Autumn Care for Dogs

Autumn is officially upon us! Many of us are enjoying the cool weather, beautiful foliage, and whimsical seasonal décor. Fall does present some specific dangers for our canine friends, however. Fido may also need some extra TLC at this time of year. Below, a Coon Rapids, MN vet discusses autumn care for dogs.

Diet
Some dogs may need extra calories in cold weather, to help them keep warm. Puppies, nursing mamas, senior dogs, working dogs, and pooches that spend a lot of time outdoors may need bigger serving sizes. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Doghouse Check
Does your pup have a doghouse? Give Fido’s outdoor home a good cleaning, and make sure it’s well insulated. Your pet’s private home should also be raised off the ground a bit, and situated so that the opening faces away from prevailing winds.

Clothing
Dogs with thin fur often need some extra protection from the cold. Before going shopping for Fido, text yourself his measurements, so you always have them. Avoid putting your pup in anything that is tight or itchy, or that has small pieces, like buttons, that he may try to eat.

Bedding
Our canine pals often sleep a lot in cold weather. Make sure Fido has a comfy doggy bed to snooze in. Big dogs and senior pooches may benefit from the additional support of an orthopedic mattress.

Veterinary Care
Most dogs should see the vet about once a year, though some may need more frequent visits. Senior dogs, and pups with bone/joint issues often get stiff and sore in autumn, and may benefit from pain management treatment. Keeping up with Fido’s vaccines and parasite control products is also important. Ask your vet to recommend an appointment schedule.

Outdoor Hazards
Wild animals; toxic plants and mushrooms; and weather can all endanger your pup. Since many people apply lawn/garden products and fill their cars with antifreeze in fall, chemicals are another concern. Keep a close eye on Fido, and keep him away from potential hazards.

Food
Many seasonal candies and treats are dangerous for dogs. Never give Fido hard candies; chocolate; nuts; raw dough; grapes, currants, or raisins; garlic and onions; pitted fruits; meat on the bone; or products containing xylitol. Ask your vet for more information.

Do you have any questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your Coon Rapids, MN animal clinic, anytime!

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