Prepare pets for the fling into fall

September 29, 2009 at 1:53 pm Leave a comment

It’s not just people who get a new spring in our steps at the first hint of fall in the air. So do our pets. But there’s more to getting our animals ready for cold weather than enjoying the change of season. From Dr. Marty Becker and Gina Spadafori in this week’s Pet Connection feature:

Every year at this time we seem to get a little extra bounce in our step, and our pets do, too. But even as we’re enjoying the brisk beauty of fall, we need to remember it means winter is around the corner, and with it, an awareness of seasonal challenges for our pets.

That’s why we’re focusing here on how to enjoy the season, but also how to prepare pets for what’s to come next — winter.

The weather — heat in the summer, cold in the winter — is certainly important to outdoor pets. We don’t agree with the practice of keeping dogs and cats outdoors all their lives — these pets are often lonely and bored, and are more likely to be suffering from physical neglect.

That said, we realize some people won’t bring animals in the house, no matter what. If you’re one of those people, you must provide adequate outdoor shelter. And the time to review your pet’s shelter is now.

And don’t forget that just as the leaves turn in the fall, many dogs begin the furry equivalent and begin “The Big Fall Shed.” Fortunately, Gina’s got tips on how to handle it.

In “The Buzz,” Dr. Becker and Mikkel Becker Shannon point out that dogs and trucks don’t mix:

At least 100,000 dogs are estimated to die each year by falling or jumping from the back of pickup truck beds. If a dog survives a fall, broken bones, joint injuries and severe abrasions are the most common injuries, according to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University. To protect pets, WSU veterinarians recommend putting a shell on the pickup, or having your dog ride inside a crate strapped down securely. Tethering a dog isn’t considered much of an improvement from allowing him to ride loose — there’s just too much risk to the pet.

Want more? Read the entire Pet Connection for this week, or see it just how we send it to our client newspapers in this PDF file.…

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