There’s nothing like the crisp, cool air and luscious foliage to get you excited for the changing seasons. Your pet, too, is probably welcoming a break from summer’s hot, sticky weather. But fall is also a time of lurking dangers for our furry friends. From household poisons to cold weather hazards, there are important safety issues to consider.
Below are some tips to keep your pet happy and healthy during the autumn months.
Be Cautious of Rodenticides and Cold Weather Poisons
The use of rat and mouse poisons increase in the fall as rodents seek shelter from the cooler temperatures by attempting to move indoors. Rodenticides are highly toxic to pets and, if ingested, the results could be fatal. If you must use these products, please do so with extreme caution and put them in places inaccessible to your pets.
Many people choose fall as the time to change their car’s engine coolant. Ethylene glycol-based coolants are highly toxic, so spills should be cleaned up immediately. Consider switching to propylene glycol-based coolants—though they aren’t completely nontoxic, they are much less toxic than other engine coolants.
Keep School Supplies Out of Paws’ Reach
Fall is back-to-school time, and those of you with young children know that means stocking up on items like glue sticks, pencils and magic markers. Although these items are considered low toxicity to pets, gastrointestinal upset and blockages can occur if ingested. Be sure your children keep their school supplies out of your pet’s reach.
Steer Clear of Mushrooms
Fall and spring are mushroom seasons. While 99% of mushrooms have little or no toxicity, the 1% that are highly toxic can cause life-threatening problems in pets. Since most toxic mushrooms are difficult to distinguish from nontoxic ones, the best way to prevent pets from ingesting these poisonous plants is to keep them away from areas where any mushrooms are growing. Please visit our Poisonous Plants page for more information. Contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately if you witness your pet eating a wild mushroom.
Watch Out for Wildlife
Autumn is the season when snakes are preparing for hibernation, increasing the possibility of bites to those unlucky pets who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Pet parents should know what kinds of venomous snakes may be lurking in their environment—and where those snakes are most likely to be found—so pets can be kept out of those areas.