Fall is officially here! With cooler outdoor temperatures, dog walks, kitty strolls, and even just opening the window for your furry companion feels like a treat. Be sure to keep your best pals safe as you enjoy all that autumn has to offer. Following our favorite safety tips will keep your dog, cat, or other pet unbe-leaf-ably safe!
1. Flames and Fur Don’t Mix
Whether you’re toasting marshmallows in your firepit or listening to the crackle from your fireplace, keeping your fire pet-safe is imperative. Thermal burns are a leading cause of pet injury.
Follow these fire safety tips any time you start a blaze:
- Place a fire screen in your hearth to prevent your pet from getting too close.
- Never leave a pet unsupervised when a fire is lit, indoors or out.
- Fully extinguish fires and douse the embers in water.
- While enjoying an outdoor fire, consider keeping your dog or cat indoors. Otherwise, keep them leashed at all times.
- Never leave candles lit and unattended around pets.
- Keep your “Pet’s Inside” window cling updated and visible.
2. Wildlife Can Be a Serious Safety Hazard
As wildlife gets ready for the winter, keep a careful eye on your pet’s whereabouts. You don’t want your pet accidentally wandering into a den or burrow of a wild animal.
While an attack by a bear or other large creature can be devastating, seemingly harmless small wild animals also pose a threat to your pet’s health and safety. Rats, mice, and squirrels often move closer to human homes as temperatures drop, searching for warmth, food, and protection. They may be small, but even tiny claws and teeth can damage your pet’s eyes, mouth, or nose if they’re caught sniffing where they’re not wanted.
To protect your pet from wildlife this fall:
- Do not let your dog off-leash or your cat roam free to chase wildlife.
- Relocate brush away from your house. Leaves and branches attract rodents looking for a comfy, warm place to call home for the winter.
- If your dog or cat gets attacked by a wild animal, bring them in immediately. Give us a call on the way, and we will be ready.
- When considering rodent control, opt for pet-friendly means and never keep rat or mouse traps within reach of your pet.
3. Fleas and Ticks Don’t Fly South for the Winter
Wild animals don’t just carry diseases that can make your pet sick but can host a wide range of parasites, including fleas and ticks. As rodents stray closer to your home, your pets are at risk for picking up pesky and dangerous pests. Treat your dog or cat with an oral, topical, wearable, or injectable parasite preventative year-round. Not sure what the best option is for your pet? We’re happy to provide suggestions based on your lifestyle and budget.
For additional protection, don’t let your dog or cat wander through leaf piles or tall grass and always check them for ticks after walking on trails or through the woods.
4. Don’t Let Your Pet Feel the Cold
Don’t let the fur coat fool you: pets do get cold, even those with the thickest fur. Senior pets are especially vulnerable to becoming chilly and achy from colder temperatures. Don’t go outside without ensuring your pet is appropriately dressed. Elderly pets and those with thin coats benefit from sweaters and jackets, and they’ll look adorable as they stay toasty warm.
If your pet struggles with arthritis, chronic pain, or mobility issues, make an appointment to talk to us. Your pet doesn’t need to suffer from discomfort; we can help treat the pain and reduce the symptoms of a wide range of conditions aggravated by the cold.
Other tips to keep your pet warm and safe:
- Avoid walking on slippery surfaces and areas that may be sprinkled with ice melt.
- Place your pet’s bed closer to vents and away from beds and windows.
- Upgrade to an orthopedic pet bed to support aging joints.
- Stay active with your pet. Your dog doesn’t need to hibernate like a bear or put on extra weight to stay warm, so don’t skip walks.
5. Don’t Make Halloween a Fright Fest for Your Pet
Halloween may look a bit different this year, so if you’re staying in with your furry friend, be sure your lights are off to keep visitors to a minimum. The repeated knocking can frighten pets.
Are you dressing your pet in a spooky outfit? Don’t leave your cat-ula or pup-enstein in costume unsupervised. Many of these cute ensembles have choking hazards like strings, buttons, and other small pieces. Pets can also get tangled in ties, causing them to fall or panic.
Your kids’ Halloween haul can become a trick instead of a treat if your dog finds it. Between chocolate and xylitol, don’t risk poisoning your dog. Place sweets out of reach, like on the top shelf of a closet or pantry with a door that can securely close.
Leaf Your Pet’s Health to Us
Fall is a fantastic time to schedule your pet’s checkup. Don’t let your pet struggle with joint pain or arthritis as the weather cools, and keep your pet protected from parasites and diseases like leptospirosis. Schedule your pet’s autumn checkup today.
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