Autumn News by Zack Manko
Summer is great, but there’s something to be said about a cool fall evening. Lots of people love to see the trees burst into colors, while others enjoy the concept of “sweater weather” and everything that comes with it, such as pumpkin-flavored everything.
Join Sorsha and I as we go through some of the highlights for September that don’t involve pumpkin spice.
These Dogs Were Made for Walking
September 8th is Dog Walker Appreciation Day. Many people use dog walkers to give their pets a break or some exercise when they are unable to do so themselves. Many people become dog walkers to make some extra cash, or just to hang out with furry friends from around the block. It is a win-win-win relationship that benefits the walkers, the owners, and the dogs.
If you have ever used a dog walker, be sure to thank them today.
National Service Dog Month
Speaking of pet service professionals, how about pets that are service professionals? September is National Service Dog Month and is intended to pay tribute to that special class of working canines.
Service dogs perform a variety of specialized tasks. Seeing eye dogs are one of the most well-known examples, and these four-legged heroes help blind people remain mobile and independent. Service dogs can also be trained to retrieve objects for owners or help them keep their balance. Psychiatric service dogs assist individuals with mental strain and anxiety. There's even a special group that works with the Wounded Warriors, helping them overcome PTSD and similar ailments.
Take the time today to honor this truly terrific group of dogs.
Ticks: Reason for the Season of Discontent
As you may have guessed, we’re big on pet health and safety here. Some of the major canine health concerns to look out for during the fall months are ticks and other parasites, as these bugs are more active now than any other time during the year.
Towards the end of September, as the crisp fall weather sets in, more and more people go for evening walks or daytime hikes. Similarly, camping is another great autumn activity. Besides fresh air, exercise, and time well spent with your canine companion, all these ventures have another thing in common—exposure to ticks.
In case you didn't know, ticks are nasty blood-sucking little parasites. They feed off the blood of animals, including deer, humans, and especially dogs. Ticks live in woody areas or places with tall grass. These environments allow them to drop from leaves or branches onto potential hosts. They can be as small as a pencil point but can grow up to the size of a bean after feeding.
These little suckers are responsible for numerous diseases and conditions, such as Lyme disease, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and more. These illnesses can have severe consequences for Fido, meaning ticks are no small matter.
Don't let this scare you away from these proceedings. Instead, take the time to equip yourself with the knowledge to properly protect your pooch. Prevention is the key here, so get a flea and tick collar that is appropriate for your dog's size. Additionally, be sure to regularly check your dog for ticks or other parasites after time spent outdoors. Doing so requires you to give your critter a nice pet down, so it should be one task you don’t mind doing!
If you do find a tick, don’t panic. Removing a tick from your dog properly is a matter of the right tools and right technique.
First, put on gloves to protect your hands. Next, don't use any type of liquid cleanser or other first aid substance (like hydrogen peroxide) as these will have no effect on the parasite. You should, however, use sharp, pointed tweezers to grab the tick as close to your pet's skin as possibly. Remember, the parasite will have embedded its mouthparts into your dog, and you want to remove them completely. Pull out straight and steady, avoiding any twisting or rocking motions.
Once the tick is removed, you can keep it in a plastic container to take to your vet. Wash the bite location with mild soap and water and keep an eye on it for signs of irritation or infection.
If you see any, or if you feel concerned at any point during the tick removal process, contact your veterinarian.
National Pet Memorial Day
Naturally, Pet Perennials supports all efforts to commemorate pets both past and present, whether they are individual acts of kindness or larger, more organized events. National Pet Memorial Day is the second Sunday in September, falling on the 12th here in 2021.
This day is an opportunity to celebrate, honor, and remember our furry friends that have passed. The event is organized by the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories, which “is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing the standards, ethics, and professionalism of pet cemeteries and crematories around the world.”
Puppy Mill Awareness Day
A year or so ago we did a piece about the dangers of puppy mills . These are horrendous facilities that apply the logic of the factory to the “production” of puppies. September 16th is National Puppy Mill Awareness Day, and we would like to remind you once again to steer clear of these “businesses” and be responsible when getting a new pet.
If you want to do more, visit the good folks over at Awarenessday.org for more information.
Looking to get involved with some pet activities from the comfort of your laptop or computer? Remember Me Thursday (an international social media awareness day that brings attention to the millions of adoptable pets waiting in shelters and remembers those pets who never got a second chance) is coming up on September 23rd.
You can join the cause by posting about your own experiences with pet adoption. Share your rescue pet using #RememberMeThursday.
Autumn officially begins on September 22nd. This means you still have some time (officially speaking) to enjoy the summer weather and summer activities. If you missed the boat, don’t fret. Fall has plenty for you and your canine companion to get into.
And if you feel like slipping in a summer activity after the event, don’t worry. Sorsha and I won’t tell.