Fall Pet Safety

16323683_mThe cooler temperatures and relative quiet of fall come as a relief to most pets, but it can also be a season full of hidden dangers. If you have kids as well as pets, it can be easy to get caught up in their chaotic school schedule and overlook hazards around the house and in the yard. Taking some time to familiarize yourself with these fall safety concerns can prevent a tragedy.

  • Rat poison and rodenticides. Rodents start moving indoors as the temperatures cool down, and that means more people are using poison to keep them at bay. Your pets can easily be accidentally poisoned in the process. You can choose non-toxic options for rodent control at home, but remember that your neighbors may still be using poisons, so be extra careful about keeping your pets in your own yard and keeping them on lease when out for walks.
  • Mushrooms. Mushrooms are most prevalent in the spring and fall. Most are not poisonous, but those that are can be fatal to your pet if ingested.
  • Snakes. Snakes are getting ready to hibernate in the fall, and tend to be very temperamental this time of year. They are looking for a good place to hole up, and are attracted to natural fall features such as piles of leaves.
  • Antifreeze. This is the time of year that many people change their radiator fluid in preparation for winter. If you do this at home, remember that antifreeze is attractive to pets and deadly. Even the safer types of antifreeze can poison your pets.
  • School supplies. School supplies can present a plethora of problems for your pets. Even non-toxic supplies, like pencils and pen caps, can cause fatal intestinal blockage if ingested.
  • Chocolate and other treats. Along with school supplies, your kids may bring home chocolate, sugar-free gum, and other treats that can make your pets sick or even kill them.
  • Cold weather. Keep an eye on your pets’ outdoor water for freezing. Remember that your pets can get frostbite. Consider increasing food for pets who spend a lot of time outside in the cold. They will be using more energy to stay warm.
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