Can you feel it? The air is finally starting to cool down after a long, hot summer. As kids return to school at home or online and the leaves begin to fall, there’s a buffet of sensory fun awaiting pets.
As your pets get out in the world and enjoy the crunch of fall leaves, there are a few hazards to look out for. In this post from the veterinary care team at Normandale Vet in Edina, we’ll talk about some of the most common fall hazards for pets.
Follow this advice to keep your furry pals safe, and give us a call to schedule your pet’s annual check-up!
1. Plan Ahead for Cold Weather.
Although the weather is still fairly moderate, it won’t be for long. Pretty soon, we’ll all be breaking out our heavy winter coats. And if we’re cold, you can rest assured your pets are as well.
One of the biggest mistakes pet owners can make is to assume because your pets have fur, they are going to be warm enough to handle the cold. In reality, winter poses a serious threat to pets, especially cats, small dogs, and older animals.
Be cautious about how much time you allow your pet to spend outdoors when the weather is cold, and watch for signs of arthritis in older pets. With short-haired breeds, consider adding a weather or jacket.
2. Prepare for Darker Days
The days are getting shorter by the week, and that means darker evenings and longer nights. If you take your pet for walks or you’re worried she could get out, spend the money to invest in reflective clothing or a vest so she’ll stand out to drivers. And always keep your dog on a leash when you’re out for a walk.
3. Be Cautious With Antifreeze
Antifreeze is highly toxic, but to pets, it smells and tastes sweet. This makes it one of the most significant fall dangers for family pets.
If you spill antifreeze in your garage or on your driveway, be sure to clean it up as carefully as possible. You should also be cautious when walking your pets as rock salt and deicers can be harmful to your pets.
4. Be Careful With Holiday Cheer
Although it will still be a while before we break out the yule logs, pretty soon you may be thinking about setting up Halloween or fall decorations. Festive decorations can pose serious threats for pets, who find them interesting and could choke on them or ingest toxic materials.
Be careful about plants and decorations you place within reach of your pets. You should also be cautious about leaving candy, especially chocolate, where pets can get to it.
5. Keep Pets Away From Mushrooms and Molds
Mushrooms and mold blossom in the fall and can pose a great danger to your pets. Sometimes, they spring up in your yard, and your pet, especially the dogs, would go to eat them. But these natural fungi can pose a threat to the life of your pets.
If you discover your dog eating a mushroom, make sure you take the mushroom sample to your vet to assess the chemical composition of the mushroom. Doing this will help determine the type of medication that will be prescribed for your pet to neutralize the damages that could come later on.
6. Be Wary of Snakes
This is another way to keep your pet safe in the fall. As the fall season nears, snakes search for hideouts to save them from the impending winter. While the majority of snakes in Minnesota are harmless, the same can’t be said everywhere. It’s definitely something to keep in mind if you’re traveling, too.
So, if you’re walking your pet in the fall, be cautious. Avoid walking them through grown grasses and rocky areas, as these places can be a good hideout. You should also research the species of snakes commonly found in your neighborhood to know if they are venomous or not. Doing this will keep you on alert whenever you walk your pet around your vicinity.
7. Get Their Paws Covered
Minnesotans know that ice and snow can show up before winter. Shielding your pet’s delicate paws from the cold is crucial, and fall is a great time to start her pup practicing wearing booties.
Ice crystals can stick to long hair between your dog’s toes and cause pain and skin damage. Ice and snow can also cause your dog’s paw pads to dry out and crack. Consider using booties to protect your pet’s paws so they can move about securely while keeping them warm and safe.
8. Keep Up With Preventive Care
The decline in temperatures does not make parasites disappear. Since ticks can exist year-round, constant preventative care is necessary to protect your pet from tick bites and the diseases they spread.
Contact Our Edina Veterinarian Care Team for Your Pet’s Fall Checkup
When it comes to keeping your pets safe this fall, remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Stay on top of your pet’s annual vaccines and keep the ASPCA’s pet poison control info on your fridge.
If you suspect your family pet is suffering from arthritis or if you need to get them spayed or neutered, contact us at Normandale Veterinary Hospital to schedule an appointment. Connect our veterinarian care team by calling 952-831-8272 or send us a message on our contact page to speak to a veterinarian.