We LOVE fall around here. The warm sun, the crisp air, golden leaves, and everything PUMPKIN!
But maybe our furry friends don’t feel quite the same. Sure, they can be outside without overheating. And, they might get longer walks or get to play in the leaf piles, but fall can pose big problems for our pets if we are not aware of what else the season has to offer!
SEASONAL SNIFFLES AND MORE
Allergies could be a problem for our pets until the first hard frost (many of us can relate!). Ragweed is in bloom and your dog might show you that he’s suffering by licking, biting, scratching, watery eyes and patchy hair loss. You can also look for itchy ears and skin that is dry, red, greasy or scabby…especially on their legs, feet, face, or belly. If you feel your best friend is suffering more than necessary, see your vet for options.
HAIR HAIR EVERYWHERE
Many dogs will shed their lighter summer coats to make way for the thicker, winter versions. To help them get ‘r done without having a home, car, and clothing that looks like they are made of cashmere — brush frequently. Grooming will also help rid their coats of embedded weeds and seeds that are everywhere right now.
Fall poses a big problem when chemicals are used to keep outside critters from seeking shelter in our warm homes. Pesticides for spiders, mouse bait and traps can be lethal to a canine friend. Accidental poisoning can cause changes in behavior like circling repeatedly and pressing the head against a wall. Poison byproducts to rid us of rodents can cause internal bleeding, along with difficulty breathing, nose bleeds and lethargy.
But these aren’t the only thing to be careful about. Make sure your car’s antifreeze is stored high on a shelf in the garage and remember that mothballs can also be deadly.
Cool, wet fall weather can promote mushrooms, mold, and toadstools to grow and these are poisonous to your animals, also. Keep your veterinarian’s emergency number handy and take your pet immediately if you suspect they have gotten into any of the above mentioned.
And, just like us, dogs with allergies are susceptible to pollen. Wipe them down with a damp washcloth or gentle baby wipe when they come in from outside to help them…and you…keep allergens down in your home.
Ticks are a year-round threat to animals and fall is a prime time to find them on your dog with tall weeds, shrubs, and grasses no longer being groomed like they were over the summer. Ticks are heat-seeking and will try to attach to any warm object that strolls by on a nice fall outing.
Although our cold winters may make ticks inactive here, remember that in warmer climates they are still out and about, and can hitchhike to us in a number of ways! Talk to your vet and see if he/she thinks you should consider keeping your pet on a tick preventative year-round.
If a tick does attach to your pet, remove it by wiping the skin with rubbing alcohol. Then using a pair of fine-point trawlers, grab the tick as close to the dog’s skin as possible and pull slowly upward until the tick pops out. Clean the area with alcohol again. If there’s a bit of the tick still in the skin — don’t panic! It will eventually work its way out. Just watch it for a week or two and if you see any signs for concern, call the vet.
TRICK or THREAT
With Halloween and the Holidays around the corner, treats turn into THREATS for your dog.
We all know chocolate is a no-no. So, remember, after a night of little goblins and ghosts there’s bound to be treats left behind on the streets and sidewalks. Keep a close eye on your walks for the next few days.
Thanksgiving is another threat to animals. Onions, grapes, and raisins are not dog-friendly. And, turkey bones are even worse! Dogs may LOVE the gravy, potatoes, and turkey as we do…but it doesn’t always love them. Keep the leftovers to yourself. Pancreatitis and overweight animals can be the result if you don’t.
But it’s not all bad…it means more leftovers for YOU!