(BPT) - Fall weather affects pets just like their people. While you are taking precautions to protect yourself from cooler temperatures and environmental changes, you need to safeguard your dogs and cats, too.
Pet care and lifestyle expert Charlotte Reed shares her top tips for dealing with changing weather conditions and other seasonal concerns:
1. Daily dressing
Fluctuating seasonal temperatures, changing weather conditions and daylight savings time make it necessary for you and your dog to dress for warmth, dryness and comfort, especially when you both are walking in the morning and evening hours. Pet owners need a coat with lots of pockets, like the 4 Season Convertible Jacket from Let's Go Design that is waterproof with reflective piping. Constructed with lots of specialized pockets plus features like extractable pick-up bags, treat liner, belt/leash, hood with visor, retractable keychain, you will always be ready no matter what the weather forecast. For your pet, consider a full weather jumpsuit like the Cover All Doggy Rain Coat, which is made of breathable, ultra soft nylon that doesn't make noise when dogs move around. Plus, it's easy to put on and keeps your dog's back, legs and chest comfortably warm. It even has a hood to protect the neck and head! Remember, buy pet gear big enough so that you can layer it with a sweater when it gets colder. Also, consider a dog coat in a bright color like orange for maximum visibility.
2. Reactions to weather
Some pets feel stress during changing weather conditions, especially when there is a drop in barometric pressure. Additionally, since dogs can hear at much higher frequencies and smell between 1,000 and 10,000 times better than humans, they can hear and smell a storm coming. If you have a dog that hides, whines or pants prior to a storm, plan ahead by keeping track of the daily weather reports and checking the barometer. To ease pet tension, use crates, soothing music, pheromone diffusers and anxiety-reducing apparel.
3. Pet play
As the days grow shorter and temperatures drop, you may be tempted to limit your dog's exercise routine. Don't. While the weather may force you indoors, you can keep your pet active and beat away seasonal blues by rotating her toys. Make rotating toys easier by introducing new toys each month with a subscription to Freddie's Find. Order a one, three or six month subscription or a one-time specialty box for a celebration. It's also available for cats, too!
4. Indoor and outdoor allergies
This time of the year, people and pets who have allergies to pollen really feel it. They may also be allergic to the dust and mold spores that the furnace kicks out. While humans may have runny noses and watery eyes, pets can have itchy skin. You can avoid costly vet bills with a veterinary developed pet skin care line like Epi-Pet. Use the shampoo, topical spray and ear cleaner regularly to keep your dog and cat in the best of health.
5. Treat for a purpose
Changing weather can lower an animal's resistance to disease and bring on ailments like a cold or arthritis so supplement your pet's diet with healthy snacks. Lincoln Bark's unique and functional dog treats are powered by Chia seeds, classified as a super food by the Food and Drug Administration. These tiny seeds are loaded with protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, phytonutrients, all nine amino acids, antioxidants, are gluten-free and are beneficial to pet health.
6. Flea and tick protection
Just because it is fall doesn't mean you can forget about flea and tick season. Ticks populate in piles of fallen leaves. Clean up leaves and other yard waste as soon as you can and discourage your pet from walking in them. In warmer fall climates, fleas can live throughout the year, especially if they get into your home. There are a number of generic flea and tick products on the market to provide your pet with flea and tick protection throughout the year.
7. Road safety
Autumn leaves are beautiful but when they are wet or in piles on the roads they present a seasonal driving hazard. Coupled with shorter days and windy, rainy and foggy conditions, it is important to limit driver distraction, especially if your pet is in your vehicle, too. To limit driver distraction, use a crash-tested harness, carrier bag, or a PupSaver - a comfortable, easy-to-use car seat designed to protect dogs up to 30 pounds. Its unique, rear-facing design provides protection on impact and has been crash-tested by a world leader in occupant protection.