We all hear about Spring Fever, but for many animals and pets, Fall Fever is much more appropriate. After this long and very hot summer we have had, the cool weather is a welcome break for us humans; you can only imagine how much our four legged friends in their fur coats are loving it. Many pets may be much calmer or less hyper when it is really hot outside and prefer the air conditioning inside. My own dog goes through some serious ‘fall fever’ this time of year, he just can’t get enough of the cool weather. So if you are new to pet ownership, or got a pet over the summer and don’t understand why your pet may be suddenly acting ‘crazy’ – or just has a lot more pep – the change in the season could very well be why.
Keep in mind while our schedules may get more sedentary due to less sunlight during the day, some pets tend to have more energy. As a pet owner realizing this is the first step in the right direction to keeping your pet happy during this change of season. Pets feeling the relief of the cooler weather may need longer play time, for a dog it could be a longer walk or a longer ride if you own a horse. Also understand sometimes their internal clock could change with the seasons. My own dog likes to eat earlier during the cooler months, more like an early bird special for him in the late fall and throughout the winter – and this happens literally the day we turn the clocks back.
While it starts to get dark out earlier, here are some things to consider for pet and owner safety:
Make sure you dog and cat both have proper ID tags on their collars and think about investing in a reflective collar for your pet for night time walking. Also make sure the collar is on correctly. For owners reflective gear is important too, as many streets don’t have adequate lighting or may not have sidewalks, a great choice is the Walk Me Wear Reflective Cap created by a local Long Islander and made in the USA. www.walkmewear.com.
Don’t use retractable leashes at night. The fact that you will not really be able to see how far your pet has ventured out on the leash in the dark – a car is definitely not going to see that line in the dark. Always use a sturdy leather or cotton 6-foot leash. If you are in a really dark area, bring a flashlight with you so you can see where you are walking and where your pet is. (Or if there are any wild animals, raccoons, deer, opossum, wandering around). Check your pets paws when you get back inside – you never know if there is broken glass or anything else they may have stepped on in the dark that could be harmful.
Have a pet first aid kit at home and in your car. This way if your pet suffers from a minor scrap or cut due to exuberant play, you can tend to it immediately. A pet first aid kit in your car is especially important if you decide to take your pet on a leaf peeping hike, maybe in a new location where you don’t know they terrain all that well.
Most of all take advantage of the cooler weather to take your pet out for a longer walk – because before you know we will have snow on the ground!