Your pet is probably as ready as you are to welcome the cool, crisp air that autumn brings. Summer weather can be rough on some pets, especially those with long fur. Unfortunately, the onset of fall can also bring about some dangers that can pose a threat to our beloved pets. You will want to make sure that you do everything that you can to prevent your pet from getting sick or hurt when the cool weather starts to come in. During the autumn months, consider the following tips for keeping your pet both healthy and happy.
Watch Out for Ticks
Many pet owners tend to think that ticks are only out in the hot summer months, but just because the air has turned cooler doesn’t mean the ticks have vanished. In fact, there are many species of the parasite that remain active into the winter and can even make it through the first frost.
Tips to Keep your Pet Tick-free this Fall
- •Use a tick control product during the fall months, especially if you and your pet are outside often.
•Talk to your vet about coming in for regular screenings to catch tick-borne infections early on.
•Clean up leaves and grass clippings as soon as possible, ticks love to live in these environments.
•Check for ticks on your pet, especially after walks and play time outside.
Stay Clear of Wildlife
Snakes are busy during the fall months preparing themselves for winter hibernation, which can increase the chances of your pet being bitten when they are outside. If you own a pet, familiarize yourself with the types of snakes that are indigenous to your area. Learn which snakes are venomous and which are not, as well as where they are more likely to be found. Keep your pet away from these areas as much as possible to avoid a snake bite from a frightened reptile.
Keep Track of Fall Decorations
You may not think your cute Halloween and fall decorations pose a risk to anyone, unfortunately your pet may want to bite or eat that decorative gourd or other oddly-shaped fall decorations. This can lead to foreign body obstruction problems that can be dangerous, if not deadly to your pet. If you have a young puppy in your household that loves to chew on things, it is especially important to keep your holiday decorations out of reach.
Be Very Cautious of Poisons
Rodents seek shelter indoors when the temperature gets cooler. You may be pulling out the mouse and rat poison to stop them in their tracks, but it is important to note that rodenticides are extremely poisonous to household pets if accidentally ingested. You may not think your pet will drink or get into them, but you would be surprised. The animal poison control center handles plenty of calls related to rodenticides. Keep any and all insecticides high out of your pet’s reach to avoid accidental ingestion.
This time of year, many people change the engine coolant in their car. Many coolants are sweet-tasting to pets yet are extremely toxic. Keep all coolant bottles high out of reach and clean up any spills that your pet could be exposed to.
Back-to-School can be Toxic
Fall means that the kids are all heading back to their respective classrooms and you are stocking up on a seemingly never-ending supply of pencils, glue sticks, markers and crayons. Even though these types of items have a low toxicity to animals, they can still cause blockages and gastrointestinal upset if a pet ingests them. Make sure that all of your kid’s school supplies are kept high out of reach and educate your kids about the dangers they can pose to your fur babies.
Beware of Sweets and Chocolates
Do you stock up on sweets and chocolates for Halloween? Many Halloween sweets are toxic for dogs if they eat them, including chocolate, grapes and raisins. Even foods that are generally considered non-toxic for pets are not good if ingested. Foods that are high in fat can cause your pet to have gastroenteritis and diarrhea. If you are unsure of what your pet can have, speak with your vet about which foods are safe and which ones are not.
Another food that is in season during the fall is mushrooms
While only one percent of all mushrooms are toxic, the ones that are toxic can cause your pet to experience life-threatening issues. It is not always easy to distinguish which mushrooms are safe and which ones are toxic, so it is important to keep your pets away from all mushrooms to ensure their safety. Call the poison control center immediately if your pet eats or is exposed to something that they should not be.
Autumn is a beautiful time of year; make sure that you follow these life-saving tips to keep your animals healthy and happy.