There is nothing quite like that brisk, cool breeze in the air after a long hot summer. The leaves are falling, birds are singing and the dogs are…chasing squirrels, yet again. The crisp air is refreshing for your dog as well, but did you know it could also be a dangerous time for them?
Here are 4 fall safety tips to keep in mind for your dogs as we close out November and prepare for the cold winter months!
#1 Tis the Season for Ticks
If you are reading this, that probably means you have a dog and that also probably means they want to go outside…..again. You know this time of year is quite exciting for them. Well I mean, when is life not exciting for a dog?? We know how much they love playing in the leaves, chasing each other around the dog park and of course taking nice long walks. More play time means more opportunities for these ticks to attach themselves to your dog.
When you come back inside after playing at the dog park or from a walk, give your dog a thorough inspection to ensure you do not have any stowaway pests! Make sure to check under their tails, under their collars, between their toes and inside the groin area. Ticks have even been known to hide underneath dog’s eyelids! They are sneaky little things!
While checking your dogs after playtime is great, it is even important to consult with your veterinarian about prescription tick prevention.
#2 Scratching, Biting, Licking, and Chewing, Oh My!
If you have noticed any of these happening with your dog, this is probably a result of winter itch. As the air gets cold and windy and your dog goes inside and outside all day, those moisture changes can throw off the balance of oils and bacteria on the skin resulting in dry and itchy skin causing dandruff for your dog. Luckily, there are plenty of great dandruff shampoos you can use to wash your dog with. Brushing is also a really great way to stimulate blood flow and remove those old skin cells.
If you notice your dog is excessively scratching and licking their dry skin or if you start to notice sores, please consult with your vet on what the next best treatment options are available.
#3 Joint and Muscle Stiffness
You’ve probably noticed that your muscles and joints are a bit stiffer as the weather starts to drop. Well, your dogs are no different! As the weather starts dropping, it is so important to make sure you take the time to warm up your pup before any excessive play time.
If you are heading to the dog park, be sure to take a nice warm up walk around the park before letting them loose to chase each other around in circles for 30 minutes straight, because you know they will!
We love our dogs, but let’s face it, they are basically children with 4 legs. It is our job as dog parents to make sure they are taken care of which includes taking the time to warm up their ligaments, so they don’t pull anything when playing.
#4 “What’s in your mouth!?”
How many times have you said that to your dog and whatever was in his mouth magically disappears down his throat never to be seen again?? I am sure you have experienced this quite often. While most of the time, it is probably food they stole off the table, one thing to keep an eye out for during the fall are wild mushrooms.
While 99% of mushrooms do not have a toxicity level, there are still that 1% that are dangerously toxic to dogs. Be sure to do a regular sweep of your backyard to get rid of any mushrooms that may pop up. It’s pretty difficult to tell which mushrooms are toxic so it is a best practice to eliminate any wild mushrooms from your yard.
Below are the common signs that your dog has ingested a toxic wild mushroom:
- Lack of balance
- Vomiting or salivating excessively
- Yellowing of skin and “whites of eyes”
If you are aware that your dog ate one of these mushrooms or is having any of these symptoms, contact your vet immediately or call ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.