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Fall Health Tips for Your Pet

Posted by: Mira Roberts
Dog by the pool

Autumn’s arrival in our beautiful, historic city signals some of our favorite yearly traditions, like football season, back to school, pumpkin spice everything and the onset of the holiday season. There’s so much to celebrate about fall weather, including cooler temperatures, colorful trees, falling leaves and wonderful breezes.

If you’re a pet owner, you might also be excited to spend more time outdoors now that the extreme heat is gone, and may be preparing for long walks around our beautiful community and neighborhood.

You may also want to plan to adjust your pet’s health needs as the season begins to change. After all, any change in lifestyle will affect your pet, and changes in the temperature, environment and activities can impact your pet’s health if you aren’t prepared.

Take steps now to be aware of environmental changes, dietary needs and seasonal shifts in decor and supplies that can be harmful to your pet, and ensure that your pet has a happy, healthy fall season!

Beware of Mushrooms
The fall season tends to bring out the fungus, and that means plentiful mushrooms popping up around the neighborhood. Many of these mushrooms are safe for your pup, but some of them are highly toxic and poisonous, and it’s important to keep your dog from chewing on or ingesting them. Try to avoid allowing your dog to chew or eat anything he might sniff out while on walks or jogs, and keep a close eye on mushrooms and other plant growth that you aren’t certain of.

Tsk Tsk Tick
The end of summer does not mean the end of tick season, in fact, many ticks can continue to thrive through winter. Ticks can carry harmful diseases and should be avoided at all costs, even in autumn. Make sure to keep your pet on a veterinarian-approved flea and tick medication, and try to avoid walking your dog through high grass or thick brush, where ticks can thrive. After long romps outdoors, give your pup a full body check to make sure that there are no ticks on his or her body. If you find any, make sure to remove them completely and alert your veterinarian.

Feed for Fall
As it cools down outside, you may find that your pet gets more exercise, spends more time outdoors and needs more food to stay energized and satisfied. If you know your pet’s lifestyle becomes more active in fall, consult your veterinarian and determine how much to appropriately increase your pet’s food. You’ll want to do this carefully as to not cause any gastrointestinal issues or weight gain.

Decorate Carefully
Autumn brings with it the start of the holiday season, beginning with Halloween and all of it’s treats, decorations and costume pieces. Be careful about what items you use to decorate your home and watch the bowl of candy that you plan to hand out to trick-or-treaters. Your pet’s curiosity will cause them to seek out shiny, irregularly shaped objects or trinkets, and sugar and chocolate will call to them if left out and available.

School Supply Safety
Now that your kids are headed back to school, your house may have a fresh, new stash of shiny erasers, stickers, paper clips and more, all scattered across your dining room table, desks or craft tables. Dogs and cats can be especially drawn to small, shiny objects, and if ingested, they can become seriously ill. It’s important to keep supplies tucked away and out of reach, and to watch your pets to be sure that they aren’t displaying symptoms of illness.

About the Author
Mira Roberts Gravatar
Mira Roberts

Mira Roberts studied writing at New York University, graduating with a BA in English Literature before pursuing a career in media, marketing and management with PARADE Magazine, Portfolio Magazine, AltDaily, skirt! and lululemon athletica. A full time mother, writing instructor and part-time freelance writer, Mira lives and laughs with her family in Norfolk, VA. 


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