Fall Pet Health and Safety Issues to Avoid

Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, which is highly toxic to pets. Even a couple of teaspoons of the sweet-flavored stuff can cause kidney failure and death. Signs of antifreeze poisoning include staggering, vomiting, seizures and increased thirst and urination.

Mothballs can seem harmless (except to moths), but they are moderately to severely toxic to cats and dogs, especially if they contain a substance called naphthalene. Cats, in particular, tend to think that a mothball is just the right size for a toy, so keep these toxic objects well out of reach.

Some dogs will eat anything, including deadly wild mushrooms and toadstools. Some are so set on eating anything that looks edible that they must wear muzzles when outdoors to prevent them from ingesting these toxic fungi. Vomiting, which can begin anywhere from 15 minutes after ingestion to several hours later, is a potential clue that your pet has eaten something he shouldn’t.

Better Safe

Visibility is an issue in fall. There’s less daylight, so you may be walking your dog in the dark both morning and evening. Fall heralds hunting season as well.

When walking your pet in the dark, put a reflective or blinking collar on him to make sure motorists, bicyclists and other dog walkers can see him. A blinking collar may also help to ward off urban coyotes who sometimes have little compunction about attacking dogs, even those on leash and accompanied by a person.

If you’re hiking with a dog in the fall, outfit him with a blaze-orange vest so hunters won’t mistake him for a deer or other animal.

Happy autumn!

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