As the weather begins to cool and trees begin to lose their leaves, pet parents know that fall is here, and a few additional factors to be aware of when caring for your pets.
While many owners know it is important to keep their pets hydrated and comfortable in the summer heat, and warm and cozy during the cooler winter months, what about the fall?
Keep on reading to learn ten of the most important tips you need to know about caring for your pet this fall.
• Get Your Pet Microchipped
One of the most important things for any pet owner to do is to ensure they have a reliable method of locating their pet if it escapes, becomes lost, or is stolen.
Getting your pet microchipped might seem like an unnecessary expense, however, if you become separated from your pet, the ability to quickly locate and reunite with your lost companion will prove to be a very wise investment.
In addition to finding them yourself, microchipping also makes it much easier for other people to return your lost pet, as you’ll be able to attach your emergency contact information to your pet’s chip.
While collars and tags are great options, they are not foolproof.
If their collar/tag is damaged or removed, a passerby may mistake your pet for a wild animal, which could have a range of undesirable results, and should therefore be avoided.
Microchips, however, cannot be tampered with or removed, making them much more reliable and effective in helping you locate your lost pet and providing peace of mind.
If your pet hasn’t been chipped yet, we highly recommend asking your vet about the procedure as soon as possible.
If you had your pet chipped a long time ago, double-check the information associated with the chip to ensure it is all up-to-date.
• Beware Fleas & Ticks
Fall is the perfect flea & tick season, as pets begin growing their thicker winter coats.
While temperatures above 85 degrees result in a dormant state, cooler temperatures around 70 degrees are perfect for fleas and ticks, which will result in a large increase in numbers.
We recommend checking your pet frequently for any foreign or unfamiliar objects in their fur, especially after running through thick patches of grass or other areas where these parasites are commonly found in the wild.
• Back-To-School Warning
If you have children who are old enough to go to school, you’re probably very familiar with the back-to-school shopping process, and the mess that often results from an abundance of school supplies and nowhere to put them.
As a pet owner, you’ll need to remain acutely aware of any loose pens, pencils, markers, etc. laying around the house, otherwise, your playful companion could consume one of these dangerous objects and require emergency medical assistance.
As a golden rule, be sure to instruct your children to keep their school supplies out of reach from any curious pets.
• Use A Reflective Leash
As daylight savings time comes to an end, you’ll begin to notice that it gets darker a lot sooner, reducing visibility.
If you like to walk your dog in the late afternoon or evening hours, you may find it harder to see your dog as it gets darker.
If you are having trouble seeing them, others may also have that issue.
Getting a reflective collar or leash for your dog will ensure that they can be seen from further away, by cars, other pet owners, and most importantly, you, their owner.
The benefits of a reflective leash don’t stop at dogs.
If your cat or other pet enjoys going on walks with you, a reflective leash would benefit them as well!
• Make Holiday Arrangements Ahead Of Time
Fall is the beginning of the holiday season.
First, Halloween festivities get the children and parents alike into the holiday spirit, followed by Thanksgiving gatherings and their accompanying feasts.
While it is a wonderful time of the year for many, sensitive pets can be extremely stressed out by the noise of loud children, sudden and frequent rings of the doorbell, and other anxiety-inducing activities associated with large groups of people.
We recommend keeping your pets in a quiet room indoors, preferably as far away from the noise as possible.
• Store Toxic Chemicals Out-Of-Reach
Nobody wants to deal with pesky rodents, insects, and other unwanted guests that make their way into your home.
However, before you consider using extremely toxic chemical solutions, we recommend exploring non-toxic and much more humane methods to keep rodents and other pests out of your home, as this will minimize the risk of your pet coming into contact with these toxic chemicals as well.
• Note any changes in your pet’s health.
Monitor your pet’s behavior and health as the weather begins to cool down, as some animals have a difficult time adjusting to sudden changes in their environment.
Keep a watchful eye for any skin irritation or labored breathing from your pet, as these could be signs that it is time for a visit to the vet.
For animals with sensitive paws, you can try putting on paw covers/booties if your pet seems comfortable with wearing them.
• Antifreeze: Not For Consumption
As the weather begins to cool, many pet owners opt to fill their vehicle’s antifreeze to prevent any temperature-related engine issues.
Unfortunately, antifreeze has an intoxicatingly sweet aroma that appears very inviting for your curious pet.
To avoid your pet accidentally consuming antifreeze and falling ill, it is best to keep it in a spot that is inaccessible to your pet, such as on a high shelf, in the trunk, or in another secure area.
• Don’t Feed The Animals Human Treats
Be aware of your furry companion’s dietary restrictions; don’t leave out any small decorations, candy, or treats, as they can be toxic if consumed by your pet.
For example, pumpkin pie may be a popular thanksgiving dessert among humans, but artificial sweeteners and other additives can be potentially harmful to your pet if consumed.
Another example of a holiday no-no for your pets is corn on the cob since it can cause gastrointestinal injury or airway obstruction if consumed too quickly.
The most dangerous Halloween treats are packaged candies, which often contain the artificial sweetener xylitol, a chemical that can be fatal to pets, even at very small doses.
It might be tempting to toss your furry companion a Snickers in the spirit of the holiday, but it’s best to keep the candy-eating to the humans.