Labor day has passed, the sun is setting earlier and we’re beginning to feel that chill in the air. Glorious Autumn is about to paint her colorful canvas across the landscape. Our thoughts now turn to warm apple cider and pumpkin pie. You may also notice that your pet is feeling the change in seasons too. Dogs and cats become more energetic once the oppressive summer heat and humidity has passed. The cool weather makes fall a wonderful time to exercise your pets without the risk of them overheating. So take advantage of this; take your dog for a nice long walk, run, or take him along with the rest of the family for a day of apple picking.
If you are a cat owner, pay close attention to your feline family members. While many cats appreciate the cooler temperatures, some cats may find the change in seasons stressful and develop urinary problems as a result. If you see changes in your cat’s urinary habits, consult with your veterinarian for advice.
As the nights turn colder, do not forget our canine and feline friends that live outdoors. Bringing your outdoor cats in at night will keep them safe and warm as temperatures drop. Make sure to check under the undercarriage and hood of your car before pulling out of your driveway, to make sure that a stray cat has not taken shelter there during the night.
Providing extra warmth for older dogs and cats with arthritis will also be appreciated as arthritis becomes more painful during the cold weather months. Providing them with extra bedding for added cushioning on their joints will also keep them more comfortable.
As we winterize our vehicles, be sure to check for antifreeze leaks and clean up any spilled antifreeze. This sweet-tasting substance can permanently damage a pet’s kidneys if ingested. If you suspect your pet has had contact with antifreeze, contact your regular veterinarian or emergency veterinarian immediately.
Whether we like it or not, soon we’ll be walking around in heavy sweaters and coats. Short-haired dogs and elderly pets should be well-dressed too. Now is the time to check your pet’s wardrobe and make sure sweaters and coats fit your pet properly and have not been damaged from last year’s wear.
Wishing everyone, two-legged and four-legged, a wonderful, warm and cozy autumn season!
General practitioner and emergency veterinarian at Valley Cottage Animal Hospital since 2005, Dr. Jessica Downing grew up in upstate New York. She completed her veterinary education at the New York State Veterinary College at Cornell University and was awarded her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2004. Dr. Downing’s professional interests include emergency medicine, ultrasonography and surgery.
When she’s not busy with her duties at the hospital, Dr. Downing enjoys running, hiking, gardening, personal fitness and going for walks with her two French Bulldogs, Koa and Dakota.