With fall in the air and cold weather upon us, it doesn’t mean you have to give up exercising outdoors with your pet. On the contrary, there are many ways to enjoy the crisp weather with your pet that are not only healthy for you but for your furry pal as well. Spending time outdoors with your pet in the fall isn’t as simple though as just putting on their leash. Just like you need to take care of yourself you also need to take care of your pet to ensure that they don’t get hurt or get into something they’re not supposed to. And just like your diet changes in the colder months so does your pet’s.
In a recent email interview with Dr. Al Townsend, staff veterinarian for Wellness Natural Pet Food here are some ways to enjoy the colder seasons with your pet outdoors and inside as well.
- When hitting the outdoors with your pet, are there any fall dangers that you should avoid like certain fall foliage and vegetation? One huge threat to bringing animals outdoors in the fall is the growth of mushrooms, as fall brings a climate that is perfect for them to flourish and grow in backyards and parks. Do your best to make sure your yard is mushroom-free and keep an eye on your pet in public parks, as some varieties are toxic. As much as we feel the cold, our pets do too. The cold weather at times can lead to an increase in the joint discomfort associated with arthritis in your pet’s joints. If you notice your pet limping or having trouble getting up and moving around, they could be suffering from arthritis. Pet foods that contain guaranteed levels of glucosamine and chondroitin like Wellness TruFood Baked Blends can help support hip and joint health.
- Fall is synonymous with pumpkins and apple cider but is it the same for pets? If so how would go about preparing fall treats for your pets?
- While pumpkin may seem indulgent when included in pies and lattes, it is actually a great ingredient for pets and is filled with fiber, potassium, antioxidants and more. For a great way to incorporate pumpkin in your pets’ diets, try foods such as Wellness TruFood Tasty Pairings. These gourmet pet foods pair pumpkin with lamb and duck for dogs and beef and salmon for cats. Other nutrient-rich fall foods to look for relative to your pets include turkey, lentils and green beans. Just make sure to keep turkey bones out of reach, as they can pierce or obstruct the gastrointestinal tract.
- Should you change your pet’s diets during the cooler months?
- As long as your pet’s activity levels remain the same, there’s no need to change your pet’s diet during the cooler months. Don’t let the onset of cooler temperatures prevent your furry friends from getting regular exercise. Obesity has become increasingly common problem among pets and leads to a host of health issues. Check with your vet about safe activities for your pets during the fall and winter months. However, if you and you and your pet are slowing down during the fall and winter, it may be time to reevaluate their nutritional needs and it’s best to talk to your vet about the best caloric intake for their activity levels. If you decide that a change in diet is necessary for your pet to maintain a healthy body weight, you should transition your pet’s food gradually. The most elective process of transitioning foods is by slowly mixing the new food in with the old food. By mixing the old and new diets, it allows the pet to acclimate to the new ingredients, like the kale, blueberries and spinach that can be found in new grain-free Wellness® CORE® Air Dried Nuggets for cats and dogs. If for some reason food transition is not an option, here are three ways to ensure a smooth diet change:
- Feed multiple, smaller volume meals. This will decrease the likelihood of over-consumption and provide for a more consistent, firm stool. This is an especially good option for puppies and senior dogs.
- Add clean warm water to the food to help soften it.
- Add a digestive aid such a boiled brown rice or pure canned pumpkin.
- Are there any potential dangers in the home during the fall and winter months that pet owners should avoid?
- Wood burning stoves and replaces are great in the fall and winter as they provide heat and make for a cozier home during chilly temperatures. However, keep pets away from surfaces of wood-burning stoves and in-use replaces to avoid injury, as dogs and cats can suffer severe burns from these types of heating mechanisms. Additionally, with the holidays come things like holly, tinsel, poinsettia and mistletoe. Keep these decorations up high, as holly, poinsettia and mistletoe are toxic to both dogs and cats, and if your playful pet swallows tinsel, it can cause problems with their intestinal tract.
To learn more about Wellness Natural Pet Food and how to keep your pet just as healthy as you during fall and winter visit their site at http://www.wellnesspetfood.com/index.aspx. You can also follow Wellness Natural Pet Food on Facebook (wellnesspetfood), Twitter (wellnesspetfood), Pinterest (wellnesspetfood), and Instagram (wellnesspetfood).