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Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic Blog

Remaining on the Path of Fall Pet Safety

Black dog and maple leaf, autumnThe remaining weeks of the year also happen to be some of the best, and we can almost visualize the age-old cornucopia offering autumn’s abundance. To fully enjoy all that the season has to offer, though, risks to your pet must be avoided. Pet emergencies are not uncommon between Halloween and New Year’s, making fall pet safety a top priority.

Fall Toxins

There are lots of natural items, such as seeds, nuts, leaves, vegetables, or roots that are scattered all over during the fall. The good news is that even if your pet is tempted to sample or chew on various plants, most are completely harmless.

That being said, there are a good amount that could interfere with your pet’s health if consumed. Please be on the lookout for:

  • Grapes – Known to be a popular ornamental plant in many backyards, grapevines also grow wildly along many roads or trails. Responsible for causing kidney failure in some dogs, grapes (and raisins) should always be avoided.
  • Onion or garlic – These are also very popular in backyard gardens or containers, but have the potential to damage your pet’s red blood cells. Uncharacteristic lethargy or depression could be noted 3-5 days after a taste test.
  • Acorns – Dropped from majestic and small oaks alike, acorns can be seen as a fun toy at first. Responsible for choking, gastrointestinal obstruction or upset, acorns are also toxic if ingested.
  • Mushrooms – Unless you are an expert on wild fungi, our fall pet safety requirements must include complete avoidance of mushrooms.

Fall Pet Safety Hinges on…

As we all start to winterize our homes, camping trailers, and vehicles, the use of antifreeze coolant amps up. Many products now add a bitter taste to inhibit animals from lapping up drips, but most commercially available products are still considered sweet by pets.

Ethylene glycol is the primary toxic ingredient in antifreeze, damaging the liver and causing early mortality. Please keep this product off of your garage floor. When not in use, lock in a sturdy cabinet and wipe up any spills immediately. Get your pet emergency medical attention as soon you know (or suspect) that antifreeze has been consumed.

Other Important Elements

Speaking of eating something they shouldn’t, fall pet safety includes paying extra special attention during holiday family meals. Aside from the obvious dangers of eating too much, your pet could be at risk of experiencing pancreatitis, gastrointestinal obstruction, or distress. Do not allow your pet to eat scraps from the table, or rifle through the trash can.

A Word on Exercise

A critical component of fall pet safety involves exercise. This is a perfect time of the year to explore the great outdoors, and the Washington Trails Association makes access easy and safe for everyone. However, the weather can be cold and wet for your pet. Invest in a jacket or vest, and consider the option of booties to keep your pet’s paws free from cuts or abrasions.

Lastly, reflective clothing will help improve visibility at night, now that the sun sets much earlier and rises later.

Fall Pet Safety is Easy!

Once all of these things are ironed out and prepared for, you and your pet can enjoy fall’s splendor together. Don’t forget: autumn pet allergies can creep up on you. Please let us know how we can help you!