hazards for your pet. Here are some tips to help keep your pet safe:
- No acorns! Squirrels, mice, birds and deer may all enjoy the bounty of your giant oak tree, but your dog cannot. Acorns are highly toxic for dogs, as is any standing water that contains oak leaves. If you have oak trees on your property, you may want to keep your pet away from the area while those acorns drop. And always keep an eye on your pup. If you see him or her chewing on acorns, you may want to call your vet–just in case. Acorns can cause more than just a bit of intestinal upset–they can cause kidney failure.
- No mushrooms, please. Cooler weather encourages the growth of mushrooms and toadstools. Steer your pup clear of these fungi on your walks.
- Scratch that itch. Fleas and mites are a continued source of skin irritation for your pup. Make sure that you keep him or her properly treated for these annoying pests.
- Prevent burns. Fireplaces and space heaters earn a warm sport in my heart when there’s a chill in the air. However, if your dog or cat trends toward the curious side (and whose don’t?) protect their natural instincts with some safety precautions. Keep the fireplace screen closed when there’s a fire in the hearth. And never leave space heaters on when you leave a room (that’s a good safety precaution for you, too), as many a fire has been sparked by an overturned or forgotten space heater.
- The garage is a dangerous place. When the weather turns cool, outdoor cats turn to the comfort of the garage. They’re also attracted to the smell of antifreeze, and those drips could spell danger for felines or dogs. Fix any car leaks immediately and clean up the spill.
- Cold weather is, well, cold. Now is the time to check out your pet’s bedding. It might be time for a new bed, some new blankets, or perhaps a new sweater. Pets get arthritis just like people, so watch for signs of trouble–like stiffness or reduced mobility. (By the way, from 11/11 – 11/13, Petco is offering $5 off select dog beds, in case your pup could use a new one!)
- Say ‘no’ to table scraps. It’s not just us who can add a few pounds over the holidays! The festivities also seem to encourage a few extra “snacks” and treats, which can add up as unwanted pounds for your pooch. Avoid the urge to feed Fido Thanksgiving delicacies, or to over-reward good behavior. Select healthy treats whenever possible. And, you can do both of you a big favor by taking an extra walk or two!
Fall is such a fun season. Make it your pet’s too, with just a little extra care. Have any tips you’d like to add? Login and comment! Happy Fall!