First off, don’t stop your dog’s heartworm prevention. Most heartworm medications work retroactively. This means that the medication you give in October protects your dog from possible infection resulting from exposures in September. While some areas of the country may be cooling down, mosquitos are still a problem in many states all year long. Discuss the need for your-round heartworm protection with your pet’s veterinarian.
Next, start thinking now about how to handle your dog during the holidays. If you plan to travel and can’t bring your dog along, you may need to check out boarding facilities. Remember that some facilities fill up quickly during the holidays. Make sure your dog is up-to-date on any vaccinations that may be required.
Plan your dog’s grooming schedule around the upcoming bad weather. This might be a good time for a last bath and short cut. Then let the coat grow in for winter warmth.
Get a good feel for your dog’s overall health. If your dog has put on a few pounds, now is the time to decrease the food a bit, increase the walks in the beautiful fall weather, or switch to a lower calorie food. If your dog is a touch on the thin side, increase the caloric intake so the cold weather won’t be as tough on your dog. Always consult with a veterinarian before making any diet changes. Consider adding a joint supplement for older dogs or dogs of any age with arthritis. Cold weather can be tough on dogs with joint pain.
Continue with your dog’s flea and tick control medication. Those parasites are still active throughout the fall and in some places, the winter too. Piles of leaves are great places for fleas and ticks to hang out, so keep your dog from running through them – if you can!