Fall is a favorite time of year for a lot of people. The slight nip in the air, the scent of apples, cinnamon and pumpkin spice and of course who could forget the gorgeous changing of the leaves? Dogs seem to like fall too. Those crunchy leaves underfoot are a fun sensation, and the cooler weather is perfect to take long walks or play fetch.
What many pet owners may not realize, however, is that fall is actually a potentially dangerous time for their furry friends. There are several things that also go along with cooler weather that could make your dogs very sick or even result in death. That's why it's important to get to know some of these hidden dangers so that everyone - human or dog - can truly enjoy the autumn season.
Just five tablespoons worth can kill a mid-sized dog. You may take care to dispose of your antifreeze properly but not everyone does. Be wary of puddles your dog may want to drink from.
2. Earlier sunsets.
Sometimes it's hard to gauge how much sunlight we have left in a day as we're moving towards earlier sunsets. If you're on a walk, don't get caught in the dark - buy some reflective or LED gear for your dog (and you) to stay safe.
People often use mothballs to keep their sweaters moth-free while they're in storage in the summer. Mothballs are severely toxic to dogs, so be sure to keep your dog from accidentally swallowing one. Call your vet immediately if you catch your pup with one in their mouth.
4. Fallen leaves.
Yes, they're fun to play in and make adorable photo-ops, but leaf piles accumulate moisture and get moldy fast, which is no good if your dog licks or eats some. Additionally, leaf blowers can startle your pets and the gas models can leak potentially toxic oils. Finally, burning leaf piles can act as an irritant to your dog's eyes and respiratory system.
"Why'd it have to be snakes?" Scientists have found that as snakes get ready for winter hibernation, they get extra cranky and much more likely to bite. Familiarize yourself with the types of venomous snakes in your area to help keep your dog safe.
This is sort of a year-round thing but we actually tend to make more garbage in the fall and winter, especially with all the holidays clustered around that time. Be mindful to keep the trash secured out of your dog's reach.
7. Rodent poison.
As the weather gets colder, rodents like mice and rats look for cozy crevices of your home to stay warm. To combat this, a lot of people use rat poison or mouse traps in their homes. The dangers of either one to your dog are pretty obvious, so be wary.
All the rotting leaves and cool rainy weather is the perfect recipe for fungal growth, and many mushrooms thrive in the fall. While not all mushrooms are toxic, it's best to play it safe and keep your pooch away from them whenever possible. Learning more about poisonous and non-poisonous mushrooms can also help you keep your yard clear of them.
9. Fleas and ticks.
A lot of people like going out camping or hiking with their dogs in cooler fall weather, so fleas and ticks are always a potential issue.
Just like people, dogs can have seasonal allergies too. These can present themselves with a variety of symptoms so be sure to brush up on how to recognize potential allergic reactions and call your vet if you notice anything odd.