Fall is a great season for pets and pet parents for a lot of reasons. While the season, its activities, and upcoming holidays are a source of excitement we are ready to share with our pets, it is important to note that it is not without its dangers. Here, Freshpet discusses a few thing that a pet parent can do to keep their furry friends happy and healthy this fall and leave more time for the joy the season has to offer.

Be Careful Outdoors

Fall is a great time to get outside with our pets, but there are a variety of things in the great outdoors that we need to keep them safe from. For example, dogs will want to investigate areas by nature, but we should be careful that they are not getting into anything during our walks that could harm them. Mushrooms and other growths can be poisonous, but many dogs show an interest in them and need to be discouraged from investigating.

Animals that are getting ready to hibernate next season are also out and about and, if your routes involve forested areas, keep an eye out for creatures that may be venturing close to you and your pet. The presence of animals means that there may be droppings around your route as well, and you always want to be sure that your dog is not ingesting them- and the parasites that may be within. Feeding your dog a fresh pet food about an hour or so before your walk is one way that you can keep them disinterested in eating what you may find during your walks.

Make Sure They Are Warm

Plenty of dogs are well equipped for the cooler weather that comes with the late fall, but some smaller or short-haired dogs are more prone to experiencing drops in body temperature. To keep tabs on this, pet parents can make sure that a blanket or warm item is outside for their dogs if they are spending some time sitting outside in the cool weather. When the temperature drops significantly close to winter, always be mindful of how long your dogs have been outside and when they may need to come in to get warm. Leaving your dog outside in the cold for long periods of time can be unsafe, particularly if your dog is not built for colder climates.

Keep Unsafe Foods Out of Reach

Fall is the time for a lot of delicious food- many of which our dogs can enjoy with no issue. There are even examples of fresh pet food that are inspired by the season. Remember that there is an expansive list of foods that are not suitable for dogs, however, and our job as pet parents is to be sure that our dogs do not have access to them. For example, none of the candy we eat during Halloween should be left around our pets. Chocolate especially is very detrimental to a dog’s health.

While pet parents tend to be knowledgeable of the fact that candy is unsafe for our pets, some are surprised to learn exactly how detrimental cooked human food can be for them as well. Fatty meats, bones, raw potatoes and their skins, onions, gravies, and some spices are delicious to us but can present a host of problems if ingested by our pets. The days surrounding Thanksgiving are common days for vet visits for a reason, and it is always a good idea to be mindful of what we are leaving around our furry friends. When it comes to pets, stick with a fresh pet food over human food alternatives.