While we love our San Francisco summers, we also tend to think we have the best falls around, too. The off-season often means we have less tourists and that our fair city opens up around us. Whether you and your pet are enjoying simple strolls through your neighborhood, or are exploring parts of town you haven’t seen in awhile, take a moment to refresh your memory on the basics of fall pet care. From grooming to safety, there’s always something to keep in mind!

Pet Poisonings

The combination of school being back in session and Halloween approaching means more chocolate. Inspect backpacks, lunch bags, and purses for any dangerous candies (especially those sweetened with Xylitol!). Don’t leave these items on the floor or in sight.

Outside Stuff

Insecticides and rodenticides are used in the fall, predominantly because these pests try to weasel their way into the home or garage this time of year. Rodenticides are highly toxic to pets and, in fact, can have fatal consequences when ingested. If you use various kinds of poisons or baits, only place them where your pet cannot access them, and keep any open containers behind closed doors.

Fall is usually the time people change their car’s fluids, as well. Getting ready for cooler temperatures means antifreeze, but ethylene glycol products are incredibly dangerous. Clean up spills, drips, and leaks, and never leave the bottle out. Propylene glycol is also toxic, but products made with this are considered less harmful than ethylene glycol.

Fungal De-Light

While out and about with your pet, do not allow him or her to chomp down on mushrooms. The majority of all mushrooms do not cause any problems when eaten, but you wouldn’t want to risk the life-threatening side effects of a poisonous mushroom.

On the same note, it’s worthwhile to learn about the differences between toxic and non-toxic plants that your pet could be exposed to.

Unpredictable Nature

Fall temperatures can oscillate between chilly and unseasonably warm. Always be sure to leave your pet extra water and plenty of sheltered spaces.

Also unpredictable is wildlife in the fall. Many animals, like snakes, are preparing to hibernate and may be found in places they normally wouldn’t be. Do your research before head out to the trails or campgrounds so your pet won’t be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Parasites and Grooming

Two of the strongest tenets of fall pet care have to do with your pet’s skin and coat. First, please do not allow your pet’s parasite preventative lapse when the weather cools off. Ticks, fleas, and even mosquitoes continue to pose health hazards all year long.

While inspecting your pet’s coat for fleas and ticks, take stock of the coat’s condition, length, and any skin irritations. Remember, the fall and spring result in the most shedding. Brush your pet’s coat, taking care to untangle any knots of mats, and then bathe him or her using pet-safe, hypoallergenic products. Rinse and dry thoroughly.

Fall Pet Care

Of course, paying attention to all of your pet’s needs is a year-round occupation, and fall pet care has its own set of important reminders. If we can assist you with any questions or concerns, we welcome your call.