As fall approaches, consider these tips for pets

September 8, 2018

Although it hasn’t happened quite yet, we know that cooler temperatures, crisp morning air, and colorful fall foliage will soon be here.

Our companion animals love the autumn weather and the opportunities to be outside to take longer walks and mid-day naps in the sunshine. Their instincts tell them that the natural world is transitioning to a new season. It is also a good time for us humans to run through a seasonal checklist for our pets. Keep the following fall pet tips in mind.

Keep watching for ticks

Ticks can still be active. Some can even survive into the winter and first frost. Check your pets for ticks frequently and continue to use tick control and repellent products.

According to pethealthnetwork.com, it helps to eliminate the ticks’ favorite environments such as leaf and garden litter where ticks like to live. And if you have a neighborhood opossum in your area, be kind.

Scientists have learned that opossums act like little vacuum cleaners when it comes to ticks with a single opossum killing as many as 4,000 ticks per week. Please do not try to kill a trespassing opossum that wanders into your yard. They are doing you and your pets a great service.

Beware of rat poisons and other rodenticides

As temperatures drop, mice and rats and other rodents will be looking for a warm place to spend the winter, and your home might be just the spot they are searching for. But keep in mind that many rodenticides can be harmful to your pets.

Even though you may not choose to use these dangerous chemicals, your neighbors might. According to the pethealthnetwork, the carcasses of rodents that have been killed by rodenticides can be hazardous.

If you see the telltale tail dangling from your pet’s mouth, make sure he drops it. Keep an eye on him, and if you think your pet has eaten any of the rodent, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Beware of anti-freeze.

As you start to think about winterizing your vehicles in the months ahead, you may be planning to purchase some anti-freeze. Remember one thing…anti-freeze is lethal if ingested.

The liquid is sweet tasting and very appealing to our four-legged friends. Check your vehicle for leaks, clean up spills immediately, and make sure to store anti-freeze containers where your pets cannot get to them.

It’s vet check time

As the seasons change, it’s a great time to take your furry friends in for a check-up with your veterinarian. It’s a good idea to get Fido and Fluffy weighed and discuss any changes in diet and portion size. Your animals may be hungrier as the cooler weather sets in, but discuss the how-much-food matter with the vet.

Is ID current?

As you get your household cleaned and organized for the fall and winter seasons, please add one more to-do item to your list. This is a good time to check your pet ID tags and microchip information. Are the tags readable? Have you moved and updated your microchip information? It only takes a few minutes to check, but it can mean the difference in your pet getting back home to you.

School Days

If you have a young dog or a curious one and you have young students in your home, please be aware of the dangers of school supplies left within reach of the pets. Pens, markers, pencils, and glue sticks can all be problematic if ingested and can cause gastrointestinal issues and blockages.

It’s a beautiful time of the year for man and beast. Be mindful of the above safety tips and have a safe and enjoyable autumn season with your companion animals.

Backyard Birdwatching

If you have not been feeding the birds in your backyard this past summer, you may want to consider doing so this fall and winter. There are retail stores here in town and the area that carry numerous kinds of feeders and seed and suet cakes that will attract a variety of backyard birds.

It’s not too soon to start planning. Decide where you will put the feeders. And remember that your winter guests will also need fresh water, so don’t put your birdbath away.

You will need to hook up a birdbath heater to keep the water from freezing and then be prepared to fill it throughout the winter. Yes, it’s a commitment, but you will find great pleasure in watching your new feathered friends.

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