Our client, Claire, posing with a fall pumpkin.
With the return of football season, as well as impending holiday festivities, it's important to remember that our four-legged family members need to be protected from all the potential hazards of parties and pastimes. That means keeping all people food and beverages, decorations, as well as trash, out of your fur babies' reach. Even things that are not toxic to pets can still cause intestinal distress and lead to very expensive vet bills.
Fall is a relatively mild season, and with the lower humidity and cooler temperatures, it's great for getting outdoors. However, even though it's more pleasant to be outside, it doesn't mean that all the hot-weather hazards are no longer a concern. In fact, in 78 degree weather, a vehicle parked in the shade can still get up to 90 degrees, so don't leave your fur baby in the car while you shop. Sidewalks and asphalt roads are still an issue as well, since asphalt temperature is still in the triple digits when the air temp is just in the upper 70s.
Our client, Chester, pausing in the shade.
Our client, Leon, taking a drink.
Autumn is a time of year when it's super important to be tick smart, and because New Orleans stays pretty warm into the winter it's still possible to see ticks - and fleas - very late in the year. Always check your pets for ticks when they have been outside for prolonged periods especially if they have been rolling around or playing in leaves. One great pet hack is to use a lint roller on your pet after walks and outings.
If you're a bit squeamish or not really sure of the best way to examine your dog for ticks, here's a great video resource: How to check your dog for ticks. Also, Pet Health Network's vector-borne map can help you learn what tick diseases are prevalent in your area. For more information on ticks and and fleas and how to keep them off your family, as well as information on disease prevention and treatment, check out our Pinterest board Pet Health and Safety.
Our client, Merlin, chilling on the mantle.
Many people set out bowls of fruit, nuts and candies during the holidays. These things may be forgotten in the bustle of fall festivities, but even a small plastic candy wrapper can cause a problem if ingested. Keep pups away from parties and front door trick or treaters by putting up baby gates, and give cats their own space to hang out in behind a closed door.
An important note about candy: According to Pet Health Network, The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more dangerous it is, so avoid that trip to the vet by keeping it out of reach. Also, sugar free candy can contain xylitol, which may be even more dangerous than chocolate.
Regular and proper grooming is an important part of pet health. Cooler weather means thickening of coats and more potential for matting. The type of bush your pet requires will depend on hair length (much like humans). Regal Pet Resort recommends using a rubber brush for loosening dead skin and dirt, followed by a bristle brush.
Seasonal allergies are another potential issue in the fall. When there isn't a lot of rain, there is a lot more pollen in the air (and on cars and...). We touched on allergies in our previous post, Spring Has Sprung, and we have several resources on animals and seasonal allergies as well bookmarked on our seasonal pet care Pinterest boards.
In the fall you should also be mindful with any pest prevention measures. It goes without saying that rodenticides and mothballs should be kept away from pets, but be sure these things are stored properly as well to make sure curious kitties and canines can't get into them.
Fall also means the end of daylight savings time. If you and your BFF are outside after dark, be sure to wear light colored clothing and use reflectors for yourself and your pet.
Autumn Safety Tips
Tick Dangers and Precautions
6 Easy Ways to Keep Your Yard Free of Ticks
Fall Pet Grooming to Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy.
Dog Brush Selection Guide
How Do I Know if my Dog Has Allergies
Halloween Safety Pet Tips