Autumn Safety Tips for Your Pets

Shutterstock Download 005Summer is surely coming to an end — the kids are back to school and the days will slowly become shorter and cooler. The end of the sweltering heat isn’t always a bad thing! Autumn is a great time for some outdoor adventures with your pet; the air is crisp and there is nothing better than rolling in a pile of red and gold leaves together. Just like any other time of year, the start of the new season brings new risks for your pet.

Here are a few risks to be aware of in the upcoming season:

Back to School Supplies. Items in your kid’s pencil box like glue sticks, pencils and magic markers are considered “low toxicity” to pets, which means they’re unlikely to cause serious problems unless they ingest large amounts! However, since gastrointestinal upset and blockages certainly are possible, be sure your children keep their school supplies out of paw’s reach!

Rodenticides. As rodents seek shelter from the cooler temperatures by attempting to move indoors, the use of rodenticides increases in the fall. 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.

Mushrooms. Unfortunately, most of the highly toxic mushrooms are difficult to distinguish from the nontoxic ones, so it’s best to keep them away from all mushrooms. Be especially cautious of parasol-shaped mushrooms and all small brown mushrooms. Symptoms of mushroom poisoning can range from mild vomiting and diarrhea to severe digestive problems to complete liver failure.

Grumpy Snakes. Autumn is the season when snakes who are preparing for hibernation may be particularly “grumpy,” increasing the possibility of severe bites to those unlucky pups who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Pet owners should know what kinds of venomous snakes may be in their environment—and where these snakes are most likely to be found—so they can keep pets out of those areas.

Engine 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.

Bonfires. Fall is a great time to snuggle up around a bonfire. However, fire can be a great danger for your curious pets. Make sure that you close up your fireplaces, block off any fire pits, and keep your pet away from the spark zone.

Heating Devices. If you use an indoor electric heater in your home when it starts to get chilly, be sure that you turn it off each and every time you leave the house in order to keep your pet safe from any potential accidents or house fires.

Hunting. October is the peak season for hunting. Make sure both you and your pet are wearing proper bright colors to ward off any hunters in your area! If your pets are allowed to be outside unsupervised, make sure they are unable to wander into a hunting zone.

Source: ASPCA, PetAg, Agway