Pet Talk: September 2022

Transitioning to Fall

If you’re like me, the transition from Summer to Fall is hard. I tend to kick and scream into the cloudier, wetter, shorter season, wishing our summers could last just a few more weeks. And then, something magical happens about halfway through October when I finally accept the transition: I love it once I’m fully in it, but the transition to the Fall is hard. It makes me wonder if our pets have issues with this as well. Certainly, their routines are affected, as we are home and inside more than we were in the summer. And although dogs still get walked, and fun outdoor activities still happen year round, it’s different in the Pacific Northwest once the weather turns to Fall and Winter.

Shorter, darker days mean less Vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that most of us, and likely our pets, could use more of. I recommend adding Vitamin D-rich Cod Liver Oil or Salmon Oil to your dog and cat’s diet at the start of the Fall and throughout winter. Be careful, though, as they can be toxic if given in too high of a concentration (this is true of many fat-soluble oils). You will be fine if you follow the feeding guidelines on the packaging. Nordic Naturals has a pet line, including Cod Liver Oil, and is considered one of the top oil companies available.

Dogs do best with a consistent routine, so if you can continue your daily rituals, you will find your dog will adjust to the new season almost effortlessly. This includes feeding times, keeping as consistent with walks and exercises as you have all summer, and continuing with training if you are at that stage of their development. Indoor/Outdoor cats will probably want to spend more time inside soon, so make sure to have their favorite hangout spots available to them. Maybe it’s time to freshen up their toys to help keep them mentally stimulated, especially on the days the weather prevents them from spending much time outdoors. Now is not the time to change the type of litter you use – keep everything as close to the same as you can, and your cats will thank you for it.

It’s a great idea to do a liver detox twice a year, and the changing of the seasons seems like a perfect time to do it. I am familiar with Liver Defense by Animal Essentials and Super Cleanse by Glacier Peak Holistics. Liver Defense is a liquid tincture with herbs to support and cleanse the liver. Super Cleanse detoxifies and removes heavy metals with Clinoptilolite, a specific type of mineral, and kelp. Both are safe for cats and dogs and can help rid their system of toxin buildup. Check with your veterinarian if your pet is on a specific medication, as I wouldn’t want a liver detox to interfere with your medical treatment plan.

Keep your dogs comfortable and seen! If you have a short-coated dog and do not yet have a rain jacket for them, you may consider getting one sooner rather than later. We know our weather can change almost overnight, and these dogs, especially the smaller ones, can really feel the chill. Check your local pet supply stores for the best options for all sizes and shapes. You’ll find cute, comfortable, fitting jackets, and many offer reflective stitching for safety. In addition, pick up a night light or lighted collar. It will help keep you both safe and seen!

I wish you an easy transition into Fall and all it has to offer, and as usual, I am available via email or in person at my store for help in any way I can.