(October 12, 2022)
The intense summer heat might be a thing of the past, but autumn brings with it its own set of dangers for our beloved pets. The Houston SPCA’s Chief Veterinarian Dr. Roberta Westbrook has some autumn safety tips for owners to keep in mind.
Autumn safety tips for spooky season
Continue to be aware of the temperature. We may have left heat advisories behind in the dog days of summer, but in Texas, we’re all well aware that high temperatures and sunshine can stick around long past their welcome. Until we’re safely in low-temperature territory, be aware of your pets overheating outdoors and of sidewalks that are too hot for paws.
Watch out for open flames. A favorite fall pastime is lighting a cozy candle or getting a roaring blaze going in the fire pit or fireplace. However, fur is flammable! Keep an eye on curious cats on countertops and excited canines, and don’t leave any type of open flame unattended.
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Kick grooming into high gear. Owners of double-coated breeds know that spring and fall are common times when your dog might shed a lot of their fur. Be sure to take good care of your pets with higher-maintenance coats as they grow their winter coats. Regular brushing and grooming, whether your pet sheds or not, is the key prevent matting and other skin/coat conditions.
Supervise your counter surfers. With the abundance of fall treats, Thanksgiving dinners, and Halloween candy, there are lots of high-value foods around this time of year to entice counter surfers. If your pet ingests anything toxic, like lots of chocolate candy meant for trick-or-treaters, call your vet right away to advise next steps or visit an emergency veterinary clinic.
Fall treats that are safe for pets
Looking to enrich your pet’s diet with new treats for their lick mat or Kong toy? Here are some fall-inspired foods that are safe for your dog to enjoy! Be sure to avoid added sugars, fats, and seasonings like onion and garlic, which are toxic to dogs.
- Pumpkin – 100% pumpkin puree
- Apple slices
- Cooked sweet potato
- Plain cooked chicken or turkey
Your cats can also enjoy a few fall treats in moderation, like pumpkin, apples, and cooked carrots and corn!
Check out Tracks & Tails for more tips on pet care and safety!