Autumn Safety for Your Pets
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As summer starts to wind down and the changing leaves signal the end of hot, stifling weather, pets anxiously await the cooler weather. This transition of the seasons ushers in relief, but can also present certain dangers that are unique to the season. Learning to recognize these hazards will keep your pet out of trouble and comfortable in the oncoming weather.
As the weather changes, especially in the northern part of the country, vehicles kept outside become appealing places for cats as they try to warm themselves in the engine compartment. They may sustain fan belt injuries if they can't get out from under your hood in time when you are starting your car. A good precaution to take may be to honk your horn three times and then wait five to ten seconds before cranking the engine. To be extra safe you may even want to open the hood and conduct a visual inspection. Your neighbor's cat will thank you.
While on the topic of heat, animals that spend a majority of their time outside will need some extra attention during this time. Continue to groom your pet (especially dogs), but let their fur grow out and don't brush out their undercoat. Frostbite is also a concern in extremely cold weather. Just as in humans, pets are prone to frostbite on the extremities. Paws, ears, nose and tail should be checked for gray or red color skin that is painful to the touch. Severe frostbite will present as painless and very hard to the touch. Seek professional help immediately if you suspect your pet has frostbite. These pets will also need more food as their bodies will use more energy to produce more heat. Check their water as often as you can to make sure it's not frozen.
Be careful when handling and applying chemicals around the house. Salt used for melting snow and ice on sidewalks can be extremely irritating if it gets in between your pet's toes. Take precautions when winterizing your vehicle as antifreeze has a sweet taste that can attract pets, but is extremely toxic. Consider investing in safer, pet friendly antifreeze.
Lastly, if your pet will be spending more time indoors, they may not be getting the exercise they need to expend energy. Find an activity your cat can do indoors to stay active such as scratching posts, batting a ball or climbing stackable cubes will help them relax. For dogs, working on training may not be as physically challenging, but the concentration required can be just as tiring. The added benefit is a well behaved dog in the house.
Autumn weather can be beautiful and the cool temperatures can come as a relief. Keeping your pet safe doesn't take much effort and isn't solely about having a PetHub ID tag. This way you can enjoy the season together comfortably and securely.