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(Family Features) As scorching temperatures fade and pest season passes, pet owners may breathe a sigh of relief. Although the seasonal risks of summer are gone, your four-legged friend may need some special attention this autumn, as well.
Cold-weather pests. Though the dangers associated with ticks, mosquitos and other creepy, crawly critters lessen as the temperatures drop, those same colder days bring other creatures scurrying inside and that can present a whole new set of problems. Rats and mice tend to migrate indoors in search of warmth and the poisons used to eliminate them can be highly toxic to pets. Be sure pesticides are used in areas inaccessible to your animals.
Stay alert. Ticks may be less prevalent in the fall, but that doesn’t mean they’re gone completely – especially if hospitable environments remain. Keep yard and garden debris to a minimum and continue administering repellents for any pets that spend time outdoors.
On the move. Seasonal changes mean wildlife is on the move, making changes to settle into winter. Snakes are often more mobile during autumn months and inexperienced pets may risk bites if they tangle with intruders.
Shiny, new things. Kids aren’t the only ones attracted to a collection of new school supplies. Curious pets may dive into a pile of crayons, markers, rulers and other supplies, and although the items likely aren’t toxic, they can result in digestive blockages or damage from sharp, broken edges.
Anticipate energy needs. Colder temperatures can mean your pet has to exert more energy to keep warm and that may warrant bumping up meal serving sizes. Consult with your veterinarian about the appropriate feeding amounts for your pet’s specific breed, health and lifestyle needs.
Auto-related issues. Many car owners use the change of season as a milestone for car maintenance and winterizing, such as changing oil or antifreeze. Antifreeze in particular is highly toxic; a small quantity can kill pets and, unfortunately, the sweet smell makes it quite attractive to curious creatures. Clean spills thoroughly and take added precaution by keeping pets away from your work area entirely while handling these substances.
Not so fun-gus. Damp conditions can bring about a surge of mushrooms. Although only a small percentage of mushrooms are toxic, they can be hard to distinguish from the non-toxic variety. A good rule of thumb: keep pets clear of areas where mushrooms may be found, or if that’s not possible, conduct regular checks and remove any temptation that pops up.
Comfort foods. Most pet owners know chocolate is dangerous for pets, but many other foods that are common in the fall can also be problematic. Keep pets away from rich, savory foods that can upset their digestion and leave Fido at home during your annual jaunt to the apple orchard; apple stems, seeds and cores can create plenty of digestive havoc. If you want to indulge your pet with a little seasonal flavor, instead try offering fresh or canned pumpkin.
Find more pet parenting tips for fall and all year long at eLivingToday.com.
4 Benefits of Personalized Dog Food
For dog owners, your pet is often your world and there are few things more special than the bond you share. From playtime to mealtime, you never settle for “good enough,” and your dog’s health is no different.
When deciding which dog food works best for your pet, keep personalized foods like Just Right by Purina in mind, which can help address your dog’s unique needs. It combines your firsthand knowledge with nutritional expertise to create the best dog food blend for your dog. By answering a few questions about your pet’s breed size, eating habits and more, you can create a personalized blend of food that includes your dog’s name, photo and feeding recommendation that gets shipped directly to your door.
Feeding your dog personalized food could help yield these benefits:
Healthy skin and coat
By providing important details about your dog’s skin and its needs, certain ingredients can be included in order to avoid dry and itchy skin. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, along with vitamin A and linoleic acid, can help keep your pup’s skin refreshed and can give your dog’s coat the nourishment it needs to be shiny and healthy.
Ideal body condition
Being the right weight can contribute to a lot of different health factors, but having an ideal body condition can be about more than just the amount of food you feed your pet. The right amount of fats and proteins can help keep your dog right where he or she needs to be. Just as important, each dog has different metabolisms and different caloric needs, so personalized feeding instructions like those offered by Just Right by Purina can help your dog reach his or her ideal body condition.
Joint health and mobility
Many dogs are often on the move – walking, running and playing. Having healthy bones and joints can support your dog’s overall health. Choosing a formula with proper amounts of calcium and phosphorus can help support joints and bones.
Puppies need all the help they can get when it comes to growing and supporting life-long health. Giving them foods that include nutrients like DHA that support brain and vision development can inspire your puppy’s curiosity about the world.
Young or old, big or small, every dog’s nutritional needs are unique. Find more ways to benefit your dog at mealtime at justrightpetfood.com.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images