Fall has arrived! There is a change in the air, the kiddos are back at school, and yes, there are likely already Christmas decorations in the stores! Changes in the season also mean that there are new dangers to be aware of to keep our furry family members safe. Here are a few things you need to know to be “in the know” pet parent.
1. Halloween is right around the corner. This means there is going to be a lot more candy around and, while you may have the will power to stay away from it, your furry family members are not as inclined. Be sure to keep all candy and sweets out of reach. Not only can chocolate cause vomiting, diarrhea, or worse (read more here), the wrappers and packaging can cause intestinal blockage in some cases. Candies or baked goods that contain a sugar substitute called xylitol can also be life-threatening, so be sure to keep your furry friends away from these as well.
2. Now that the kids are back in school, there are likely a few more backpacks lying around which means, there are more things for curious noses to sniff and get into. While most school supplies such as markers or glue are not very toxic to pets, they can still cause an upset stomach or have the possibility of causing an intestinal blockage. Chewing on pens and pencils can also cause trauma to the mouth and throat – not to mention the mess it will make!
3. According to the ASPCA, there is an increase in the number of rodenticide intoxications in dogs in the fall. More people are putting out rat bait during this time of year as rodents are beginning to seek shelter from the cooler weather. This means the chances are much greater that your dog or outdoor kitty will have access to this toxin so be vigilant –ingestion of these toxins can be fatal.
4. This is also the time of year when people may change the coolant in their car which means a much greater risk that your furry family member will be exposed to antifreeze. While there are some “pet-safe” antifreeze alternatives, the vast majority still contains ethylene glycol which is EXTREMELY toxic, even in small amounts. Be sure to clean any obvious spills and be aware of what your pet can get into in the garage or driveway.
If you ever have any questions or concerns that your pet may have gotten into something they shouldn’t have, please don’t hesitate to call your family veterinarian right away. We hope these tips help keep your furry family safe so you can enjoy this wonderful time of year!