5 Fall Safety Tips

| October 14, 2022

Fall is here and our pets are likely very happy to be getting out of the hot, sticky weather. While they may be excited by the cooler weather, this beautiful season brings its own list of hazards that all pet parents should be aware of. 

Here are some fall pet care tips to get you and your pet ready for the new season. 

Tread Safely Around Potential Toxins

Many rodents head indoors due to the dropping temperatures and people may place toxic rodenticides or traps around to deter them. Rodent poisons are extremely toxic and can make your pet very sick. You’ll also want to be aware of any mechanical traps or nontoxic glue-boards (which we recommend never using because it is the most inhumane method of catching mice). If your pet steps on or licks these, it can injure them. 

You may also find people changing their antifreeze around this time of year in preparation for chillier weather. Ingesting antifreeze is lethal to both humans and animals. Unfortunately, both cats and dogs have been known to lick this sweet tasting substance as it’s often placed at their feet or eye level. Make sure to check your car for leaks and make sure all bottles are stored far away from your pets. 

When buying antifreeze, stick to pet-friendlier formulations that are propylene-glycol based rather than ethylene-glycol based. 

Watch Out for Tiny Ticks   

Ticks remain active even as the weather begins to cool. In fact, fall is when adult blacklegged ticks are most active as they thrive in cooler temperatures. Ticks can carry bacteria, viruses, and most notably, Lyme Disease. Talk to your veterinarian about tick prevention for your pet. You can also book a wellness appointment through our Public Veterinary Service clinic.  We offer prevention medications that cover all ticks found in Ontario.  

For more information on ticks and tick prevention, visit our website. You can also visit Tick Talk Canada or Pets and Ticks for all tick-related information.   

Avoid Fungi

Fall’s blend of moisture, leaf piles and slightly cooler temperatures are the perfect environment for fungi to grow. Unfortunately, these outdoor mushrooms are tempting for dogs to eat, but potentially very toxic. That’s because some mushroom species contain amatoxins – which are also poisonous to humans. Others contain ibotenic acid and muscimol, which are only toxic to dogs, so don’t assume that human-safe mushrooms are safe for our canine companions too. 

If your pet ingests a toxic mushroom, they could exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, tremors, seizures and even liver and kidney damage. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you think your pet has ingested toxic mushrooms.  

Regularly Brush Your Pet

Some dogs and cats may shed their coats during the fall in preparation for the cooler months of winter. During this time, avoid any furballs from forming on your couch and other furniture around your home by regularly brushing your pet. Not only will it help keep your home fur-free, but it will also make your pet feel great, avoid tangled fur, and help the two of you bond. 

Reward your furry one for good behaviour during grooming sessions with a tasty treat to positively reinforce the experience. 

Set up a Safe Room

Fall marks the beginning of the holiday season which might mean more visitors in your home. You can help keep your pets safe by preparing a room specifically for them to relax in during all these festivities. Give them treats, cozy beds, toys, and food and water in their special room so that they will feel comfortable.