11 Autumn Dangers For Your Pets

dog in autumn yard among leaves; Photo by Tanner Vines on Unsplash

Along with all the fun that autumn brings with its fabulous holidays and crisp weather, it can also be a pretty dangerous season for your pets. So, while you’re carving your pumpkins and baking apple pie, be sure to be on the lookout for these things that can put a damper on your holiday spirit this autumn.

Holiday safety for your dog or cat

Along with your cozy sweaters and changing leaves come some of our favorite holidays and festive events. Unfortunately for our pets, these holidays present some pretty serious dangers for our four-legged friends. But, with a little planning, we can help to make sure everyone in the family (our pets included) can have a safe and fun autumn.

Halloween dangers for your pet

1. Candy

We know that chocolate is a hazard to our pets all the time, but that is never more true than around Halloween when we have bowls, bags and literal mountains of candy all over our homes. Dogs, much like us, really enjoy the taste of chocolate and the candy is often left in the irresponsible hands of our children. Be especially aware of where your children have left their bags of candy, and be diligent about keeping them out of reach of your pets.

Call us immediately if you believe your pet might have consumed some chocolate; and be on the lookout for warning signs that might indicate your pet got into the candy bowl while you weren’t looking.

Some warning signs that your pooch might have given into a chocolate craving:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • excitability
  • hyperactivity
  • seizures

2. Trick-or-Treaters

While the door-to-door quest for candy might be fun for our children, it can be anxiety inducing for your pet. Be sure to keep your pets in a location in your home where they won’t be tempted to run out your door as the little autumn ghouls and goblins come knocking, this will keep your neighbors safe from an excitable pet and your pet safe too. This is especially important for dogs or cats that are fearful or skittish of strangers because all the costumes can be more upsetting than normal. If your dog or cat has not been micro-chipped, this is a good time of year to consider taking this extra precaution before your furry escape artist has a chance to slip out with any adorable trick-or-treaters.

3. Costumes

As adorable as your Pug looks in his pumpkin costume it is important to remember that wearing clothing is not natural for your dog, so its best to be aware if the costumes you choose for your pup aggravate him. Check for any skin irritation, or just general annoyance before you allow your dog to wear his costume for too long. Additionally, make sure that any loose pieces are not at risk of getting caught and choking your pet. As always, supervise your pet while he is incognito.

We forget too, that our own costumes can present a certain level of danger to our pets. Be careful of human costume pieces that may present choking hazards, or chemical in makeup and other accessories that might be poisonous to your dog if she were to chew on them.

Thanksgiving

4. Candles

Your beautiful autumn decor can create a dangerous situation for Fido. Pets have been known to knock down candles, severely burning themselves and causing the potential for a house fire. Keeping candles out of pets reach is always a good idea, but also consider using candles which are made of natural ingredients like beeswax to avoid any respiratory illness which may be brought on by certain scented candles.

5. Centerpieces and other decor

All holiday decorations can pose a threat to your pet, from tinsel to flowers and everything in between. It’s best to keep your decorations up where they aren’t looking like tempting chew toys for your pets. Remember that many holiday plants are toxic to dogs and cats so when choosing your centerpieces look for artificial plants to replace things like holly, poinsettia, and chrysanthemum: all of which are poisonous to your pet.

If you think your pet ate something that could be poisonous, call us immediately 937-506-4284. If it is outside our normal office hours, please contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

6. Family meals

Sharing a feast for the autumn holidays is one of life’s greatest joys, however, it is best not to share your thanksgiving meal with your pets. Turkey bones can splinter if chewed by your dog and can cause a variety of gastrointestinal distress. Additionally, the delicious but often fatty foods we enjoy over the holidays can be detrimental to your pet’s digestion and even cause some organ failure if over-consumed.

7. Alcohol

While you are enjoying a pumpkin beer as your kids trick-or-treat, please remember that your pets should never be given alcohol. Aside from damaging their nervous system it can also be damaging to their kidneys. Their bodies are much smaller than ours and their ability to digest and process alcohol is that much less effective.  Warning signs your pet has consumed alcohol include:

  • vomiting
  • dehydration
  • excessive or difficulty urinating
  • disorientation
  • hyperactive behavior
  • aggressive behavior
  • inability to walk or move as normal

Autumn hazards for your pet

8. Autumn Temperatures

Colder weather can be dangerous to your dog or cat. As they have grown accustomed to being indoor pets, our domestic dogs and cats often don’t have the thick fur required for long periods of time outside. This is especially true if you have a pet which is regularly groomed and trimmed. Think about purchasing a sweater for your short-haired pet if you plan to take long walks on chilly days. Rock salt and ice can also be damaging to your pet’s feet.

9. Backyard hazards

There are lots of things in our own back yard that can be hazardous to our pets and more prevalent in autumn. For instance:

  • Mushrooms are toxic to dogs. Be on the lookout in the areas where you allow your dog to play. Ingesting mushrooms can cause mild digestive problems or severe liver failure, so it is important to keep your yard free of these.
  • Your backyard compost pile, which we often use to fertilize our gardens and flower beds in the autumn, can be dangerous to your pet as well. Keep this fenced off or well away from areas where your pet is left unsupervised.
  • Rodenticides have the potential to kill your pet. Use extreme caution when putting out rodenticides to rid your home of pests. As the mice and rats are seeking a warm place to hide, your cat might also be seeking the mice. These poisons can be quickly fatal to your pets.

10. Autumn Allergies

Just like humans, dogs and cats can be impacted with seasonal allergies. As the seasons change, so do the environmental irritants in the air. Grass and ragweed are common problems in the autumn. If your dog or cat seems to be itching excessively or has begun to cough or sneeze abnormally, please bring them in so we can discuss how to relieve their symptoms.

11. Antifreeze

We all grab the ice scrappers and the antifreeze as the temperature starts to drop. Just make sure to keep this far out of your pet’s reach. Even a small amount ingested by your pet can be very serious.

We at Tipp City Vet hope you have a healthy, happy, beautiful autumn. If you have any concerns about your pet’s health or wellness we welcome your call today!

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