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Preparing Your Dog for Fall

Welcome to Fall!  Along with the crisp air and fallen leaves come some things that could be dangerous to your pet. 

Brianne DiSylvester’s article 11 Pet Dangers to Avoid During the Fall and Winter Months gives a brief explanation of things you should look out for.  The 11 dangers are:

  1. Antifreeze
  2. Allergies
  3. Arthritis
  4. Mushrooms
  5. Compost pile
  6. Rodenticides
  7. Candy
  8. Thanksgiving
  9. Cold Weather
  10. Decorations
  11. Plant

Check out her article here:  http://www.organicauthority.com/pets/11-fall-pet-dangers-to-avoid.html

As mentioned in DiSylvester’s article pets suffer from allergies.  Some symptoms include watery eyes and sneezing just like humans.  But more commonly pets react to allergies by scratching – this can cause serious health problems.  The most common pet allergies during fall and winter include ragweed and dust mites.  For more information on pet allergies check this out:  http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?aid=75       http://www.canadianpetconnection.com/autumn-allergy-troubleshooting-season/

With fewer day light hours as the fall changes to winter you might find yourself exercising your pet in the dark.  Make sure you and Rover stay visible by using reflective gear and a flashlight.  As the season gets colder, ice and the salt used to melt it may become a problem.  Be careful on slippery surfaces and try to avoid areas where salt has been used as a de-icer.  For more on exercising your dog during the fall and winter check out:    http://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/dog-health/Dogs-Adapting-to-Autumn

It might look like Fido is shedding more than normal.  During the late fall to early winter dogs shed their short, light summer coats in favour of their long, thick winter coats.  Make sure to brush your dog regularly.  If you notice that your dog is shedding quite heavily it might be a sign of problems such as skin allergies, parasites, malnutrition or other health issues.  If you notice heavy shedding contact your vet.   For more information on fall shedding check out:    http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?A=1548&S=1

Lastly, you’ll need to consider changing your pet’s diet.  Before you make any changes consider your pet’s age, weight, and level of exercise.  Less exercise means your dog won’t need as many calories – feed your dog smaller portions.  If your dog spends a lot of time outside you might need to feed your pooch larger portions – your dog burns more calories in the cold.  For more information on fall and winter pet diets check out the following:    http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?A=1548&S=1

If your dog sleeps outside make sure their shelter is cold/wet weather ready.  Also, make sure your dog has access to unfrozen water.

Fall and winter can be hard on older pets.  If you live in a place where the fall is particularly cold/wet/windy you can help out your pet by getting them some clothes.  If you exercise you dog outside during bad weather a sweater or boots will help keep you dog warm, and can prevent injuries and illness.

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