Pet owners, you know what it’s like to love those fur babies to a fault. They’re your best buds, your partners in crime and your favorite thing to come home to at the end of each day. So when it comes to keeping them safe and healthy, you’re all ears, right? That’s why we’re sharing a set of expert tips from Dr. Louise Murray, the pet nutritionist and veterinarian for Wellness Natural Pet Food, for keeping our canine and feline friends safe and sound when it’s cold out.


1. Look Out for ‘Shrooms. Think spring and summer are the only seasons you need to worry about lawn maintenance and its effect on pet care? Think again. “As the cooler temperatures move in, beware of the growth of mushrooms in the fall,” warns Dr. Murray. “The climate is perfect for them to flourish in our backyards. Before letting the dogs out for a romp, do your best to ensure the yard is mushroom free; some varieties are toxic and unless you are an expert, it can be difficult to differentiate these from the more edible species.”

2. Keep Warm but Keep Safe. “On chilly fall nights, wood burning stoves and fireplaces create cozy warmth,” Murray says, but they add an element of danger, too. “Dogs and cats can suffer severe burns from the surface of a wood-burning stove, and should not be allowed near an in-use fireplace,” she explains. And especially if there’s a gas stove, she says, “also ensure you have a working carbon monoxide detector near the fireplace for added safety.”


3. Watch Those Scraps. Sure, we all joke about expanding waistlines when the scent of turkey and holiday pies wafts through the air, but a few extra calories for our pets is way more damaging, ounce for ounce. “Obesity has become an all-too common condition for our furry companions, leading to a host of health issues that can range from uncomfortable to life-threatening,” Murray cautions. “Don’t let fall’s cooler temperatures dissuade you from ensuring your pet gets regular exercise — check with your vet regarding what kinds of activities are safe for your individual pet.” In other words, a few scraps of turkey may be fine for Fido, but it might be wise to balance it out with a brisk jog in the cool autumn air.

4. Treat Your Pets to Pumpkin. Good news for pumpkin-lovin’ pets: “While pumpkin pie and lattes may seem indulgent, pumpkin is actually a nutritional powerhouse, high in fiber, potassium and antioxidants, among other benefits,” says Murray. “If you are looking for pumpkin your pets can enjoy this fall, it can be found in foods such as Wellness TruFood Tasty Pairings with pumpkin, lamb and duck for dogs or TruFood Tasty Pairings with pumpkin, beef and salmon for cats.” But when it comes to the real deal, a teaspoon or two goes a long way; more than that can cause digestive distress. Be careful with portions.

How are you keeping your little monsters safe this season? Let us know in the comments below.