The air is getting cooler outside, the leaves are changing, and the days are shorter. Fall is the time of year we look forward to hayrides, pumpkin carving, bonfires, and sweater weather. Not only are we happy to get a break from the long scorching summer days, Fido is too! Most dogs become more energetic and playful in the cooler weather after being lazy the last several months because it has been too hot. Be aware that there are new hazards for our furry friends with the season change to fall and then winter. Below are some safety tips to keep Fido safe with the changing seasons.
With the cooler weather rodents seek shelter to stay warm by moving indoors. They are not picky and will make a new home almost anywhere, your house, garage, and barn to name a few places. With the relocation of these vermin, we attempt to control them by using rodenticides. Use with extreme caution around pets as rodenticides are highly toxic to them and if ingested can be fatal. If you need to use these products make sure to store them in a place that is inaccessible to your pets.
There are many people that use Antifreeze in their vehicles starting in the fall to keep their radiator from freezing or overheating. Antifreeze and other coolants are highly toxic to pets and should be cleaned up immediately. Antifreeze/coolants made with propylene glycol are still considered toxic for pets, however they are much less toxic.
Fall is also back-to-school time for the kids. With back-to-school, parents usually stock up on various school supplies. Their stock pile usually includes items like pencils, glue sticks, and markers to name a few. Many school supply items are not considered toxic, however GI upset and blockages can happen if ingested by Fido. As with rodenticides and engine coolants, be sure to keep schools supplies out of Fido’s reach.
With fall and spring, it is not unusual to have various types of mushrooms growing in your yard and other areas where you walk your dog. 99% of wild mushrooms have little or no toxicity, the remaining 1% are highly toxic to pets and can be life threatening. The difference between toxic and nontoxic mushrooms can be difficult to distinguish, therefore it is advised to keep pets away from areas with wild mushrooms growing.
Fall is also the time of year that wild animals, for example snakes, are preparing for hibernation. Be aware of the types of venomous snakes in your area and where they are usually found so that you can keep Fido out of those areas. Snake bites are more likely this time of year, so keep Fido away from snake prone areas.
For accidental ingestion of any items considered to be toxic to pets contact your veterinarian or ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888)426-4435