Here we are—Autumn has officially begun, so those shorter (and often colder) days are just around the corner. How do these changes affect our pets? And, just as importantly, how do these changes affect us with regards to our “pet parenting?” This time of year, as we transition into winter, can be rather confusing, so we here at Fi want to help make it a little less so.
Yes, the weather might be starting to cool down, but don’t kid yourselves—fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and pollens are still very prevalent! Don’t stop your flea and tick control, even in the Midwest and Northern U.S. where it gets pretty cold during the winter—it’s not that cold yet. The pollen counts are still very high in many parts of the country, as much foliage (grasses, weeds, trees, flowers, etc.) thrives this time of year, so many of our dogs who suffer from flea allergy and/or atopy (inhaled allergies) will continue to suffer.
What about exercise? We all know how many of us start to slack off from our own exercise routines during the colder months, and our doggie walks seem to become less frequent, or at least shorter, so it is important to take advantage of these slightly longer and milder days while we still can. Knowing how many of our pets (and, sadly, many of us) seem to pack on those extra pounds come winter time, it is important to maintain your current routines for as long as possible. Keep an eye on those step goals in your Fi app and make sure you're hitting them everyday!
Since we often recommend easing back on caloric intake for most dogs during those colder months when exercise routines be affected, as we get closer to “that time,” it might be wise to start to gradually reduce your dog’s ration by late November/early December. Remember, come November 7th, our days are going to be noticeably shorter! Of course, working dogs, arctic breeds that thrive and continue their normal routines during our colder months, and dogs living in the south and southwest who are less affected by the cold, can probably maintain their normal diets.
Should you have any questions about specific lifestyle modifications during the Autumn season, please check with your veterinarian, or reach out to us here at Fi and we’ll do our best to help you out.
Jeff Werber, D.V.M.
Chief Veterinary Consultant