Now that fall is underway, pet parents can look forward to lots of cozy times with their favorite four-legged buddies, from brisk autumn walks to lazy afternoon cuddles by the fireside.
But as the leaves begin to change color and that end of year excitement starts to fill the air, it’s important to be aware of the potential fall hazards that could pose a danger to your pet.
Changes in our environment and around our homes mean that pets can sometimes get into seasonal trouble if we’re not watching them closely. To help you prepare, here’s a list of five fall pet hazards to avoid, so you enjoy a safe and fun-filled autumn season with your furry family member.
1) Halloween Decorations & Treats
From decorative ghosts and witches to jack-o’-lanterns and candles, Halloween is full of fun (and potentially dangerous) items for pets.
To help keep your pet safe on October 31st, make sure all Halloween decorations are placed out of reach, especially anything that could easily be knocked over or swallowed.
It’s also important to keep an eye on lit candles, as pets can easily knock them over and start a fire. If you usually have jack-o’-lanterns with real candles inside, consider using battery-operated candles instead.
And of course, always keep chocolate well out of reach, as it can be poisonous to dogs and cats. Sugary sweets like candy are also best avoided, as they can cause stomach aches and other digestive issues.
2) Outdoor Hazards
As the weather cools down, we often spend more time outdoors enjoying the fresh air. But there are a few things to be aware of when letting your pet out into the yard this fall.
First, take care to rake up any leaves that have fallen, as they could hide sharp objects like sticks or broken glass.
Second, be on the lookout for antifreeze drips from cars parked in your driveway or on the street – just a few drops of this sweet-tasting but deadly substance can poison a pet.
Finally, as the days get shorter, remember that there’s less natural light for walking your dog. A reflective vest or leash will help keep them visible to drivers in the early morning and evening hours.
3) Holiday Foods
We all love indulging in seasonal treats during the holidays, but it’s important to remember that many of these foods can be dangerous for pets.
Chocolate is perhaps the most well-known food hazard for animals, but other holiday favorites like grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, garlic, and onions can also be poisonous to pets.
So, if you’re hosting a holiday gathering this season, be sure to keep hazardous food items properly stored and out of reach of curious furry friends. Here are a few healthy, pet-friendly holiday foods that are safe to share:
- Pumpkin: This popular gourd is packed with nutrients like fiber and beta-carotene, which can help support your pet’s digestive system. Just make sure to remove the seeds and strings before feeding it to them.
- Sweet potatoes: Another great source of dietary fiber, sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamins A, C, and B6.
- Apples: Apples are a good source of vitamin C as well as antioxidants, which can help boost your pet’s immune system. Just be sure to remove the core and seeds before feeding them to your pet.
4) Fall Plants
Falling leaves aren’t the only things that change in color during the autumn months – many common plants also undergo a transformation.
While some of these changes can be breathtaking, it’s important to be aware that some fall plants can be poisonous to pets if ingested. A few of the most common toxic fall plants include:
- Chrysanthemums: These beautiful flowers can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive drooling in pets if ingested.
- Autumn crocus: Also known as Colchicum autumnale, this plant contains colchicine, a substance that can cause gastrointestinal upset, kidney failure, and even death in animals.
- Hydrangeas: While the flower heads of hydrangeas are not poisonous, the plant’s leaves and roots contain cyanogenic glycosides, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and difficulty breathing if ingested.
If you suspect your pet has eaten any part of a poisonous plant, it’s vital to contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately.
5) Cold Weather
As the temperatures start to dip, make sure to take steps to keep your pet safe and comfortable in the colder weather.
Smaller pets like cats and rabbits should be brought inside to avoid exposure to the cold. Dogs will need a little extra help to stay warm as well, so consider investing in a doggy coat or sweater for them to wear on walks.
Pets can also get dehydrated in the cold weather, so make sure to keep their water bowl filled with fresh, clean water and check it often to ensure it hasn’t frozen over. You can also give them some extra hydration by adding a little low-sodium bone broth or chicken stock to their food.
As you can see, there are lots of potential hazards for pets during the fall season. From environmental changes to foods and decorations, it’s important to be aware of the dangers and take steps to keep your furry friend safe.
By following the tips in this article and preparing ahead, you can help ensure that your pet has a happy and safe time. So, get ready to have a fun, fantastic, and fabulous fall with your best pet pals!
About the author: Richard Rowlands is a copywriter and content creator who works with pet and veterinary businesses. When he’s not researching, writing, or creating content plans, he enjoys spending time with his rescue dog, Otto, and exploring new places. Check out his blog for savvy pet parents at richardrowlands.com.
Photo credit: Mr_niceshoot Via Pixabay