5 Ways to Prep Your Pup for Fall
Sweater weather is in full swing.
It’s time to pull out your boots and clean out the fireplace, but you’re not the only one who needs to prep for the cooler season. For the dog that loves to lounge in the summer sun, cooler temperatures may come as a rude awakening.
Here are five ways you can prep your pup for fall so he’s warm, safe and comfortable—just like your favorite sweater.
Check Water Bowls Frequently
Even though the temperatures are cooler, your dog can dehydrate just as quickly in the fall as in the summer. Make sure your dog has access to clean water at all times. If you keep a water bowl outside, check frequently that it hasn’t frozen over.
Provide a Warm, Dry Bed
As fluffy as it is, a dog’s fur isn’t a perfect insulator. Much like when you can get chilled under your favorite fleece blanket, your dog is susceptible to cold temperatures, inside and outside the house.
Provide your pet with a warm, dry bed in a comfortable area of the home, preferably on carpet. Hardwood floors can get very cold at night, but if you have no other options, choose a bed that’s heavily padded or lifted up off the floor so the cold doesn’t seep through.
Evaluate Your Dog’s Diet
Some pets need more calories in the winter and others need less. For example, if your dog is inside, she doesn’t need the extra fat to stay warm and, in general, won’t be as active during those months. You may want to decrease her food portions if you’ll be cutting out the extra walks and playtime at the dog park. However, it’s best to keep your pet at least moderately active with indoor games.
A dog that’s outdoors may need more calories to build up an extra layer of insulation, but be careful you don’t feed to excess. Overweight dogs are prone to heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other ailments. Consider your pet’s activity levels when deciding if you should increase or decrease their calories. Of course, always double-check with your vet for professional advice.
Bathe and Groom Regularly
Have you noticed your dog shedding more this fall? This may seem counterproductive, but it’s normal. Your dog needs to shed his summer coat to make room for a warm, winter coat. Help him out a bit with regular brushing or a trip to the groomer.
Even with the cooler temperatures, keep up with regular baths to prevent seasonal allergies and to cut down on shedding (dry your dog’s fur thoroughly before letting him go outside). At least once a week, check your dog’s skin and fur for dry patches, hot spots or signs of skin allergies.
Keep Up with Flea and Tick Prevention
Don’t be mistaken. Fall is not the time to miss a dose of flea and tick medicine; in fact, studies show that fleas on animals in the fall were 70 percent higher than in the spring.
Fleas and ticks love to burrow under the fallen leaves your pup rolls around in, and they also gravitate towards the warmth of homes as the temperatures drop. To avoid dealing with a thick coat infested with fleas and ticks, be vigilant with your dog’s flea and tick care.