With autumn’s arrival and colder weather approaching, everyone including unwanted pests will be looking for a warm place to call home. The flea and tick populations grow throughout the summer months and reach their peaks by fall, leaving countless little hitch hikers looking for a ride on your furry friend. Not only are they unsightly, ticks—deer ticks, dog ticks, and other varieties—can also spread disease to both you and your pet.
Pests aren’t the only concerns you may encounter in the fall. Here are a few important things to consider when thinking about pet safety this season:
- Ticks: Although tick nymphs peak in the spring months, the number of adult deer ticks is higher in the fall than it is during any other part of the year. Deer ticks are the ticks that are responsible for spreading Lyme disease—which can be just as much of a danger for you as it is for your pet. If you’re worried you might have a tick problem, there are several things you can do to help. A tick and flea preventative will help keep the bugs away, but if you don’t choose to use them, consider paying more attention to your lawn care. Ticks prefer to live in long grass, so giving your lawn a good manicure, and keeping your pets confined, can help keep your tick problem under control.
- Keeping other pests out: As the weather turns cooler in fall, rats and mice may decide that your house would be a great place to stay warm and dry. Be mindful of how you prevent these pests from entering your home. To keep them out, close up any entry holes and choose anti-rodent products that are nontoxic. Rodenticides are extremely toxic to dogs and cats, so it is best to discuss a safe control plan with a professional exterminator and your veterinarian.
- Allergies: Just like people who have seasonal allergies, your cat or dog may also react to pollen, dust, or other allergens. Pet allergy symptoms can be similar to ours — sneezing or coughing, runny nose, itchy skin, ear infection, and itchy, red, or watery eyes. If you think your pet might be suffering from allergies, call your veterinarian to discuss testing and treatment plans best suited for your pet’s needs.
- Temperature: Fall is a tough time for pet care because the temperature is so variable. Depending on where you live, you may need to worry about anything from heatstroke to frostbite. While the weather may be getting colder, you always want to be sure that your dog or cat has access to plenty of fresh water.
- Halloween: Halloween time can be fun time for both you and your pets, but you’ll also want to plan ahead and take some safety precautions. Chocolate, which is found so plentifully at Halloween, can be extremely toxic for both your dogs and your cats. Also, candies containing xylitol (like sugar free gum) are among the harmful foods you should keep away from your pet. Pet Halloween costumes can be cute, but you’ll want to be sure that they don’t have small parts which pose a choking hazard or impair your pets’ movement, hearing or breathing. If you have a black cat, plan to keep it indoors around Halloween time. People have been known to play some nasty tricks on “witch’s cats” around the holiday, and you’ll want to keep your kitty safe.
- Holiday stress isn’t just for humans: Lots of unfamiliar faces and loud talking and laughter can stress your pet out. Exercise your dog beforehand and give them a special chew toy to keep them distracted. If they still seem stressed, put them in a quiet room away from all of the commotion. Be sure cats have access to a quiet room where they will probably hide all on their own. If you know your pet is going to be encountering a particularly stressful situation, you may want to speak with your veterinarian about medication to help relieve the stress.
- Dogs get the flu too: Canine flu and bordetella, or “kennel cough,” are both airborne diseases. If you see a dog that is coughing, keep your own dog away and avoid touching the ill dog. If your dog develops a cough or high fever, contact your veterinarian immediately.
- Back to school supplies: Now that kids are back in school, make sure you keep items like pencils, markers, and glue sticks out of your pet’s reach. If they decide the new school supplies would make great snacks, they might get gastrointestinal upset or blockages. Cats are more likely to bite the edges of notebooks and paper.
- Grooming: As sweater weather approaches, fall is a good time to remember that keeping your pet’s coat in good shape isn’t just a matter of vanity; it’s also a matter of health. Some good dog grooming tips include regularly brushing your pet to avoid matting and always making certain your pet is completely dry after a bath. These and other tips can help your pet avoid “hot spots” and other skin irritations that can contribute to poor health.
- Quick Tip: If you have a long-haired dog or cat, it’s important to brush them regularly to avoid serious matting, which can cause your furry friend real discomfort and negatively affect their health. If you cannot commit to regular coat care, then talk to your veterinarian or groomer about whether or not it might be a good idea to keep Fluffy shaved. He may not be fluffy anymore but it might improve is temperament and well-being.
- Car Coolants: Fall is a great time to change your car’s engine coolant, but be careful because most coolants are highly toxic to pets. Clean up any spills immediately, keep any remaining new coolant out of reach, and dispose of used coolant. Also, consider switching to a propylene glycol-based coolant — while not completely nontoxic, it’s significantly less toxic than other engine coolants.
Well its that time of year again! We are once again hosting our Happy Halloween Costume Contest!
Email us a picture of your fur babies in their favorite Halloween outfit and we will enter them in a draw to win a prize bag filled with goodies, treats and other surprizes!
We will post all of the photos on our social media, showcasing your little spookster in their Halloween best! Contest closes at 8pm on October 30th and the winner will be drawn on October 31st