VETERINARY MEDICINE TODAY
Published in November 2012 Action Magazine
Fall Pet Care Tips
OK, this is my favorite time of the year ? the smell of pumpkin and caramel apples, the cool crisp air and beautiful fall foliage invokes anticipation of the upcoming holiday season (also known as the overeating season)
Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. However, pet parents beware ? there are dangers lurking for our furry pet friends. From holiday hazards and household poisons to cold weather concerns, the season can be quite an obstacle course for our pets.
The following are some seasonal tips to keep your pet safe this fall:
- Always make sure there is fresh and clean water for your pets. It is a misconception that pets require less water in cold seasons compared to summer.
- Holiday foods like Halloween candies and Christmas treats can be deadly to your pets. Hard candies may present a choking hazard to your cats and dogs. Chocolates (especially dark chocolates) are toxic dogs, so be careful to keep the holidays treats out of your pet?s reach.
- Sometimes cats will sleep in your car?s engine compartment because of the warmth it provides. If cats tend to roam your neighborhood, it is a wise idea to bang on your hood or honk your horn first before starting your car.
- It is getting darker earlier, so don?t forget to wear something reflective when taking Fido for a walk.
- If you keep a pet outdoors, they must have a clean and dry shelter and should be protected from the cold winter winds. The fall season is the time to check your dog house or other pet housing for repairs and maintenance. If it is an open pet house then it is a good idea to add walls to protect it from strong winds, snow and also from insects.
- This is also a good time of year to check your pet?s equipment ? leashes, collars, harnesses and carriers for wear and tear. Replace anything worn or broken. Check all fences and runs for holes or damages areas to prevent Fido from escaping.
- Fleas and ticks can be most active in the falls months as they look for hosts to get them through winter. Be sure to keep up with your monthly preventative, check for ticks after long walks and wash bedding & vacuum pet areas to prevent them from wintering inside your house.
- As we get our cars ready for the upcoming winter season, be very careful not to leave any antifreeze accessible to your pets. It is both very tasty and extremely toxic.
- Fall is the time of year we may see an increase in the rodent population. They build nests and also attempt to infiltrate our homes for warmth and comfort. If you have pets, please do not use rodenticides around the house, the garage, and back yard, as they are highly toxic to pets and cause bleeding disorders that can be deadly. The rodents will also often carry and move the bait to different locations increasing the risk of pet exposure. You may wish to consider using traps rather than a rodenticide to solve a rodent problem.
Stay tuned ? next month as the weather gets colder, we?ll talk about how to keep our pets safe and in good health during the cold winter months.
Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains un-awakened. - Anatole France
Shannon Adamczyk, Office Manager
Kenosha Animal Hospital