.With the changing of the seasons, your household needs tend to change. You cycle out the t-shirts and shorts for sweaters and pants. Break out the rake for your leaves, and suddenly the family fireplace starts getting more use. But just like humans, the family dog has a change of habits to embrace as autumn approaches. Your furry friends are going to need adjustments to their daily routine and you need to be prepared for all sorts of new trouble they can get into as the leaves change.
Autumn’s most noticeable change will be the days growing shorter. This comes as no surprise, it’s not like you haven’t experienced it before, but it does change how recreation with your dog can be done. Taking your dog out for a walk at the same time each evening becomes a little more difficult when visibility gets progressively lower as the year ends.
Get your dog a reflective collar and harness to make the pup all the more visible to traffic and other pedestrians. Leads are also made with similar reflective materials. And you should also invest in some sort of reflective or brightly-colored clothing for the same reason. Staying visible can help avoid accidents and identify yourself as a friendly neighbor as your dog and you take your typical stroll.
As it gets colder, you tend to bundle up in layers, and for your dog, it’s no different. It may be mocked by others, but getting your dog a warm sweater for the colder months isn’t a bad idea. Not all dogs are created equal, in that their fur is of varying degrees of warm.
Smaller breeds with short fur, like chihuahuas, Jack Russel terriers, and dachshunds are more likely to get cold in the Autumn. However, the same could be said for dogs of all sizes, so if you notice your pup shivering, invest in a few sweaters. Dog socks are also another option, though most dogs are less agreeable with covering their feet. Gauge the temperament of your dog with less expensive brands before committing to anything, sweater or sock-wise.
While not so much just a problem for the Autumn, you tend to think fleas and ticks are less of a threat in the cold. This isn’t quite true, so you should stay current on all your dog’s medical treatments, including flea and tick treatments. It’s also a new brand of allergy season for your dog, so keep an eye on any discomfort that they may be suffering from. Dogs can get all sorts of cold, flu, or even hayfever during the cold months so it’s good to keep good pet insurance for potential vet visits. It’s also advisable to have your dog get a microchip, in the event they escape, as those make locating your loose dog much less stressful.
Year-round you’re already keeping harmful things out of your dog’s reach and out of their mouth, but Autumn has its own unique hazards that might entice your pup. Mushrooms tend to sprout in mid-Autumn with varying frequency, leading to your dog investigating these suddenly new objects that inhabit your garden.
If your dog is especially curious or adventurous, they might eat the mushrooms, so it’s best to keep on the lookout for anything new in the garden and clear it away before letting the pup out.
Inside the house can present its own issues, with Halloween-themed decorations and candy bowls as the end of October approaches. Keep all candy, but especially chocolate, far away from your dog’s reach. This includes coffee tables and end tables, as they may seem out-of-reach for smaller dogs but the clever ones are more than capable of scaling them.
More specifically, prepare your dog for Halloween night. Don’t leave them outside to see the plethora of strangers marching up and down doorsteps in numerous costumes. But if your dog is the kind to charge the door at the sound of the doorbell, it’s best not to have to calm them down every time you get a new trick-or-treater. Try entertaining your dog during trick-or-treat hours in a distant room to distract them from the constant foot traffic, while another person handles candy distribution. Use the time leading up to the holiday to teach your dog a “wait” command for the doorbell or knocking. It will lead to a much more peaceful household and holiday.
Autumn can be an exciting time of year for you and your pet. Without the summer heat and humidity beating down, you can spend more time outdoors in the cool weather running and playing with them. It just takes a minor adjustment period to prepare your home and your dog for the coming Autumn. Hopefully with these tips, your dog and you will have another good few months toward the end of the year.