We’re always on the lookout to prevent accidental injury or illness. With a proactive approach, you can focus on what matters most, which is enjoying time with your beloved pet. While it’s important to keep your pet safe every day of the year, there are specific concerns that come with each season. This time of year, let’s put down our pumpkin spice lattes for a moment to review some essential tips for fall pet safety.
Falling Leaves and More
Leaf piles are fun to jump in, but not when you think about what could be crawling around in them. It’s not uncommon to find spiders, centipedes, millipedes, ticks, or snakes – especially if the piles have been left out for some time.
It’s advisable to clean up leaf piles promptly and store them securely in compost bins or bags. Left out, your pet might be tempted to roll around in them, increasing their risk of exposure to parasites, mold, other wildlife, and more.
Additional fall pet safety concerns involve ragweed, sagebrush, tumbleweeds, and other plants/grasses. These weeds pollinate in the fall and can cause uncomfortable itching or even skin infections.
Acorns: Fall Delight?
Most dogs leave acorns and other tree seeds/nuts alone, but others relish in the crunchy experience. Unfortunately, this symbol of autumnal splendor is toxic to dogs if eaten. They can also lead to painful GI obstruction, choking, and kidney disease. Train your dog to “leave it,” and supervise them closely while enjoying time outside under the oak trees.
Toxic mushrooms are also common this time of year. It’s not always easy to identify the dangerous ones, so it’s best to keep your pet away from all fungi.
With seasonal dips in temperature, rodenticides become more common in many households. While effective for guarding against rodents inside the home, these products remain highly poisonous to pets.
Similarly, antifreeze should never be stored where your pet can see, smell, or taste it. Propylene glycol-based products are less toxic than ethylene glycol.
Other Measures of Fall Pet Safety
The main event of autumn is, of course, Halloween. It’s always delightful to see houses decorated and kids dressed up in costumes. However, the holiday is a major threat to fall pet safety in the following ways:
- Treats – We can’t overstate the dangers of chocolate candy, xylitol-sweetened treats, candy wrappers, lollipop sticks, candied apples, and more. To prevent a pet poisoning, keep all sweets and treats stored securely away from your pet.
- Separation – Is your pet microchipped? Halloween can be a scary time for some animals. From the constant ringing of the doorbell to frightening noises and costumes, your pet’s stress can be pushed to the limit. Black cats also require special protection before and during Halloween.
- Decor – Jack-o’-lanterns with real candle flames can burn a curious pet or singe their whiskers. They can also cause fires if a pet bumps into one and knocks it over. Electrical wires for lights and/or animatronic displays should be covered, as well.
- Costumes – Dressing up your pet? Make sure they can move freely, see without restriction, and don’t become too stressed out. If you take your pet trick-or-treating, dress them in reflective or light up gear, and don’t let them pick up anything off the ground (like candy or loose wrappers).