Fall is an excellent time of year to enjoy with your furry friend. The colder weather allows for more pleasant walks and plenty of time in the great outdoors. However, this season brings with it some unique dangers for any dog or cat. To keep your pet safe, make sure you keep an eye out for these common fall hazards and follow these pet safety tips:
Acorns and Conkers
Photo by Elena Rogulina.
A variety of nuts and seeds fall from trees during the autumn season. While most of them are harmless to pets, others can cause severe illness. Acorns and conkers are among the most common poisons during the fall, so keep a close watch when you’re in an area with oak and chestnut trees.
Candies and Sweets
Photo by Lottie.
Households often become filled with chocolates and candies around Halloween. The problem is that many of these sweet treats contain highly toxic substances for dogs. Chocolates are especially harmful to dogs because even an ounce could make a 50-pound dog ill. Goodies containing artificial sweeteners like xylitol are also life-threatening.
Photo by Needpix.
Piles of leaves left to decompose can be exciting for curious and energetic dogs. However, these tend to accumulate moisture and allow bacteria, fungus, and molds to proliferate. When inhaled or ingested, these can cause serious health issues. Toadstools and mushrooms could also thrive in leaf piles, and some could be poisonous or cause digestive distress. Additionally, the same piles could shelter venomous snakes that can take both you and your dog by surprise.
Fleas and Ticks
Photo by Donnie Ray Jones.
Pet parasites are a threat all year. However, flea and tick infestation can be more common during the fall season if only because dogs and their owners spend more time exposed to areas where these parasites thrive. That includes humid woodlands, shrubs, and bushes. It helps to use parasite prevention measures to avoid tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, babeosis, and tick paralysis.
Photo by Corey Seeman.
Pet parents can get extremely busy preparing meals and entertaining guests for the holidays. In fact, Thanksgiving actually poses specific dangers to pet health, if only for the amount and type of food they might have access to. Turkey bones, gravy, and cured meats are some of the most common holiday foods that can harm your dog.
Photo by Mirko Sajkov.
In an effort to stay warm as the weather turns colder, you’ll find rodents and other pests seeking shelter in people’s houses. This prompts some households to use rodenticides like rat poison. Pet owners, however, should avoid these as they can pose a serious danger to both cats and dogs. Even coming across a poisoned mouse could have severe effects.
Photo by Alexandr Ivanov.
As a new school year opens, pets suddenly have access to schoolbags and lunchboxes lying around at home. Keep your dog safe by keeping potentially harmful leftover food and school supplies out of reach. Among the things to keep an eye out for are art supplies like colored pencils and paint as they might contain some toxic substances.
Seasonal Canine Illness
Photo by Hanai Byrne.
Seasonal Canine Illness is a potentially fatal condition with symptoms like unexplained fatigue, diarrhea, and vomiting. Although it is quite rare, it is generally observed during the fall season and in dogs that have recently visited a woodland area. The exact cause is unknown and so a cure has, unfortunately, not been identified. However, veterinary attention can help ease symptoms and minimize the risk of complications.
Pet poisoning can manifest in different ways. If you suspect that your dog has encountered life-threatening substances or is experiencing some unusual symptoms, contact your veterinarian or animal poison control center right away.