If you’re like us at the Ottawa Paw Pantry, you’re happy for the cooler crisper air which means long sips of tea, and cuddles with our pets. It’s a great time to get outside with your pet; for a dog, there’s nothing like a romp in the leaves, while for cats, midday sunbeams have never felt better as the days get shorter and the nights get colder. When it comes to keeping your pet healthy and helping him enjoy fall to the fullest, there are some things to keep in mind.

It’s not cool to be cold

As the temperature continues to fluctuate, pet parents are encouraged to get outside and exercise with their dogs. However as the days get shorter, it’s important for both you and your dog to wear protective gear during walks outside. This includes warm clothing, reflective gear, flashlights and light up collars or leashes. It doesn’t have to be Winter for it to get cold–especially for puppies, senior pets and smaller animals.

Cold Weather Poisons

Fall is a great time to change your car’s engine coolant, but be careful because most coolants are highly toxic to pets. Clean up any spills immediately, keep any remaining new coolant out of reach, and dispose of used coolant. Watch out for antifreeze toxicity too.

Household Pests

Moths, mice, and other creatures may be looking to make your warmer home a vacation property for the winter months. Be mindful of how you prevent these pests from entering your home. To keep them out, close up any entry holes and choose anti-rodent products that are nontoxic.

Mothballs may look benign, but can be quite dangerous as they typically contain chemicals such as paradichlorobenzene or naphthalene. Rodenticides are ALSO extremely toxic to dogs and cats, so it is best to discuss a safe control plan with a professional exterminator and your veterinarian.

Pesky Critters

Fleas and ticks are are their peak numbers in the fall. Flea protection is a must to prevent fleas on your dog or cat. Gone are the days where if you lived in the city you were clear of ticks. Now, everyone should keep an eye out and regularly check for ticks.

Fungus Amongus

Keep your pets from eating mushrooms that pop up on lawns, under trees, in fields, and on logs. While some won’t make your pet sick, a few are deadly. Because mushroom identification is so difficult, we want to avoid the small percentage of them that are highly toxic to our furry friends (and to us!).


Just like people who have seasonal allergies, your cat or dog may also react to pollen, dust, or other allergens. Pet allergy symptoms can be similar to ours — sneezing or coughing, runny nose, itchy skin, ear infection, and itchy, red, or watery eyes. Tree and grass pollen, as well as mold and ragweed pollen, are among the most common causes of fall allergies. Also consider providing your pet with an omega-3 health supplement just for dogs and cats. Omega-3 can help support a pet with seasonal allergies.

Dogs get the flu too!

Canine flu and bordetella, or “kennel cough,” are both airborne diseases. If you see a dog that is coughing, keep your own dog away and avoid touching the ill dog. If your dog develops a cough or high fever, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Eating the Right Stuff

It’s getting colder out there, and cool temperatures mean more energy is needed to stay warm. You’ll probably need to feed your pet a bit more food – food generates body heat, so pets who spend a lot of time exercising outdoors need to eat more than in the summer. However, don’t start dishing out more food just yet – make sure you talk to your veterinarian first, as every pet’s needs are different.


Stay tuned to a special blog post from The Pet Chef on animal nutrition coming soon!

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We pride ourselves on giving our clients high-quality pet food to help them live their lives to their fullest. If you are able to give back a little, we are happy to accept litter and dog and cat food and treats. Go ahead, get involved!