Fall is a wonderful time to spend outdoors with your family and pets. We encourage people to take advantage of the great weather and make some memories together! However, there are a few hazards to your pet that you might want to be aware of first.
Decreased daylight hours
This doesn’t sound too hazardous, but if you walk your dog in the morning or evening you know how dark it can get! When it is dark out, it is hard to see. Dog owners are walking pets in the early morning and in the evening in the dark, so be on the lookout for what may be around you.
Fall brings the sound of the leaf blower. I personally find the sound to be very annoying. Can you imagine what that sound is like to a dog or cat that hears better than us? If you need to use a leaf blower, make sure your pets are secured inside. You don’t want them to bolt when you start cleaning up the yard. Once you get the yard cleaned up, make sure you promptly remove the leaves. Mold and bacteria grow quickly on damp leaves. Many of these organisms can cause harm to your pet. If you are in an area where you burn leaves, keep your pet inside while you burn them. Smoke inhalation is harmful for you and your dog. Poison Ivy is especially harmful when burned; the oils from the ivy can get into the pets’ lungs and cause the same reactions as if your pet rubbed on the plant.
Plants and fungus
Mushrooms can be highly toxic to pets. Fortunately for our companion animals most are not toxic. But telling a toxic from a non-toxic mushroom is very hard. Damp ground is the perfect place for a mushroom to pop up. They can also appear on the trunks of trees. Watch your pets while they are outside to prevent them from eating mushrooms. If you suspect your pet has eaten mushrooms it would be wise to take them to the veterinarian. If possible take a sample of the mushroom with you for the vet to analyze. This could be an emergency situation. Many other fall plants are toxic to animals such as: mums, clematis, and autumn crocus. If you have curious pets (that like to eat everything!) it would be better to build your seasonal landscape around pet friendly plants.
As the temperature drops, rats and mice are going to be looking for a warm place to stay. Many people put out rat poison or traps to keep their homes free from pests. Rat poison will surely kill them, but it can also kill your pet if ingested. Mice and rat traps baited with a tasty treat might snare your dog’s nose, or cat’s paw. Make sure to place traps and poison away from areas your pet can access. Or consider natural extermination!
Fall is a great time of year; make sure you enjoy it safely.