We’ve almost made it out of the oven that is the summer! Soon enough, you’ll be wiping that sweat from your brow for the last time while you’re simply out running errands. We’re just a few short weeks away from the start of fall, which really seems to have two sides here in the pacific northwest. For the first month or so, it’s a soft transition out of summer heat into a more mild, breezy, 60-something degree paradise. And then the rain comes. And keeps coming. And it gets windy. And the thunder rumbles. And MORE rain comes. You get the picture. While summer and winter are the two seasons we most commonly associate with extreme weather that we need to be cautious about with our pets, Fall has its own set of challenges.
First, whether it’s the comfy beginning of the fall, or the drowned-rat downpour second period, don’t leave your pets outside for prolonged periods of time. Early on, you might still experience days hot enough for them to get heat stroke. Or, there might be a cooler week, where the night time temperatures drop into the high-40s or lower. It doesn’t have to be winter for it to be too cold for your pets outside—be especially vigilant if you have a young puppy, a senior doggo, or a smaller breed. If you have a breed that you shave to keep cool in the summer, now is the time to let them start growing their luscious locks back.
There are also all sorts of critters that still like to try to be pests to your pup in the fall. It’s still tick season, and lots of pets love romping around in piles of fallen leaves or other debris, which unfortunately is a great place to pick up a tick! Be sure to stay up to date on their flea and tick repellent routines—they’re still out there!
It’s also important to keep an eye on friends or family members that may want to spoil your pet at (socially distanced!) family and holiday gatherings. Make sure your relatives that may not be as pet-savvy as you aren’t handing out things like chocolate, chicken bones, or certain fruits and vegetables that we can have, but they can’t. You can find a list of what is and is not ok here: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/fruits-vegetables-dogs-can-and-cant-eat/
You might start making sure your car’s anti-freeze is full at this time of year, and while it goes without saying, anti-freeze is very toxic to pets! Be sure to watch for leaks or spills, and clean them up when you see them. Keeping the pet out of the garage or away from where you usually park is the best way to stop them from letting curiosity get the best of them.
Many of winter’s tips are also applicable to the late fall, but even more so in that season, so we’ll list them in the next section. Fall may have fewer specific dangers, but summer dangers overlap at the beginning of the season, and winter dangers overlap at the end.