Today Terrier Torrent is pleased to welcome Guest Blogger Kat Sherbo. Kat is an editor and blogger at The Wet Nose Press and PetCareRx.com. She’s a Colorado native living it up in New York City, and is a lifelong dog parent.
Steer Clear of These 6 Hazards With Your Dog This Fall
The leaves have changed colors, the air is crisp, and you and your dog are ready to tackle that list of fun fall activities you’ve lined up! Whether, like Gizmo, you’re planning some geocaching adventures, a hike through the woods, or even kayaking with your dog (if the water’s not too cold!), you’ll want to be sure your pet stays safe and has the best time possible. Autumn and winter bring with them a few unique hazards for pets. Here’s how to steer clear of them and head straight for fall fun. Even in Florida we have a change of seasons, so we appreciate this timely advice…
1. Make sure your pet’s rabies vaccination is up to date
Rabies cases can spike in wild animals in the fall, which means there’s more danger to you and your pets. There is no cure for rabies once symptoms begin, and the CDC even advises that pets be put down if it’s suspected they have rabies, to prevent the spread to humans. Make sure this horrible situation is never your problem by keeping your dog’s vaccinations up to date.
2. Beware of grumpy snakes
While we’re on the topic of wildlife, snakes will be preparing for hibernation in the fall months, and they can be easily aggravated during this time. A curious dog sniffing down a hole in the ground could provoke a snake bite, and some snakes are venomous. Snakes can camouflage themselves well, especially in piles of fallen leaves like this one is doing…
Poisonous snakes in the US include rattlesnakes, copperheads, water moccasins, and coral snakes. If you dog is bitten by a snake, get medical help right away! But the best course is prevention: consider keeping your dog leashed on all walks, especially if they’re the over-curious type.
3. Don’t let your dog munch mushrooms
Not all mushrooms are poisonous to dogs, but some are, so it’s best to steer clear. Don’t let your pet run off to sniff things you can’t see, and if your dog does scarf down a mushroom, call Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435.
4. Keep antifreeze and rodenticides away from pets
Antifreeze and engine coolants are toxic to dogs and can cause death in a matter of hours. The ASPCA cautions that “ethylene glycol-based coolants are highly toxic” and that propylene glycol-based coolants are still dangerous but “are much less toxic than other engine coolants.” Buying these instead could mean extra time to get your dog to a vet in an emergency. (Again the number for Animal Poison Control is (888) 426-4435.)
Of course, prevention is the best way to stay safe – keep these chemicals in locked or dog-proof cupboards and clean up any spills immediately.
5. Keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy
As the weather gets colder, we often crank up the heat, which can dry out our homes. Just as your hands may get chapped easier in the winter, your dog’s skin may be feeling extra itchy as well. You can add fish oils (Omega 3s) to your dog’s food as a supplement to promote skin and coat health, use a humidifier in the room they spend the most time in, and use doggy sweaters and booties to keep your pet’s skin safe from harsher temperatures while you’re out adventuring. An easy and inexpensive way to supplement is just to add a sardine packed in olive oil with no added salt to your dog’s kibble. Gizmo loves his fish. He usually gets 1/2 a sardine per day which is only about 25 calories.
Booties can also keep your pet’s paw pads from getting overly cold or scratched on frozen surfaces.
6. Keep joints feeling healthy as the weather gets colder
Colder weather means more pain and inflammation from arthritis. If your dog suffers from joint pain, painkillers like Rimadyl or Novox can make them feel better, as can supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin. Heating pads or a heated bed can also make them more comfortable.
Remember that some exercise is essential for all dogs, even dogs with arthritis, but too much can exacerbate a dog’s arthritic pain. So don’t cancel your fall activities, just be sure to find activities that aren’t too strenuous.
I’d like to thank Kat for these great seasonal reminders. Tips like these are all part of keeping your pup fit and healthy so I’m linking up to the FitDog Friday blog hop…Check out all today’s entries for more great fitness tips…