The cooler, rainier, darker days of fall are here … and while these are great for longer walks and playing with fallen leaves, they can also bring some trouble.
Here are four things you absolutely need to keep your pooch safe during the fall season.
1. Stock Up on Joint Supplements
As the weather cools down and the nights draw in, dogs are more likely to struggle with their mobility. “Dogs who coped relatively well in the summer are suddenly stiff and limping now that the weather is cooler and more damp,” says Dr. Linda Simon, a veterinary surgeon.
This is likely to be worse first thing after getting up in the morning, according to veterinarian Dr. Amanda Takiguchi.
When this happens and the dog seems otherwise healthy (eating, drinking and eliminating normally and responding to you as usual), Dr. Takiguchi say this is then probably what is going on.
Arthritis brought on by inflamed joints might develop during cold conditions — and both humans and dogs might feel it. “Dogs become increasingly less able to climb stairs and onto furniture, need a boost to get into the car, don’t feel like walking as far, things like that,” Dr. Takiguchi explains.
For advanced arthritis and dogs in a lot of pain, you might need to talk to your vet about pain relief and anti-inflammatory medication. Otherwise, joint supplements can be a great way to support your dog’s joints. “The most common joint supplements are collagen and glucosamine, but you can also look into chondroitin, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin C,” Dr. Takiguchi says. “Collagen is a protein that provides structure, relieves joint pain and has countless benefits for dogs.”
Rooted in nature and vet formulated, these chews have more than 1,000 mg of powerful natural ingredients to help your pup deal with occasional discomfort. Glucosamine HCl, MSM, green-lipped mussels, and chondroitin support mobility and flexibility while also stimulating cartilage growth and maintaining joint lubrication.
She adds that fresh basil and fish oil both have fantastic anti-inflammatory properties and are easy to use. “Just add them to your dog’s meals to help with arthritis,” she says. Make sure you consult with a professional before introducing anything new into your dog’s diet.
Related: The Most Common Bone and Joint Issues in Young Dogs
2. Invest Reflective Gear
As days get shorter, the incidence of traffic accidents related to low visibility rises. Statistics tells us the time around sunset affects visibility for drivers, meaning they’re less likely to see somebody walking on the side of the road — and even less likely to see a small dog running close to the ground. Add to add rainy, foggy fall afternoons, these conditions worsen visibility even more, and you have a potential recipe for disaster.
To protect yourself and your dog, it’s a good idea to wear reflective clothing and put a reflective harness or jacket on your dog. Other accessories include reflective collar tags and clip-on blinking lights (though be sensitive to your dog’s experience).
Even if you have a dog with great recall, avoid off-leash walking in the dark. It only takes a couple of steps into the road to cause an accident and a lot of damage; it’s just not worth it. And take your headphones off or keep on very low volume, as you want to be able to hear cars coming.
Related: 4 Unexpected Fall Dangers Dog Owners Need to Know About
3. Grab a Jacket
Fall’s higher humidity, frequent rains, and strong winds can cause dogs to feel cold even if the temperature doesn’t seem to be so low. And while dogs with a thick coat will probably stay warm, they will also take longer to dry after a rainy walk, so even they might benefit from a raincoat.
For short-haired dogs, a waterproof jacket is a must to ensure they don’t get too cold. During the fall, clothes that protect against both low temperatures and moisture are ideal. Cold and wet is a recipe for disaster, especially if your dog has arthritis but also because they might get sick.
Perfect for those wet or chilly walks, this water-resistant and wind-proof reversible puffer jacket vest will keep your dog warm, dry, and looking trendy. This jacket vest has a nylon outer shell and alternative down poly that won’t weigh down your pup and is easy to compress.
“We can help minimize the effects of fall weather by using appropriate dog clothes, going out when the weather is at its mildest, providing an orthopedic bed, and keeping the home warm,” Dr. Simon says, adding you should avoid pushing your dog too hard on cold, damp days and staying away from cold water swims.
4. Keep Allergy Products on Hand
Allergies are not just a “spring thing.” In fact, the change into the fall season might result in a whole new set of allergies. Along with grass and dust, two major irritants in the fall are ragweed and mold, according to Dr. Takiguchi. “Watch out for symptoms including hives and rashes, as well as itching, biting, chewing, sneezing, and coughing,” she adds.
Bye Bye Shabby Coat nourishes your dog’s skin and coat from the inside out. Veterinarian formulated and using powerful natural ingredients, including healthy omegas, salmon oil, and vitamin E, our chews help heal dry, itchy, irritated skin, while also promoting a shinier and softer coat. All our supplements are proudly manufactured in the USA.
There are a number of amazing skin, coat, and allergy supplements on the market – just make sure you read the ingredients. If your dog has severe allergies, talk to your vet about using antihistamines and whether he’s a good candidate for allergy shots.