The cool weather of fall is finally upon us! This time of year is great for doing new activities with your dog, including hiking, camping, and playing outdoor games like fetch and football. The increase in activity outdoors is great for your dog, and the cooler weather allows them to enjoy the sunshine a little longer without the risk of overheating.
However, with the additional fun activities, there are some dangers that all pet owners need to be aware of in the fall.
As Daylight Savings time is observed, we lose an hour of daylight. This means that many of us are walking our dogs in the twilight after work or in the dawn of early morning. Reduced visibility combined with drivers who are adjusting to the new schedule means that pets may not be as visible to drivers.
Keep dogs leashed when walking them during times of reduced visibility (although, we at Milwaukee Paws Pet Care, recommend that you always have your dog leashed when out walking). It is also helpful to have items that make your dog and you more noticeable. For example, a leash that has a light on it, a glow stick attached to the leash, reflective vests for your dog and your or reflective collars are all helpful.
It is also important to be sure that all pets, canine or feline, have their tags on their collars and that they are microchipped. This increases the odds that they will be returned to you should they wander away.
As fall brings cooler weather, more rodents and other critters try to find their way into homes. As a deterrent, homeowners often put out rodenticides. If a pet ingests these, it can be harmful to your pets health, even deadly. It can happen quickly too!
I had a dear friend who was moving rat poison from one part of her garage to another and noticed that a small piece had broken off. Her teacup yorkie ingested it before she could get to him. She was fortunate in that she saw it happen, so she was able to get her dog to an emergency vet right away and they were able to treat him, but too often, we don’t see the dogs ingest it.
When you leave pets outside, wether tethered or loose, be aware of any chemical they can get into. Antifreeze, ant poison, rodenticide, and weed killer are all toxic to pets and it only takes a moment for them to ingest something they shouldn’t.
Speaking of things that are toxic, many plants that are in full bloom in the fall are extremely toxic to our pets. The Chrysanthemum plant is very toxic to pets, although it is also very beautiful and in full bloom in the fall!
There are several other fall plants that can be toxic to our pets including the Autumn Crocus, Oleander, Azalea and Lillies. Mushrooms spring up in the fall as well. While most mushrooms are safe for pets to eat, some are toxic and it can be very difficult to differentiate the safe from harmful mushrooms.
Fun Fall Food:
With the increase in football, camping, hiking, etc, many of our fall favorite foods also come out! Who doesn’t love grilled corn on the cob? Its tasty, satisfying and the epitome of fall- and it can be harmful to your pet. Pets cannot digest the cobs.
Other foods that may be harmful to pets include fruits with pits, food with bones and food that contains toothpicks or skewers. It only takes a split second for a pet to eat something that they shouldn’t.