Whether you like it or not, summer is eventually going to end! And with the new fall season, comes special attention and care for your pets (and pumpkin everything!) There are new things to be cautious of when thinking about your pet.
Fall and Winter dog and pet care means you have to watch out for things such as protecting your dogs paws in cold weather, antifreeze and even tracking how much exercise your pet is getting. So, what are the top things you should be looking out for this fall and winter?
Here are our top autumn pet tips for 2019 to keep your pets safe.
Protecting Dog Paws in Fall and Winter
Unlike human feet, which are sensitive and need shoes 100% of the time, your dogs paws and the pads on the bottom of their feet are naturally thick. This is to help your dog maneuver over the ground without injuring their feet.
This natural thickness helps your pooch to deal somewhat with the change in the ground temperature due to a change in seasons. When the weather starts to get cold so does the ground.
This can expose your dogs paws, and the pads on the bottom of their feet to some cold surfaces. Imagine walking on the snow for 30 minutes with no protection? Our feet would be freezing after about 3 seconds, let alone a full 30 minute walk.
Not only do you need to protect your pets paws from the cold and ice but also from any chemicals from ice-melting agents that people put on the ground.
If your pet licks their paws they could ingest those chemicals!
The best advice is to protect your dog’s paws and the pads on their feet from the cold. If you live in a cold climate, how do you protect your dog’s paws in winter?
According to WebMD there are a number of things you can do to make the fall and winter season safer for your pets:
Winter Pet Products to Try
Dog Booties are a great way to stop contact with poisonous chemicals such as antifreeze and de-icing compounds. Try these cute booties out from Qumy. They come in a variety of sizes and have a 4.1 star rating on Amazon.
You can also massage a balm for dog paws, such as the Natural Dog Company Paw Soother Balm or petroleum jelly onto your pets paw pads. This helps to protect the pads and retain moisture in your dogs paws throughout the winter season.
A good rule is if the weather is too cold for you, it’s also too cold for your pet. Stay inside!
Pets and Winter Exercise
This dog is loving the snow!
But, the fact is, colder weather is not a fun time to spend long periods of time outdoors and this means that our furry friends are not getting the proper amount of exercise and may even pack on some weight during the fall and winter months.
So you may wonder how to exercise your dog and cat during winter or maybe some fun things to do with your pets during these cold, dark and shorter days.
Brisk walks that are short but hard can minimize your time outdoors while getting the most out of the shorter time we have in winter. Think about going for a hike with some elevation gain or a more difficult trail to get the most cardio out of the shortest time.
If you pick up the pace and walk or hike faster, this will help too.
High intensity interval training, or HIIT, isn’t just for humans! You can do walk, jog, run intervals of about 30 seconds to 1 minute each to really get the heart rate going for both of you!
Cats are not immune to the cold temperatures outside. And while they can’t tell you its freezing outside, we know it is.
Think about buying a large cat tree (if you don’t already have one) and some more cat toys. Play with your cat for 20 or 30 minutes a day.
Not only is this great exercise for them, it’s also a fantastic way to spend some quality time with your feline.
Climb or race your pooch up and down the stairs in your house! You stay warm, dry and clean and you both get a great workout.
For more suggestions, visit petMD!
Antifreeze and Pets
According to petMD, antifreeze poisoning is one of the most common forms of poisoning in small animals, and this is because it is so commonly found in households.
Antifreeze poisoning typically happens when antifreeze drips from a car’s radiator, where it is licked off the ground and ingested by a pet. Your dog may also come into contact with antifreeze that has been added to a toilet bowl.
This occurs in homes where the residents will use antifreeze during the cold months to “winterize” their pipes.
Even if you do not take this action in your own home, it is something to be aware of when visiting other homes, or when vacationing at a winter residence.
There is a lethal toxin in antifreeze called ethylene glycol that poisons the brain, liver and kidneys. This toxin actually tastes sweet and smells good to our pets. Less than 3 oz can kill a medium sized dog.
Pets that eat very small quantities may survive, but will still have kidney failure within days of ingestion. If you think your pet may have eaten some antifreeze call your vet and look out for the following symptoms:
Antifreeze Poisoning Symptoms
How to Prevent Pet Poisoning
We love our pets and have to know how to we prevent such a terrible accident from happening? The Humane Society says that there are several things you can do to make your home as safe as possible for your pet this fall and winter.
- Make sure to keep your antifreeze locked away and tightly closed. Don’t leave it at dog height in your garage or cupboard. Basically, your dog is like a small child: lock up all poisonous items.
- Be very careful if you need to use antifreeze and you spill it, that you clean it up thoroughly.
- Get rid of the used containers immediately.
- Do not let your dog into your garage, driveways or roads unattended; your dog could access spilled antifreeze this way.
- Make sure your vehicles are well maintained and not leaking dangerous fluids.
- When buying antifreeze, read the label. Antifreeze is now being manufactured with different ingredients and a bittering agent that are safer for pets, but they are STILL TOXIC.
Check out this video below to help you learn even more about antifreeze and your pets.
Fur and Skin Issues
According to vetstreet, seasonal allergies can develop in pets and people when the seasons change. Some plants bloom late in the summer and early fall such as ragweed.
Pets may be showing signs of a reaction such as licking, itching, biting and scratching. You may need to purchase a medicated dog shampoo for any fall seasonal allergies that pop up.
Pets tend to shed lighter summer coats and grow a thicker, dense winter coat to keep themselves warm.
This means that your pet will require more brushing and combing to remove hair, tangles and prevent mats from forming. More brushing will also reduce the amount of hair and dander floating around your home.
If you live in a colder climate, that may be enough to reduce or eliminate your flea problem. But, if you live in a climate where the temps never reach the frigid level, you may be dealing with fleas and ticks year round.
Ensure to have a good flea killing shampoo handy and keep your pet on their year round preventative topical treatments to prevent a re infestation.
Fall Plants that are Poisonous to Pets
All year round, as pet lovers, we need to be aware of the dangers that can be lurking in our gardens and our homes.
This can include plants that, while OK for humans, may be dangerous if eaten by your pets.
So what are some common fall plants that are poisonous to pets? According to vetstreet.com, you should be on the look out for the following plants:
Sweaters and Dogs
Go ahead and try to put a sweater on a cat…I dare you! Dogs are a lot more cooperative when you need to dress them to protect them from the colder and rainy weather in fall and winter.
Sweaters and vests for dogs work in the same way as the ones for humans; they keep the rain and wind off of your dog, while keeping the heat in.
The best type of sweater to buy for fall and winter weather would be one that is both wind and waterproof.
Top Selling Dog Sweater
The Kuoser Cozy Water Repelling and WindProof dog vest is reversible and comes in many sizes to fit your pooch. It is made of polyester and terylene/cotton with a warm inner layer. It has an easy velcro closure with a warm fleece lining. Kuoser makes some great clothes for dogs, if you want to view more of their products here: Kuoser
Fall and winter will soon be here. Halloween, pumpkin lattes and the changing trees leaves are a beautiful sight. The change of the seasons won’t be hazardous for your pets as long as you have the knowledge and are prepared!
Do you have any tips or trick for pets during the fall and winter seasons? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to share us on social!