There is nothing quite like a crisp autumn breeze, beautiful foliage, and the smell of warm spices baking in the kitchen. But, fall also ushers in a bushel of dangers for our furry friends. In the fall, pets can still have a safe and fun time in the cold weather if you pay attention to the following tips.
Fall Pet Safety Tips That’ll Make You Think
1. Don’t Heavily Increase the Amount of Food You Feed Your Pet
With a growing number of pets categorized as obese, plus the fact that most dogs and cats are primarily house pets, reasonable weight loss shouldn’t be a concern for most pet parents.
Several decades ago, veterinarians often recommended a slight increase in food consumption as the weather cooled and your pet required slightly more caloric intake.
If you do have a very fit working dog, a small food increase, around 10 percent, may be a wise idea. This does not mean an extra meal or an unlimited pass to treats.
2. Keep an Eye Out for School Supplies Laying Around
School glues, permanent markers, and pencils can all cause upset stomachs. Heavy-duty glues can cause serious blockages in the GI tract and even require surgery to remove them—and part of your pet’s GI system.
Make sure your children's projects stay covered up and are not accessible to your pets. Dogs in particular seem to like the flavor of glue. This warning also goes for adults if you’re doing home improvement projects during the fall season.
3. Leave Pets at Home When Apple Picking
While the flesh of ripe apples don’t pose a problem for dogs or cats, the apple stems, leaves, and seeds are toxic to pets. They cause GI upset, decreased oxygen in the blood, decreased heart rate, difficulty breathing, seizures, coma, and even death.
4. Keep the Rich Foods to Yourself
Keep desserts, candies, fatty meat and trimmings, bones, gravies, calorie-dense casseroles, and seasoned sides away from pets – and don’t forget that garlic and onions are highly toxic!
Many dangerous things can happen with consumption, such as acute and life-threatening pancreatitis, a condition brought on when a pet ingests highly fatty foods.
A note for any season: dogs will go to great lengths, or counter-top heights, to indulge in chocolate —a deadly vice—so don't leave the candy bowl or kitchen counter unsupervised and within a paw's reach!
5. Help Your Pets Avoid Wild Mushrooms
Dogs should be prevented from consuming mushrooms when they are on a walk. Profuse bloody diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dehydration, fever, and elevated heart rates characterize the initial phase of mushroom toxicity.
Without treatment, the pet will succumb to liver and kidney failure within 3-7 days from toxic mushrooms. As with most poisonings, prompt upper gastrointestinal decontamination and supportive care are critical elements of treatment.
6. Beware of Snake Bites
Autumn is the season when snakes prepare for hibernation and are more likely to strike, increasing the possibility of bites to naïve and curious pets.
Be aware of what kinds of venomous snakes are in your area and practice snakebite prevention by avoiding the areas they most often inhabit.
7. Go Pumpkin Picking
Pumpkin, both raw and canned, is safe to eat provided your pet is not suffering from a chronic condition such as kidney disease or diabetes. Seeds and flesh of fresh, raw, or cooked pumpkins are safe.
Fresh pumpkin is more nutritious than canned. If you go with canned, make sure it doesn’t have added sugar or sweeteners. An easy way to have some handy dog treats around that will last several weeks is roasting the seeds in the oven.
8. Trick-or-Treat Safely
Dress your pet up in something they are comfortable in and keep dogs on a leash. If you have friends with pets, have a pet-themed Halloween party. Just keep them away from the candy. Even the wrappers can be a choking hazard.
9. Go on an Autumn Hike
The changing colors, falling leaves, and beautiful sunsets make for an amazing experience for both you and your dog. The cooler weather will refresh both of you during long walks and get you ready for a warm blanket later in the evening.
10. Keep Pets Away From Deadly Poisons
Rodenticides become more popular in the fall, as rats and mice come indoors to escape the cold. However, these poisons are not pet-safe. The point of these poisons is to kill an animal, which can backfire if a dog or cat gets a hold of it.
If you must use such poisons within your home, do not put them in a common place where your dog or cat will find it.
Do Dogs Like Fall Weather?
Dogs in the fall go nuts for this time of year, especially those with incoming winter coats that can handle the temperature drops. In the autumn months, the cooler temperatures are not so frigid as winter and very pleasant (for both dogs and cats).