There’s nothing like brisk temperatures, spiced aroma, and colorful foliage to get you in the fall spirit. Your pet, too, is probably anxiously awaiting a temperature break from the heat of the summer. While fall is full of wonderful changes, the season produces potential threats to our furry friends that we should be aware of.

Colder temps and walks in the dark

The completion of Daylight Savings has people running around to finish their to-do list before the sun sets. Following routine, dog owners who walk their pet in the early morning or night are now walking dangerously in the dark and are less visible to passing cars. If you do walk your furry friend during these hours, limit the amount of distance between you and your dog by using a shorter leash, and choose bright reflective clothing, collars, and leashes that will be visible to oncoming cars. Also, keep in mind the cooler temperatures that fall brings. Pet parents with older dogs who develop arthritis should consider keeping them inside during the coldest parts of the day.

Poison

One of the most common threats to pets during the fall transition is antifreeze. Commonly used to lower the freeze-point in cars, attracts dogs by the sweet smell and taste. The tiniest dosage ingested can be fatal depending on the size of the dog. Signs of poisoning are a drunken state, unable to walk correctly, excessive thirst, and lethargy. To avoid danger, keep your dog inside when using antifreeze, if they do come in contact and you notice poisoning signs, call your veterinarian immediately.

Leaves, mold, and allergies

In the fall months, adults take on the laborious job of raking and picking up an endless amount of leaves. As the pile continues to get larger, nothing says fall like kids jumping into a mountain of leaves. However, leaves that are left for a long period of time start to accumulate moisture, promoting mold and bacteria growth. If your pet ingests particles from the pile, they can acquire an illness with symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Once the leaves and grass dry up the yardwork commences, as allergens are released and begin to make life miserable even for our pets. Be proactive by keeping your dog away from leave piles and yard work or ask your veterinarian for dog-friendly allergy pills.

Wildlife threat

Autumn is the season when snakes prepare for hibernation and rodents appear for food. Which leaves your pet at stake to get bitten by an annoyed snake or catch a disease from a rodent. Take precautions by becoming familiar with the types of poisonous snakes in your area and set non-harmful traps to capture and remove pests.

Football parties and human food

Of course, we can’t forget that fall is also about… football season! Let the hosting begin with endless amounts of hamburgers, nachos, and wings. Unfortunately, football parties pose a large threat to our dogs. The overabundance of people in the house who are unfamiliar with what your dog can and cannot eat will put your dog in danger of ingesting harmful foods. To be proactive make it known to guests, especially kids, not to feed your dog any human food. Also, if your pet becomes anxious around large amounts of people, keep them crated in a quiet room where they will feel safe.

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