Fall Safety Tips

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The brisk fall weather is here and there has even been a touch of snow to warn us that winter weather is fast approaching. The cooler weather is a relief from the hot summer days, but as the days shorten and cold weather approaches don’t forget to help keep your pet safe and warm as well. This is still a great time to get outside and enjoy a walk with your pet or spend some quality time outdoors.

  • Rodent Watch!The use of rodenticides increases in the fall as rodents seek shelter from the cooler temperatures by attempting to move indoors. Rodenticides are highly toxic to pets—if ingested, the results could be fatal. If you must use these products, do so with extreme caution and put them in places inaccessible to your pets.
  • Back To School!It’s back-to-school time, and those of you with young children know that means stocking up on fun items like glue sticks, pencils and magic markers. These items are considered “low toxicity” to pets, which means they’re unlikely to cause serious problems unless large amounts are ingested. However, since gastrointestinal upset and blockages certainly are possible, be sure your children keep their school supplies out of paw’s reach.
  • Car Coolant!Many people choose fall as the time to change their car’s engine coolant. Ethylene glycol-based coolants are highly toxic, so spills should be cleaned up immediately. Consider switching to propylene glycol-based coolants—though they aren’t completely nontoxic, they are much less toxic than other engine coolants.
  • Mushroom Danger!Fall and spring and are mushroom seasons. While 99% of mushrooms have little or no toxicity, the 1% that are highly toxic can cause life-threatening problems in pets. Unfortunately, most of the highly toxic mushrooms are difficult to distinguish from the nontoxic ones, so the best way to keep pets from ingesting poisonous mushrooms is to keep them away from areas where any mushrooms are growing. Contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately if you witness your pet eating a wild mushroom.
  • Trick or Treat: No chocolate for dogs! There are several foods that you should never feed your dog. Number one on that list is chocolate, which is toxic and can lead to severe illness and sometimes death. Instruct your kids and any visitors that they are not to give chocolate to your dog. Keep the candy and goody bags out of reach of the dog.
  • Thanksgiving Feast! Holiday meals can pose a medical threat for your pet. Chicken and turkey bones can get stuck or can pierce holes in any portion of the digestive tract. Rich foods can cause sudden pancreatitis or bloat. Keep holiday meals, leftovers and table scraps out of reach of your pet.