With the leaves turning and the weather cooling, fall can feel like a welcome break from the summer’s hot and humid temps. However, fall can also present itself with unique challenges for dogs. We’ve written some tips below to keep your dog healthy and happy this season.
Use caution around essential oils
Essential oils are a popular way to get some amazing fall scents into your home, but they can also create some potential issues for dogs. Out of caution, don’t place oils directly on your dog, and never let them ingest anything with oils. If you use a diffuser, keep it in a central room, and allow your dog to leave the room if the smell is too strong for them. Some essential oils known to be harmful for dogs include cinnamon, pine, and peppermint.
Clean up any spice spills
If the arrival of fall gets you in the season to bake up some treats, keep popular fall spices such as nutmeg, cloves, and cocoa powder out of reach of your dog. These can cause serious stomach upset, diarrhea, kidney problems, and a host of other side effects.
Keep choking hazards out of reach
If you’re one to break out the holiday décor, keep any small objects or electrical wiring out of reach of your dog’s eager nose in order to prevent any choking hazards. If you have kids, another culprit to watch for are new school supplies floating around – think pencils, markers, and glue…choking hazards abound!
Watch out for dreaded allergies
Fall is a time when many plants release their pollen into the air…and it’s not just humans that can get the sniffles! Dogs face seasonal allergies as well. Watch if your pup starts to experience itchy skin, sneezing, and watery eyes – these could be indicators they’re dealing with side effects from pollen, fleas, dust mites, or other seasonal allergens. Doing a little fall cleaning for your dog, such as washing their dog bed, food bowl, and general cleaning around the house could help reduce these allergies.
Keep an eye on the ground
Around this time of year, many people put out fertilizers on their lawn. While it’s great for the grass, it can spell trouble for dogs, so it’s important to avoid areas that have just recently been fertilized. Fertilizer exposure can cause fever, diarrhea, seizures, and in serious cases, death. Even walking on these areas can create problems, as your dog may lick his/her paws later, allowing it to get into their system.
Practice nighttime safety
Speaking of walks…it’s smart to practice some general safety as it gets darker earlier in the evenings. Consider getting a light-colored or reflective dog collar and leash for your dog to wear, especially if they’re smaller and/or have darker coats. Even a light, brightly colored bandana can help your dog stand out in the dark. Some other safety tips include keeping your pup on a shorter leash, sticking to well-lit areas if possible (or keeping a flashlight with you), and sticking to walking routes you both know well (if your dog’s not a big fan of walking at night, this can help ease their anxiety, too). And don’t forget to wear light-colored clothing yourself!
Get prepped for your dog’s holiday plans early
If you know you’ll be out of town for the upcoming holidays, now’s a good time to start looking into options for your pup if they need to stay behind. At Camp Run-A-Mutt, we tend to fill up quickly for boarding around the holidays, so we recommend making boarding reservations as early as possible! Not only will it be one less stress for you, but you can feel good about your dog’s care if everything has been prepared well ahead of time.
Happy fall to you and your pup(s)!