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Autumn Care and Safety Tips for Your Dog
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Fall is on its way, and it comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities when it comes to your pets. Each season has its own set of safety concerns that can affect your dog, and fall is no different. Instead of worrying about heat stroke and keeping your canine buddy hydrated in the summer, it is now time to shift gears and pay attention to the worries that autumn brings for your dog.
Keep in mind, as the heat fades and cooler weather sets in, your dog is more likely to spend more time outside. While that might be a good thing, it also means that there is a new set of dangers they can be exposed to. Make sure that you take time to inspect their space outdoors to ensure it is free of hazards and that when you take walks with your dog, you are aware of the perils present during the fall season.
Now is the time for everyone to clean the radiators on their cars or top them up with more antifreeze. Antifreeze is a deadly toxin and it has a sweet taste that both cats and dogs like. It can take less than a tablespoon to be deadly to your pet. Not only is it important that you keep a close eye on antifreeze around your home, but be watchful of your surroundings when you walk your dog. Do not let them drink from puddles on the side of the street since you never know whether a car has leaked antifreeze anywhere nearby. If you suspect your pet has consumed antifreeze, get them to a vet immediately. Early treatment is essential - the longer poisoning is left untreated, the greater the chances are that it will be fatal.
The mushrooms that popped up under your favorite tree might look great, but they could be deadly toxic to your dog if they eat them. Some dogs will sample just about anything, so it is important to explore your yard for these deadly little morsels on a daily basis if your dog spends any time out in the yard on their own. If you take walks with your dog anywhere mushrooms might grow, it is equally as important to make sure that you watch your dog as they do their exploring. If you think your dog consumed any quantity of mushrooms, head to the clinic. Take a sample or snap a picture to show your vet so they can determine if the mushroom is a danger to your dog.
Pests and Other Critters
The fall abounds with a number of pests and animals getting ready for winter. Fleas and ticks are at their peak numbers right before winter, and curious dogs have been well known to cross aggressive hornets and wasps who are frantically trying to get ready for the winter months. Snakes may be a problem in your area, especially if you have a lot of leaf cover after they drop from the trees. Snakes like the dark, moist safety that they provide. If you are taking long walks in the woods on cool autumn mornings, the temptation might be to give your energetic pup some space to run, but be on the lookout for small animals such as skunks, raccoons, and other animals that may not have gone into hibernation just yet.
Hazards Around the House
Not all fall hazards exist in the outdoors; the busy nature of the autumn months may create hazards within the home as well. Candy and other sweets are abundant during the holidays and may present a serious hazard to your pets. Make sure that chocolate, especially, stays out of your dog’s reach. Back to school supplies and decorations are also things that you should keep a close eye on, especially if you have a pooch that likes to chew. Not only are your kids spending more time indoors, the potential for items to be left in reach of your pets increases. Many of those objects can be toxic or present choking hazards. Keep overwhelming temptations for curious pets out of reach.
Not Everything About Fall is Dangerous
The fall brings far more than just hazards for your pet. Your dog will be overjoyed when cooler weather means more play and walking time. The nice fall days are the perfect time to take your dog to the park to teach them a new trick or allow them some play time with favorite friends. When it comes to treats, there is one tasty tidbit you do not have to limit for your dog and that is pumpkin. Pumpkin is a great seasonal treat that most dogs and love and it is packed in nutrients. Pumpkin is very good for digestion and is loaded with antioxidants and essential fatty acids that are great for your dog’s skin and fur. Add a dollop of canned, unseasoned pumpkin to your dog's meal.
The fall season does bring hazards that can be easy to miss when you finally relax and let your pup have a bit of fun after a long, hot summer. The best way to keep your pet safe is with prevention, but keep in mind that if your dog should ingest something toxic or get bitten by a wild animal it is important to get them to a vet right away. Delays in getting vet care can make diagnosing and saving your pet difficult, so it is better to be safe and have them checked out even if you are not sure of the consequences.