Autumn is upon us. This time of year, like other seasons, there are a few specific pet hazards that you ought to be on the lookout for. That’s the only way to keep your animal companion safe and sound! Here, your Raleigh, NC vet tells you about the major autumn hazards to have your pet avoid:
When it gets cooler outside, certain cases of poisoning tend to increase. Antifreeze poisoning is one—we add this chemical to our cars’ engines to keep them functioning in cold weather, but it’s often made with ethylene glycol, which is highly toxic. And the sweet smell and taste of this substance can even attract pets! Use antifreeze carefully and store it where pets can’t reach.
Cooler temperatures tend to drive pests like insects and rodents indoors, seeking warmth. If you combat that problem with pesticides, remember that these products are poisonous and can harm house pets, too. Place pesticides carefully, and consider options like traps that are safer for pets at home.
There are several plants and flowers common in the autumn months that aren’t good for pets. The list includes Autumn crocus, Christmas cactus, hydrangeas, chrysanthemums, and yew trees. Acorns are also dangerous—not only do they present a choking hazard, they contain a potentially dangerous acid. Monitor your pet closely while outdoors to make sure they don’t chow down.
Only a small amount of wild mushrooms are toxic, but it’s not worth taking a chance. And even benign mushroom varieties could be sprayed with fertilizer, weed killer, or other chemicals that pets shouldn’t ingest. Seeing as autumn is peak mushroom season, it’s best to stay on the lookout if and when your pet goes outdoors.
Halloween and trick-or-treat night are approaching fast. It’s a safe bet that you have a lot more chocolate and candy in your home right now than you would otherwise. Chocolate is very bad for pets, as it contains stimulant chemicals like caffeine that aren’t safe for animals. And candy is often sweetened with an artificial sugar called xylitol, which can poison pets even in very small amounts. Keep your pet far away from the treat bowl, and store leftover sweet treats where prying paws can’t reach.
Want more advice on keeping your pet safe this autumn? Call your Raleigh, NC pet clinic for help from the professionals.