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September signals the start of autumn in Virginia Beach, bringing with it cooler temperatures, refreshing breezes and the perfect conditions to get out and explore the outdoors with your pet. It also means the return to school and changing routines inside your home, adjustments that are sure to affect your furry family members.

When seasons change, it’s important to be mindful of the impact these transitions will have on your pet. From coat care and preventative tick maintenance to changing products and lifestyle habits inside your home, you’ll want to be aware of how best to care for your pet’s health along the way.

Living in Virginia Beach means having beaches, state parks and gorgeous, sunny days at your fingertips, all year long. Here are simple health tips to help your pet feel their best this fall.

Coat Care
In summer months, you may have your dog’s coat cut back by a groomer to keep him cool and comfortable on walks. As the weather cools down, consult with your groomer about their coat and how best to care for it as it gets cold.

Beware of Ticks
Fall is still high tick season in Coastal Virginia, and that means you still have to do tick checks after taking your pup out for romps at the state park or in high grass. If your dog isn’t on a tick preventative medication, now is the perfect time to consult your veterinarian and get them started.

School Supplies and Holiday Decor
Fall brings with it the start of school and the cue to begin holiday planning. This may mean that your apartment becomes stocked in an abundance of school supplies like shiny markers and pens, quirky erasers and other fun supplies that can be harmful or dangerous to curious cats and dogs. Try to keep supplies and holiday decor out of your pet’s reach. Keep smaller supplies stored on top shelves or inside closed cabinet doors.

Fall is mushroom season, and while most growing fungus is harmless, some mushrooms can be toxic for your dog if consumed. Be mindful of where your pup’s snout lands while on walks, and keep him away from strange mushrooms or other mysterious growth that he may want to explore with his mouth.

Rodenticides and Antifreeze
Pesky critter season and cold weather are on their way, so be cautious about keeping poisonous products within reach of your dog or cat. Keep rodenticides safely locked up in a cabinet, and if you must store antifreeze in your home, find a safe, locked storage space for that as well.

Changes in Routine
When seasons change, so do our routines, and this can sometimes throw our pets for a loop. If you have a sensitive dog or cat, changing routines can be stressful and even scary. They may begin barking excessively, leaving surprises for you inside your home or hissing or growling unexpectedly. Try to take it slow with your pet, and give them extra TLC during times of transition. Consider visiting your vet for a checkup to make sure that your pet is feeling their best, and make the season change as comfortable and smooth for them as possible.