How to care for your pets during the fall season

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Each season has its own pet care concerns and autumn is no exception. If you and your dog have been relatively inactive during the summer get out and enjoy the beautiful autumn days. Your dog may have gotten rusty during the summer, so you might want to ease into it. Take a walk, go for a run, toss a ball or visit the dog park. Stop before your dog gets too tired. You can do more the next day.

There are some good seasonal foods available now. Canned pumpkin, which is popular this time of year, is good for your dog. The soluble fiber in the pumpkin helps with digestive issues. The anti-oxidents and fatty acids in the seeds help to give him healthy skin and fur and good urinary health. The beta-carotene could reduce the possibility of your pet developing cancer. Try mixing one to two teaspoons of canned pumpkin in your dog’s food or make him some pumpkin biscuits. Most dogs love pumpkin. Apples, however, are not so good for pets. The flesh of ripe apples isn’t a problem for cats or dogs, but apple stems, leaves and seeds and cause problems. Slices of peeled apples can be an acceptable treat for dogs, but cats aren’t likely to enjoy them.

Your cat or dog can be susceptible to allergens this time of year. If he is scratching more than usual, check with your vet who can run tests to determine what your pet is allergic to. There are things that can be done to make him more comfortable. It helps to keep your leaves raked and the grass mowed.

Shedding picks up in the fall when pets shed their hair to make room for their winter coat. You don’t have to live with hair everywhere. Brush your dog or cat daily, if you can, or at least weekly. You can get much of the hair before it falls on your furniture, carpets or good black sweater. When you brush your pet you not only remove the loose hair, you also stimulate his skin and enhance the natural shine of his coat. Many dogs and cats love to be brushed. For long-haired animals, try using a shedding tool to remove excess fur from the surface of the coat. For a short-haired pet, a rubber curry comb is good.

Ticks and fleas are still with us. Check your pet when he comes in from the outside. Don’t stop using your flea and tick preventive.

If you want to dress your dog up for Halloween and take him trick-or-treating with you, consider these safety tips. If he truly hates to be dressed up and going out, don’t do it. None of you will have a good time. If he does like it, keep him close to you and be sure that he has something reflective on his costume. Chocolate can be harmful to him so keep it out of his reach. If you put up Halloween decorations, keep the electrical cords and lighted candles out of the reach of your cat or dog.

Now, that school has started, school supplies may be lying around. Pencils, permanent markers, school glue, paper clips, rubber bands and crayons can be a hazard to a pet if they are swallowed. Keep school supplies covered up and out of your pet’s reach. This also applies to the supplies needed for fall home improvements. These accidents are easily preventable, but repairing the damage isn’t.

Enjoy the autumn, but keep everyone safe. read more

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