What hazards does the fall season bring for your dog? Here are seven things to watch out for.
There’s nothing like fall in Indiana, and the Good Dog Hotel & Spa in Broad Ripple is ready. We love how the trees start showing off their colorful leaves, the air is crisp and clean, and pets and their owners are out exploring all the festivals and outdoor activities that are so plentiful this time of year.
But for dog owners, there are also some things to be aware of as we head into the holiday season. That’s why we came up with a list of fall safety tips especially for dogs – take a look and let us know what you think.
- Watch Out for Rodenticides and Seasonal Poisons. Cooler temperatures are signals for rats and mice to seek shelter, which often means your house! As you try to prevent unwanted critters, be mindful of your approach. Be proactive and block any entry holes you can find on the outside of your home, and then choose nontoxic anti-rodent products. Rodenticides are incredibly toxic to pets, and if ingested, can be fatal. So, if you’re not sure what a safe control plan looks like, seek the help of a professional exterminator and your veterinarian.
- Same Goes for Coolants. Fall is a popular time for checking levels of car antifreeze, but it’s lethal to pets. Unfortunately, the sweet-tasting toxin is attractive to pets. Make sure to check your car for leaks and make sure all bottles are stored far away from your pets. Make sure your dog is safely secured when working on your car, and if you have any spills, clean them up immediately. Also, consider switching to propylene glycol-based coolants. They are not completely nontoxic, but they are much less toxic than other engine coolants.
- Be Careful with School Supplies. School is back in session and in full swing, and with that comes all those special class projects, especially for younger children. Keep an eye on supplies like glue sticks, magic markers and colorful pencils. Such items aren’t considered high toxicity to pets, but if ingested, they pose risks for gastrointestinal upset and blockages. Adults with a fondness for craft and do-it-yourself projects also need to be extremely careful with adhesives, glue guns, tools and other such items. Just keep them up and out of reach, and make a practice of quick cleanups when you’re done.
- Avoid Those Mushrooms. Mushroom seasons are both fall and spring, and while 99% of them have little or no toxicity, the 1% that are highly toxic can cause life-threatening problems in pets. And unfortunately, the most toxic mushrooms are difficult to distinguish from nontoxic ones. So, the best defense is a good offense – simply keep your pets away from areas where mushrooms are growing. It’s also good to have a general sense of other poisonous plants, so ask your veterinarian for guidance. And if your pet eats a wild mushroom or other toxic plant, contact the ASPCA Animal Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.
- Look Out for Snakes. Autumn is the season when snakes are getting ready to hibernate, which increases the chance for pets who are in the wrong place at the wrong time to get bitten. Pet owners should familiarize themselves with the kinds of venomous snakes common to the area, and where they are most likely to live. To decrease the chance of a nasty bite, avoid those areas when possible.
- Plan for the Holidays Now. The holiday season will be here before you know it, so now is the time to arrange for any seasonal care, Good Dog Hotel & Spa is accepting reservations now, so don’t hesitate to give us a call – we book up fast! In addition, if you’re going to have lots of company coming in and out of the house, make sure your pet doesn’t have easy access to the front door (especially if your pooch is a well-known escape artist). Invest in a baby gate or have a safe space for your dog until the action dies down.
- Additional Holiday Dangers. The holiday season (starting with Halloween) usually means rich foods, lots of decorations, and shiny new things sitting around the house. Ornaments, table décor and other adornments can be tempting for curious dogs who might think they are new toys, so keep them out of reach. Your favorite party supplies can be made of toxic material and are often choking hazards. In terms of food, keep your dog on a regular diet. Store Halloween candy and all those other rich treats and dishes in safe places, and watch out for dropped food and dirty dishes that are easily accessible to your dog.
Do You Have More Safety Tips?
Have you and your dog had specific experiences with any of these fall safety hazards? What happened, and do you have any advice? Are there more fall safety tips you’d like to tell us about? We’d love to hear your suggestions – please leave your comments below.