Fall is fabulous–sunny days and cool nights, fantastic foliage and country walks. But fall can also bring some hazards for your pet. Use our quick list of tips to keep your four-legged family safe.
Fleas and Ticks
From now until the temperatures regularly drop below freezing (3C degrees for ticks), fleas and ticks are very active. They can cause serious disease and discomfort in both people and pets. Make sure all the pets in your household are protected from fleas, and that dogs are on Tick Preventatives such as Advantix or Nexguard. You can read more about the advantages and disadvantages of Advantix vs. Nexguard here: Ticks: a New Prevention Option. Unfortunately, there is no safe tick preventative for cats, and any effective topical preventative for dogs may be very toxic to cats. Keep your cat away from your dog for 24 hours after using any topical anti-tick treatment.
Rat and mouse poison use in your neighbourhood may well increase in the fall, as rodents seek shelter from the cooler temperatures by attempting to move into grapes and homes. These poisons are as highly toxic to pets and other animals as they are to the rodents they are meant for. If your pet ingests these chemicals the results could be fatal. If you must use these products, do so with extreme caution and put them in places inaccessible to your pets. Remember that your neighbours may be using rodenticides, even if you are not. If your dog or cat eats an animal that has eaten a rodenticide, they will be affected just as if they had eaten it themselves. Don’t let your cats catch mice or small rodents, and keep your pets away from any small animals who are behaving abnormally.
Mushrooms abound in the fall and spring. While most mushrooms have little or no toxicity, about 1% of mushrooms are highly toxic, and can cause life-threatening illness in pets. For most of us the highly toxic mushrooms are difficult to distinguish from the non-toxic ones, so it’s best way to keep pets from ingesting any mushrooms. If you belive your pet has eaten a mushroom in the wild, contact a veterinarian immediately.
Snakes who are preparing for hibernation may be particularly aggressive, increasing the possibility that your dog can be bitten if he or she disturbs one. While the chances of encountering a poisonous snake in the city are virtually nil, be aware that there are rattlesnakes in cottage country, and also that any snakebite is a deep puncture wound that may become infected.
Many people change their car’s engine coolant or windshield-washer fluid in the fall. Either one may contain Ethanol or Ethylene glycol, both of which are highly toxic. Clean up spills immediately, and keep your pet away from any pooled liquid on the road.