Fall and your dog

They say dogs are color blind, but I don’t believe it. Rex has a toy “chest” where he keeps ALL of his priced positions. Whenever we come back from being out, even for an hour, Rex runs into the house to check his “chest” and make sure ALL of his toys are there. And here’s the interesting thing. He has the same toy in green and orange. He ONLY wants the green one. They are the exact same toy, with the exception of the color. And he only wants to play with the green one. So if dog’s are color blind, why does he know the difference?

We may not be able to answer that (but if you have an idea, please share); however, thinking about color get’s me thinking about the change of seasons. I love the fall, the brisk weather and the changing colors. It’s my favorite time of year; however, while you and I may love this change, I realized a few years ago that, for our dogs, it may be more work than fun.

To start with dogs often get less exercise once fall comes around. The beaches close, the weather get’s colder, the kids are in school and there’s a lot less exercise for your dog. That’s where we come in (we hope), but there are other things that happen as well.

It’s allergy season. And dogs are not immune. Most allergies appear as skin allergies but if your dog is sneezing (as Rex does), snorting, coughing or having a clear discharge from his/her nose, it could be allergies. You might want to take a trip to the vet and have him checked out. An antihistamine should clear it up but just as we don’t like allergies, dogs don’t either.

Then there is the stuff on the ground. Lots of stuff on the ground. Sometimes it even looks beautiful. Take mushrooms for instance. While 99% of mushrooms are non-toxic, there is 1% that can cause real harm if digested. It will be hard, but our recommendation – stay away from them and the other toxic stuff that’s there.

And then there is Halloween. Is there a kid out there who DOESN”T love Halloween? But I have to ask: How does your dog feel about it?

Halloween can be a stressful and frightening time for your pet. Why?

• Continued ringing of the doorbell. If your dog gets stressed when strangers comes to the door, imagine how they feel on this night. Then, to top it off….
• Strangers in costumes. Sometime scary costumes. For nervous dogs, it may cause unexpected aggression or fearfulness,.
• Candles and Jack-o-lanterns are an accident waiting to happen. One wag of the tail can tip it over. start a fire and chaos can result.
• And then there are the treats. Please don’t share candy with your dog

While Halloween may be a fun time for us, for your dog, it can be stressful anddangerous. Animals can be at risk because of pranksters at Halloween. Keep them home and keep them safe.

Last, but hardly least, there are the leaves. Lots and lots of leaves. Big piles of leaves. They can be dangerous as you might be unable to get your dog to listen to you when such temptation is standing in front of them. Rex has NEVER seen a pile of leaves he doesn’t like. He jumps onto them, dives into them and digs, digs, digs and digs some more – until they create a beautiful abstract collage along the canvas where they sit – otherwise known as a sidewalk or yard. He’s an artist. So, my advice: If you are on a tight time crunch, you might want to avoid big piles of leaves.

Here is a link, to a very good article on the hazards of all and how you can make the most of Fall. And Happy Halloween!