Pets love the cozy indoors, crackling fires and tasty treats that come along with fall. However, these seasonal changes bring about new threats to pets as well. Dry leaves make for prime nesting sites for ticks and other parasites, so pet owners need to be extra vigilant this time of year. And while you can’t completely prevent your pet from coming into contact with common hazards such as mosquitoes and poison ivy, you can take proactive measures to reduce their risk of exposure. Follow these tips to keep your pet happy and healthy all fall long:
Change up their diet
Dry leaves and grass are not the only things that change in the fall. Most plants go into a state of dormancy as the weather cools, which means that the nutrients in their leaves will become less bioavailable to animals that eat them. To make sure your pet is getting the right levels of vitamins and minerals, you will want to change their diet around this time. Similarly, food allergies are much more common in the fall than other times of year. If your pet is showing signs of an allergic reaction, like itchiness and digestive upset, it’s important to get them on a different diet right away.
Keep an eye out for ticks
For most people, ticks are associated with hiking and camping, but they can be found almost anywhere there is greenery. As such, ticks often make their way indoors, where they pose a risk to pets as well as people. Ticks are most active from spring to fall, but their numbers can increase significantly in the fall when they are drawn to the warmth of indoor climate control systems. To reduce the risk of ticks invading your home and infesting your pet, make sure to do a thorough daily inspection. For instance, brush your pet daily, paying special attention to the fur around their ears, legs and belly. By doing this, you will be able to spot and remove ticks before they have a chance to latch on.
Make sure your pet is protected from the elements
While you probably already have a plan in place for keeping your kids and yourself cozy and warm in the winter, you may not be as thorough with your pet. Many pet owners don’t even realize that their pets need special protection in the fall, but they do. Tiny paws can freeze, even indoors. To prevent this, be sure to keep your pets’ feet off the cold floor by providing them with a soft mat. In addition to keeping paws warm, it’s also important to protect your pet from the cold with a coat or other special outdoor gear.
Be extra cautious with holiday decorations
Brightly colored and festive indoor decorations can be fun, but they can also pose a threat to your pet. Many common decorations contain chemicals and plastics that can sicken or kill pets, so it’s important to be vigilant during the holidays. Wreaths, garlands and other greenery are particularly hazardous. Many plants are toxic to pets, and those that aren’t can pose other dangers as well. For instance, mistletoe is extremely toxic, and Christmas trees pose a risk of fire. To reduce the risk of holiday decorations harming your pet, keep trees pruned, keep greenery out of reach, use pet-friendly alternatives, and be sure to dispose of mistletoe after the holidays.
Try a natural deodorizer for pet odors
Pet owners are often quick to notice and address unusual odors, but they may not realize that some of the most common—urine, feces and general pet smell—are actually signs of a health issue. To determine the source of the smell, first figure out what type of smell you are dealing with. Next, pay attention to your pet’s behavior. This will help you to properly diagnose and address the problem. Finally, try a natural deodorizer to combat the problem. Activated charcoal, baking soda, vinegar and essential oils are all excellent options.
Dry leaves, cold weather and long nights make fall an ideal time for indoor activities and close relationships with loved ones. However, these seasonal changes bring about new threats to pets as well. Follow these tips to keep your pet happy and healthy all fall long: change up their diet, keep an eye out for ticks, make sure your pet is protected from the elements, be extra cautious with holiday decorations, and try a natural deodorizer for pet odors.
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~The A' Word