5 Tips to Helping Your Dog Stay Healthy in Cooler Weather

The fall season has officially arrived, meaning it’s a time of cool weather, colorful foliage, football and even some snow, if your state is located in a typically frosty part of the country.
Of course, you want your dog to enjoy the newly arrived crisp weather to the fullest, but there are some things to take into account if you want your dog to stay healthy throughout the season. Read on for great tips on how to do just this:

1. It’s Still Tick Season

Ticks are still able to latch onto your pet in the autumn months and even into the winter, past the first frost. Continue your summer routine of frequently checking your pet for ticks, using tick control products, and having your veterinarian test your dog for tick-sourced infections. Minimize exposure to ticks in the fall and winter by getting rid of garden and leaf litter, a natural habitat of ticks.

5 Tips to Helping Your Dog Stay Healthy in Cooler Weather

2. Limit Potential Household Hazards

As your dog spends additional time indoors during these cooler months, make sure all potential dangers linked to the season are in check. Place chemicals and poisons, such as antifreeze and rodent poisons on high shelves when not using the substances. In fact, in the event of a rodent infestation, consider methods of pest control that don’t directly endanger your dog as the direct ingestion of any rodent poison can sicken or kill your canine companion outright.

In regards to the antifreeze, lock your dog out of the garage when using the stuff, which contains ethylene glycol, a sickly-sweet substance that entices animals to lick it up. Also take care to stow away small objects around the house. A bored dog, stuck indoors, might find these interesting and chewable – a deadly scenario since they can pose a choking hazard.

3. Be Cautious of Canine Influenza

With the cooler season officially arrived, and canine immune systems more vulnerable, your dog is at a greater risk of catching canine influenza (CIV) – or dog flu. CIV is highly contagious and is known to spread quickly among dogs that love to interact with other dogs. Two strains of CIV exist in the United States — H3N8 and H3N2 — the latter hailing from Asia, which arrived to the U.S. a few short years ago.

Duly vaccinate your pet for both CIV strains and take care to minimize its contact with other strange dogs at dog parks, groomer locations, and neighborhood sidewalks. Be responsible and speak with your veterinarian to learn more about how to prevent your dog from catching the highly contagious disease.

4. Feed Your Dog More

Colder temperatures outside means your dog is using more energy to stay warm. (After all, dogs tend to wander around the world in the buff.) To compensate for the additional expenditure of energy, feed your dog a little extra food. Food directly generates body heat, meaning that active, outdoorsy dogs will need to consume more food than in the summer. Yet, don’t immediately start dropping more food into your dog’s dish – talk to your veterinarian first, as food needs always vary per dog breed.

5. Watch Out for Killer Mushrooms

Fall can be just as wet as spring in some parts of the country. As a result, mushrooms can spring up in grassy lawns and forest floors during the season. While most mushrooms aren’t toxic to your animal, a small percentage can harm your pet. If you think your dog has scarfed down a toxic mushroom, contact the Animal Poison Control Center for emergency instructions on what to do.

A Last Point

The secret to safeguarding the health of your darling, precious pet is to educate yourself more on what you can do to keep her health at an optimal level. By utilizing he tips above, you’re doing just that, even as the cold weather settles in, and your increasingly cooped up dog is anxious to go outside and do what a dog does best – be curious. Relax — informing yourself is half the battle to keeping your dog safe from cool weather dangers.

-Article from Blog Guest Jessica Brody

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