(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)
The dog days of summer are over and your furry family member is up and ready to play! It’s the time of year when even pets can get excited about the season and all the autumn outdoor activities families may enjoy. It’s also a time of year that can come with some hazards and vulnerabilities for our four-legged friends. Here are a few reminders to keep your pet happy and healthy, as the crisp apple-spiced air makes its fall appearance.
Fall is a great time to take advantage of healthy, active play with your pet to encourage and strengthen the human-animal bond. In addition, active play develops healthy movement and cardiovascular endurance for you and your dog, especially when exercise can tend to decline during the colder months and holiday party season. A simple game of fetch offers both! It’s a great way to make fetch happen with your dog’s favorite Chuckit! launcher and ball. The essence of fetch play satisfies their natural instincts to chase, while encouraging healthy and happy movement.
Speaking of cooler weather and active play, this time of year can certainly put a little more stress on your pet’s joints. It’s important to make sure your pets stay well hydrated, and are provided with the right nutrition and supplements to ensure their active bodies are performing at their very best. In addition to a healthy diet, a good bed can go a long way to prevent any painful issues down the road. After an active day of play with your pet, a good place to relax and recuperate will help ease stress on their joints. The orthopedic foam beds by SnooZZy provide excellent support, as opposed to a harder floor surface, enabling your pet to bounce back up much quicker and happier, no matter how old they are.
As the sun sets lower on the windowsill, many cats will try to bask in as much warmth and light as the day will allow. Don’t be fooled by the declining strength of the sun’s rays. No matter what time of year it is, lighter-pigmented cats can be more prone to sunburn and darker coated cats can run the increased risk of heat stress. Prevent sun damage issues by applying a small amount of pet-safe sunscreen on areas like the nose, ears and underbelly that are susceptible to sunburn, and monitor all sunbathing, particularly when the sun is at its strongest – early afternoon until evening. Providing your cat with another comfortable place to lounge, like the Jackson Galaxy Convertible Scratcher, is an excellent way to coax them out of the hot sun. Your cat will enjoy lounging on the scratcher and its various configurations, while enabling them to tap into their natural instincts to scratch when they want to be more engaged and active.
Another hazard to consider is an increase in pet anxiety due to the new noises that may come with the fall season. For pets prone to anxiety caused by noise (leaf blowers, school bus engines, doorbells and trick-or-treaters), consider keeping them occupied with a solo play toy, like the JW Robobone, for engagement and fun. Interactive puzzle toys from JW can help keep dogs occupied and focused, preventing any new seasonal stress they may experience.
Lastly, despite the declining temperatures, fleas and ticks are still present and a threat. Whether you’re partaking in a camping trip or just a quick walk to enjoy the fall foliage, make sure your pets are properly guarded from these pesky insects to avoid serious problems like Lyme disease, or any other issues that accompany these unwanted pests.
All in all, the fall season can be an exciting time for you and your pet. Keep your veterinarian’s phone number handy, but be sure to enjoy every moment with your furry family member. After all, they are the sweetest part of the holiday season.
(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)