Fall Tips to Keep Your Pets Comfortable and Cozy

Fall is all about falling autumn leaves, shorter days and longer nights. Such seasonal changes can affect our pets too.

For starters, both cats and dogs, like people, can suffer from seasonal allergies. Allergies caused by airborne particles are called atopy. Ragweed, flowering plants that are part of the sunflower family (even if they don’t resemble common sunflowers) are ranked as one of the greatest allergens of all pollens. So if your pet is allergic to this plant family, she is most likely to have a reaction during the fall, which could be anything from asthma-like wheezing and respiratory problems or inflamed ears and ear infections. Other symptoms could include rubbing her face with her paw and even facial scabbing where she has scratched herself. All allergies for both dogs and cats should be taken very seriously to prevent them from turning from seasonal afflictions to year-round ones, which can happen.

Also pets that have an indoor/outdoor lifestyle are more likely to gravitate indoors in the cooler weather and, if they are allergic to dust mites (which is very common), they are more likely to be affected this time of year.

Pets, as they age, definitely feel the cold. It’s a good idea to place warm blankets and rugs on your cat or dog’s favorite sleeping places so they can enjoy extra warmth and coziness. Also ensure that any pet beds are not placed in the way of draughty windows and doors. There are also heated pet beds and heating pads with chew-resistant cords, which can be placed in a pet bed or on a favorite snooze zone to add warmth.

If you have an outdoor cat, it’s important to remember that they aren’t equipped to handle a harsh winter outside when temperatures plummet.

So if you can, start bringing cats indoors in the fall; alternatively, try and give them other shelter options such as a garden shed, barn or even a wooden doghouse (nothing concrete as this material gets really cold in the winter). In the case of a portable shelter, make sure it’s in a protected place and facing away from the general direction of the wind, rain and snow that will be part of the winter landscape. Put down plenty of warm blankets. A bed with a bolster shape will help to keep out draughts.

There are also special heated outdoor cathouses originally designed to help feral cat communities, but they work just as well in a domestic setting. They are an excellent choice for putting in a woodshed, barn or any out-building even under cover outdoors if you have an electrical plug point.

And remember they work for outdoor dogs too!

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