It’s that time of year when foliage changes into beautiful golden hues. The air is crisp and the temperature is less toasty. It’s the season of football, frolicking in the leaves, and longer evenings. Unfortunately, while autumn is a dreamy season, it can be a dangerous time for our pets. With a variable temperature, deadly health issues are at an all-time high. Keep your pet happy and well with this top pet care tips for fall!
- Feed them right – More energy is needed to keep warm. You will need to feed your pets more as food helps create more body heat. Because every pet’s needs are different, you may want to consult proper proportions with your trusted veterinarian. And with Halloween just around the bend, you want to plan ahead and take the necessary precautions. Chocolate is awfully toxic for dogs and cats. Candies with xylitol, more so. Foods high in fat will definitely cause stomach problems such as gastroenteritis and pancreatitis. Before sharing thanksgiving leftovers, check for turkey bones. Small food items, as well as tiny costume or decor parts, are choking hazards.
- Watch out for ticks – Ticks survive all year round. Tick nymphs max out during spring but adult deer ticks peak in the fall. Deer ticks spread the dreaded Lyme disease, a condition that is lethal both for you and your pet. To keep these dreaded critters at bay, invest in flea and tick protection. Get rid of ticks’ favorite spots – tall grass, leaf piles, and garden litter. Best of all, consult your veterinarian about screening for tick-borne infections.
- Handle rat poison properly – Rats, mice, and other rodents will be in a mad rush for warmth and shelter at this time of year. Be extremely careful with setting up mouse traps and rodenticides. We hate vermin but the substances we use to get rid of them can be quite harmful to both dogs and cats when directly ingested. Should you decide to use humane live traps, you aren’t off the hook! You never know what your neighbors’ methods are. Rodents killed by rodenticides are dangerous! If you catch your pet with a tail dangling from its mouth, make sure that he doesn’t ingest it. Contact your veterinarian if you suspect that your pet has eaten part of the rodent.
- Poisonous mushrooms – In some areas, fall is just as humid and wet as spring. This would mean more mushroom growth in backyards. Most mushrooms are safe but you may not be able to spot which ones aren’t. Get in touch with the Animal Poison Control in your area immediately and get rid of suspicious fungi.
- Beware of antifreeze – To prep for the colder months, car owners change fluids such as antifreeze. This can be lethal to pets. One teaspoon can kill a 10-lb dog. Antifreeze is enticing to pets because ethylene glycol is sweet-smelling (and tastes sugary as well). To prevent your pet from lapping this substance up off the floor, clean up spills immediately and have your pets stay away from your vehicle while you work on it.
Got questions and concerns? Call your veterinarian, the best and most reliable source of information for your pet’s safety and wellness.