The weather has finally started to cool down, and the changing of the season brings new hazards to keep in mind when it comes to keeping your dog safe and healthy. Here we've listed some of the top dangers that autumn brings for dogs and their owners, along with some suggestions for festive fall activities to do with your pup.
Beware of Rodenticides and Antifreeze
Chilly weather is the perfect excuse to stay inside where it's warm, and us humans aren't the only ones to think that! Fall is when critters like mice and rats tend to make their way into our homes, which makes it the season with the highest usage of rodent repellents and killers. These can be highly toxic to dogs, so if you have extra guests in your home that you're trying to get rid of, use extreme caution and make sure to store these products where your pet cannot reach them. Another common toxin that gets a lot of use in the fall is antifreeze. Car owners typically use fall as the time to change the colant in their cars, and even just a small amount can be deadly to a dog. Make sure you take care of this task when your dog is not around, and be mindful to thoroughly clean up any spills.
Watch Out for School Supplies
With many families doing school at home these days, it's practically inevitable that at some point, your home will be cluttered with school supplies that your child hasn't put away. A rogue glue stick, marker, or funky eraser is, at least in your dog's eyes, the perfect chew toy. While these items might not be very toxic to your dog, they can still cause digestive upset and even blockages, so it's best to enforce clean-up time, or at least keep the mess contained to a room where your dog cannot go.
People Food is for People Only
Fall is arguably the best season food-wise. Warming spices and hearty meals are really great for getting in the autumn spirit, but make sure you aren't giving your table scraps to the dog. With the worries of having a "summer body" safely behind us, we start to indulge in more desserts, casseroles, gravies, and calorie dense meals, all of which can be harmful to your dog. By feeding your dog table scraps, you don't just increase the risk that he'll gain a few pounds, but dogs can actually develop life-threatening conditions like pancreatitis from eating highly fatty foods, so it's best to leave your dog to the food in his own dish. And of course, if you choose from any of the high quality and delicious dog foods we have on our site, your dog won't even miss eating people food!
Adjust Your Routine for Cooler Temperatures
Depending on the breed and age of your dog, some dogs are prone to getting cold, even when the weather isn't terribly cold. Puppies and senior dogs are especially sensitive to the cold, and some breeds like greyhounds are, too, so think about shortening your dog's outdoor time. It's also the perfect time to buy a cute sweater for your dog, which can be both fashionable and functional! And if you normally shave your dog's coat for the summer, let it start to grow out now so that he has a nice thick coat by the time winter rolls around. You wouldn't want to brave the winter without a coat, and your dog doesn't either!
So what are some safe, fun fall activities that you can do with your dog? The options are endless, but we put together a few ideas here to get you started!
If your local pumpkin patch is open this season, take a trip with your dog (only if it's pet friendly, of course). While you're there, pick out some pumpkins for carving, and also pick out a pumpkin for you pup! Pumpkin is a healthy and nutritious food for your dog, and he'll appreciate the scraps from pumpkin carving. The seeds and flesh, both cooked and raw, are totally safe for your dog to eat, and he'll definitely enjoy the tasty treat!
Halloween Movie Marathon
I don't know about you, but Halloween movies are some of my absolute favorites—Hocus Pocus, anyone? If your dog is a cuddler, plan a night to stay in and have a movie marathon of all your favorite Halloween movies. Even if a lot of the traditional Halloween festivities aren't happening this year, you can still get in the Halloween spirit from home. Just be sure your dog doesn't stick his nose in the popcorn bowl!
Hiking or Nature Walking
Who doesn't love the colors of fall? The gorgeous reds, yellows, and oranges of the trees along with the cooler weather makes fall a great time to get outdoors and see the beauty of the nature around you. And even though your dog can't see the colors of the trees, he'll still be happy to be out and exercising. Make sure to pack some water for yourself and fido, too.
Can you think of any more fall activities to do with your dog? Let us know in the comments what your favorite way to pass the autumn days with your dog is!