Fall safety tips? You've probably seen summer ones warning about heat stroke, hot pavement, life jackets for dogs etc. And you've probably heard of winter safety tips. You know, frostbite on the pads, water freezing issues for outside water sources if you have a fenced yard where your dog can play for extended periods of time (if you have a breed who can handle an hour+ of being outdoors in cold weather ... German Shepherds make this list, so no worries) etc. But fall safety tips? Mild weather, changing leaves, what could go wrong?
● Dogs can still get heat stroke in fall. The only dog I knew of personally who died of heat stroke died in mid-October on a day that was around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. I wasn't there to see it, but that dog's owner is a friend of mine and he didn't even know that was a possibility. He was playing fetch with a ball, she overheated, she seemed a bit better at the vet's office, and then a few hours later she was gone. Spring and fall in a lot of places are still warm enough to cause a dog to overheat when you include a lot of exertion. Keep water handy and keep an eye on your dog outdoors.
● People over hyped the "Keep all of your pets inside, kids torture black cats and other pets like dogs near Halloween" made up, early days of the internet chain-messages. That stuff didn't hardly happen at all ... until everyone started sharing it. The myth of it actually created cases of people doing it because they read it on the internet. You just can't make that kind of irony up. Your cats shouldn't be outside ever unless you've built a "catio" type enclosure or they are on a leash/in a carrier. And your dogs should be in a fenced in area, kennel run, or on a leash/in a carrier as well. The issue is ... people can jump fences and most catios are fairly weak wire mesh held on with staples. They aren't thief proof. I would advise that even though this kind of thing rarely happens even now, keep a closer eye on your pets.
● Scary Masks. Prepare to see a flood of videos of people trying to scare their pets by wearing a mask. In the best case scenario, your dog smells it's you and nothing worth filming happens. The second scenario is you scare your dog. Bonding and training a dog is about building trust. For a quick and cheap laugh and a video, you've damaged your relationship with your dog at best. At worst you're doing a great job of creating a fearful dog who may one day graduate into being a fear biter who isn't safe to be around. And the last scenario is you actually do get bitten by your dog, whether it be fear, defense drive or what may have you. Either way, it's going to hurt, you're going to damage your relationship with your dog, and the second you take the mask off, they've learned that biting people when they're scared yields astonishing success at being left alone. Don't join in on this trend.
● Other people in masks: Yep ... another good reason to keep your dog inside a little more than usual if you have a fenced in yard. You never know when a person with very little sense might walk by, see your dog and think it's funny to scare them.
● Children in masks: Not the ones who are trying to scare your dog, the ones that aren't but might manage to by mistake. If you don't trust your dog not to freak out at the expense of your dog's life, your hard earned savings and maybe even criminal charges being levied ... maybe he or she should be in the other room when kids come knocking on the door. The last thing you want is an accident happening to an innocent child. But if you really trust your dog? Who am I to tell you what to do? As a kid, my neighbor's dog used to hold the candy bucket for us at the door every year and it was the coolest thing I had ever seen at the time. If you trust your dog, completely ignore this one and maybe become the cool neighbor whose dog holds the candy bucket!
● Monitor any candy if you have kids or grandkids or kids in general coming home or over to your house with candy. Not for drugs and all of that stuff you see on the internet, which again was never a real thing until internet hoaxes created it. I mean make sure your dog stays out of the chocolate.
Make sure all kids know to never feed the dog or any dog chocolate. If they're very young, explain it the best you can and keep an eye on them. Chocolate is a weird toxin when it comes to dogs. Some dogs have eaten a lot of chocolate all at once, no issues. Some have eaten very little chocolate and have gotten seriously ill or worse. It's the same thing with grapes and raisins. "An M&M won't hurt." Nope ... it probably won't. Probably. Let’s just say it won't and then not find out by not giving the dog an M&M.
● Parasites: This is the time ticks come out in full force. Make sure you familiarize yourself with tick removal and use a good tick preventative. Fall is their last hurrah before the cold gets them and they'll be giving it everything they have. Fleas will be doing the same. And mosquitos, they're in on that game plan too, so don't forget the heartworm preventative either.
For those who read all the way through, thank you so much for your time. Stay safe out there and have fun. If you enjoyed this article, please leave a like and share.
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