It’s great enjoying cool autumn weather with pets, especially after a hot summer. But before you really get rolling with hikes through the changing foliage, the ASPCA has these tips:
-Give your pets a refresher in their training, especially if you haven’t been outside with them as much over the summer. Everything from making sure they behave in the presence of other people and dogs, to returning to your side in new environments, should be practiced again before taking on bigger walks.
-Keep in mind that cold weather can mean higher caloric needs. Adjust your feeding practices (you can call your vet for advice) as the weather (and possibly activity levels) change where you are.
-Beware of your surroundings (especially if you leave your dogs in your yard unattended). Most mushrooms are safe, but some very much aren’t. Walk through your yard after each rain and clear them out, and keep an eye out on walks.
-Right now, snakes are extra grumpy as they prepare to hibernate. Know what snakes live in your region, and which ones are poisonous.
-Look out for chemicals. In fall, they are all around. Pesticides get sprayed as outside bugs want to move indoors, and they can be hazardous to dogs and cats. It’s also a time of year when many people prepare their homes and cars for winter—both of which might mean having extra chemicals out. Make sure that they’re out of reach of pets.
If you want to naturally keep mice and other pests outside, there are natural ways to do it. My favorite—plants that smell good to humans, but not vermin. (Think mint and other ground covers.)
-And have a safe way of keeping pet-stuff from smelling between washes (after all, fall means rolling in leaves, traipsing through mud, and other pet adventures). Try Smelly Shoe Spray. It works great on your own boots, but also on kennels, pet beds, and more.
And don’t forget to keep your pet’s immune system supported with a few drops of colloidal silver in their water bowl. It will also help keep it fresh (and here’s where I throw in a reminder to make sure outdoor pets have access to water, and that it can freeze during the winter).
What fall and winter activities do you and your pets enjoy?