Fall is upon us. While here in the Greater Tucson Area, the change may not be as significant as other in areas of the country, the change of seasons still signals certain changes that pet owners should be prepared for. Here are a few things to put on your to-do list to prep your pet for fall.
1. Safety When Outdoors in Less Daylight
Right now, the sun is setting earlier with the shift of the seasons and will set closer to 5 p.m. by the time winter rolls around. Sunrise will also happen later the closer we get to winter, which means there will be less daylight for pet outings during regular times. As part of your autumn pet prep, make sure you have items that will make walks in minimal light both safer and easier. Try reflective or light-up leashes, pet collars, and vests, and don’t forget safety gear for yourself. It’s never a bad idea to bring along extra light for your walk too, such as dog collar lights, flashlights, or one of the many modern inventions for providing light while you walk your pet.
2. Secure Your Pool When Not in Use
Many Tucson homeowners have pools in their backyards, ones they close up once temperatures start to drop in the fall. They tend not to realize, however, that pools can be more dangerous to pets when they’re closed up for the season than when they’re open and uncovered. During the cooler seasons pets can easily fall into a covered and unsupervised pool and be unable to get out. Be sure to purchase a pool cover that’s specifically designed to be pet proof and secure your pool with the proper fencing in order to keep your pets out of the pool area altogether. Never leave pets unattended near a pool, the same way we take precautions to prevent children from drowning.
3. Set Up Appropriate Outdoor Pet Shelters
Not all pets are indoors during the fall months. If you have “adopted” any stray animals, you know that they may not want to spend time indoors, if at all. By the time fall transitions into winter, however, nighttime temperatures can dip to below freezing, which means appropriate shelters are needed. Look into outdoor pet shelters specifically designed for lower temperatures or find DIY a guide on building one yourself.
4. Reinforce Obedience Training
Whether your dog is still learning or has their obedience school diploma, now is a good time to focus on reinforcing their training. Take the time to focus on their behavior when someone is at the door. Halloween is coming up soon with holiday gatherings not far behind, both of which mean having the door open with guests coming and going, and the doorbell ringing often. Reinforcing good behavior when someone is at the door will put guests at ease and lower your dog’s anxiety as well. It also prevents them from snatching toxic candy and food that might be left unattended.
5. Consider Replacing Pet Beds
Pet beds sit directly on the floor and often on colder flooring, such as tile and hardwood. At night, the floor can get pretty chilly. If your pet’s bed is more than a few years old, the stuffing may not be insulating as well as it used to. Replacing it is essential to keeping your pet warm and cozy at night during colder months. Also keep in mind that if your pet has developed certain conditions over the years, such as arthritis, they may benefit from having a heated bed to prevent flare-ups in their joints.
6. Take Them To the Vet for Prevention
Fleas and ticks are a concern throughout the year, so be sure to visit your veterinarian to get the best flea and tick preventative for your pet. Remember that treating fleas and conditions caused by parasites are much more expensive than preventing them. These diseases and conditions can also pose serious risks to your pets and family. The application process is quick and simple and will give you peace of mind for weeks or even months. Autumn is also a great time to get your pet’s annual wellness checkup, just to make sure all is well.
7. Pick Up Some Fancy Duds
As temperatures drop, your pet is likely to feel a little chilly when outdoors, the same way you do. Rather than toughing it out, dress them up in pet sweaters and booties, which can be found online and at your local pet store. Not only are warm pet clothes functional, but your furry friend will look super cute and adorable, too! You may just have a blast while dressing them up in the latest styles. What’s not to love?
8. Head on Over to the Grooming Salon
Even if your pet doesn’t have a regular grooming schedule, experts recommend they see a groomer once per season for a good washing, brushing, and pet nail trimming. Autumn pets should be freed of wayward hair in order to allow their fall and winter coat to come in easily and be properly maintained, whether at a salon or at home. Not only will this make your dog both feel and look good, but it helps to ensure that as they shed their summer coat, it won’t end up all over your floors and furniture.
For Tucson Pet Grooming, Turn to Wags and Whiskers
Whether your pet is used to being groomed during the fall season or not, we’d love to be your first choice for pet grooming. Your furry companions get the VIP treatment when you bring them to Wags & Whiskers, including dogs, cats, rabbits, and other common household pets. Be sure to give us a call at (520) 405-0077 to schedule an appointment at a time that’s best for you.