Autumn Alarm – Watch out for those Hazards

Fall is drawing to an end and winter is quickly approaching. Dangers are lurking for our furry friends. From poisons to cold weather hazards, the season is a minefield! Here are some tips to keep your pet snug and healthy during the autumn months.

Rodenticides / Mouse Traps

Fall’s cooler temperatures drive rodents in search of shelter from the cold and into our home. Rodenticide that kills rodents can also kill your pet. They cause severe bleeding, kidney failure and death. There are no safe rodenticides. Whether it’s due to hunger, boredom, or curiosity, pets will consume these products. If you must use these products, do so with extreme caution and put them in places inaccessible to your pets.

Anti-Freeze

Every year more than 10,000 dogs and cats are accidentally poisoned with automotive antifreeze. Pets are attracted to the sweet taste of ethylene glycol. It has been reported that one or two teaspoons will poison a cat and three tablespoons is enough to kill a medium size dog. It is very fast acting and can result in kidney failure and death in a matter of hours. Make sure and check the ground for spills after you use antifreeze, and store it safely out of reach.

Cold Weather

Remember to keep your pets warm as the autumn season continues. Indoor pets not acclimated to winter temperatures should not be left outside in cold weather for long periods as they don’t develop a thick double coat like outdoor pets. Pets should gradually be introduced to cooler weather, with warm clothing. Outdoor pets can withstand fairly cold temperatures if they have shelter, access to water that is not frozen and extra food to generate body heat. It is important to keep your pet’s feet clean and dry, as ice or salt will cause severe irritation when caught between the toes.

Leaves

Leaf piles remaining on your lawn quickly are riddled with allergens; they can also contain mould, bacteria, and microorganisms. Once wet, a pile of leaves can become the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mould growth. No matter the reason, if your pet eats wet leaves that have been sitting for days, they can end up with a severe upset stomach, including vomiting and diarrhoea. If your pet ends up ingesting possible microorganisms, bacteria, or mould growing in the pile, more severe health problems could occur. When clearing your leaf piles remember startling noises created by leaf blowers can cause pets to flee your property. Additionally, fuel powered devices can leak fuel or oil, which creates a source of toxicity should ingestion occur when your pet licks a substance from the ground or their paws.

As long as you take steps to make sure your dog is safe, there is no reason you cannot enjoy the beautiful fall weather.  Being able to let your dog run around outside, without having the stress about the humidity, makes it easier to focus on having fun with your dog.  If your dog is going to be running around and playing, bringing water is always a good idea, no matter the weather.