The leaves on the trees will be changing color soon here in Austin. With fall right around the corner, there are some things pet owners should be aware of in order to keep their furry friends safe with the change of seasons.
Keeping your pet safe this fall doesn’t have to be complicated. Pet owners can be proactive by educating themselves on common pet safety hazards for Halloween and fall months.
Halloween can be a dangerous time for cats and dogs. Black cats in particular have a higher likelihood to be hurt or even killed on Halloween night by cruel and superstitious people.
Besides the threat and danger that black cats might face, all pets should be kept indoors on Halloween night due to an increase in traffic in neighborhoods. Dogs should be kept on leashes to prevent being hit by vehicles.
And with all that extra candy and chocolate lying around, your companion animal just might try to sneak a piece or two… or more! Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats. Learning what to do in case of accidental chocolate ingestion can really help keep your pet safe.
Candles are popular this time of year as well. We use them to illuminate our jack-o-lanterns or fill our homes with scents of pumpkin pie, cinnamon, and apples. Fire is a safety hazard for cats and dogs. Use caution when lighting candles in a home with pets.
According to the ASPCA, the use of rodenticides increases during the fall months. This is because rodents like mice try to come inside of homes for shelter more often with the cooler weather. It’s best not to use rat poison in your own home, but that may not stop other home owner’s from using it.
There are many more safety hazards for pets that come with Autumn. Being prepared for emergencies and knowing how to prevent them from happening will help keep your pet happy and healthy this fall.
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Keep your pets indoors on Halloween
By keeping your pets indoors on Halloween night, you’ll be protecting them. Black cats are unfortunately the victims of animal abuse during Halloween. There are cruel and superstitious people in the world who will intentionally hurt black cats.
Dogs and cats may also be at higher rick for injury by vehicles due to increased neighborhood traffic on Halloween night. Keeping them safely inside of your home will decrease any risk of outdoor injuries. Don’t let them wander the neighborhood.
Keep your dog on a leash while Trick-or-Treating
If you want to bring your dog out for Trick-or-Treating with the kids, be sure to keep them on a leash. This will prevent injury by vehicles.
Plus, with all of the extra activity and strange sights and sounds in the neighborhood a dog could easily become spooked. By keeping your dog on a leash, you can prevent them from running away and getting lost.
Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats
Chocolate is toxic to most animals, including dogs and cats. Be sure to store your Halloween candy where your pet cannot access it.
Dark chocolate and baking chocolate is more toxic than milk chocolate. If you know that your dog ate chocolate, but aren’t sure if it was a toxic amount this calculator can help you determine if your dog is in any danger.
You should also contact your veterinarian immediately so that they can help you determine whether or not your pet is in any danger.
In addition to the dangers of chocolate toxicity, some pets like to play with and consume plastic candy wrappers. These can cause intestinal blockage, particularly in cats and small dogs.
If you suspect your pet has eaten candy or candy wrappers, watch for vomitting, diarrhea, and lethargy.
Use caution burning candles with pets in your home
Many homeowners love lighting candles during the months of fall. Candles are commonly used to light up jack-o-lanterns on Halloween and can make your home smell comforting and festive. Unfortunately, candles can also pose a risk to your pets.
A curious kitten could easily burn themselves with a lit candle flame. Candles can also be easily knocked over by pets and start a fire in your home. This is a real safety problem for not only your pets but for you too.
Never burn candles in your home around your pets without supervision. Be sure to place any lit candles out of reach from your animals.
Also, many candle fumes are toxic for pet birds. Most types of candles should never be burned in a home that has birds as they can cause severe respiratory problems.
Don’t use rat poison
Whether you are a pet owner or not, you should consider finding an alternative to using rat poison to get rid of rodents in or around your home. Rat poison is extremely dangerous for all animals and lethal in most cases if not treated medically.
If a dog or cat were to eat a poisoned rat or mouse, they too would become sick from the poison that the rodent ate. The same is true for wildlife such as owls and hawks.
If you suspect your pet has consumed rat poison, please seek veterinary care as soon as possible. Time is valuable in these cases and early treatment is necessary for a good chance at survival.
Check your car for cats
With colder weather upon us, more animals will be trying to find warm places to sleep and stay dry. Cats like to sleep under the hoods of cars and on top of wheels.
Always check your wheels and knock on your hood before starting your car engine during months of colder weather. These simple tasks can save a life.
Acorns are toxic to pets
During fall, acorns can usually be found scattered on the ground. Unfortunately, acorns are toxic for dogs and cats. Keep an eye on your pet to make sure they are not consuming any acorns in the yard or out on walks.
Besides being poisonous, acorns can cause intestinal obstructions, especially in small dogs and cats. Symptoms of intestinal obstruction might include vomiting, lethargy, and fever. Seek veterinary care if you suspect your pet is sick from ingesting acorns.