3 ways to keep your pet safe this fall

(BPT) - Fall is approaching quickly, bringing a flurry of activities and preparations for the changing of the seasons. However, this season can also bring some unexpected dangers for your four-legged family member.

To help you prepare and keep your pet safe this winter, here are three safety tips for pet parents from MetLife Pet Insurance.

1. Pet allergies need a quick response

Just like their pet parents, dogs and cats are prone to seasonal allergies. MetLife’s data from last fall (Sept. - Nov. 2021) found atopy, commonly known as pet environmental allergies, was the most common pet insurance claim during this season — implying heightened veterinary visits and prescriptions needed.

Prevention is key. Look out for common, fast-emerging allergy symptoms such as sneezing, watery nose or eyes, skin irritation and inflammation. On the surface, these symptoms may not seem like a big deal. But when left untreated, they can easily lead to larger issues such as inflamed and irritated skin, hot spots (for dogs) or even hair loss and bleeding in more severe cases. If your dog or cat has allergies, try to identify allergy triggers and visit a veterinarian for proper treatment.

2. Dress for success

As the weather shifts to cooler temperatures and you start bringing out your sweaters, it’s a good time to take stock of what clothing your pet may also need. This is especially important if you live in a cold climate or your furry friend shivers outdoors. Check your local pet stores for jackets, rain jackets or sweaters for your dog or cat to wear to keep them warm during the colder months.

Halloween is also quickly approaching. When picking out your pet’s cute costume this year, make sure it’s also cozy and safe! Look for costumes and outfits that fit properly and don’t restrict their movement, hearing or breathing. Make sure to steer clear of dangling pieces or extra parts, which can pose a choking hazard or cause a throat blockage if ingested.

3. Prevent accidental escapes

Fall is a busy season, between children heading back to school and the holiday season just around the corner. People are constantly coming in and out of the house as a result, so it’s particularly important to keep a close eye on your pet’s whereabouts to prevent an accidental escape and injury. Some key spots to consider are your front door, garage door and backyard — especially if it isn’t gated.

To ensure your pet isn’t lingering by an exit point as you and your guests come and go, designate a safe, comfortable play space for them to go to, along with some of their favorite toys for distraction. A pet or baby gate may also be helpful to prevent these accidental escapes. Additionally, don’t forget to inform your guests about your pet so they can be more cautious when arriving and leaving.

While some of the preventative measures of protecting your pet this fall can be costly, you can consider taking measures to help offset some of the costs of health issues such as allergies or accidental injuries. Pet parents: if you want to invest in your pet’s safety and health this fall and beyond, consider getting a pet insurance policy — to help keep you and your pet prepared. To learn more, visit MetLifePetInsurance.com.

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