There is nothing quite like a crisp autumn breeze, beautiful foliage, and the smell of warm spices baking in the kitchen. Do beware though–fall ushers in a bushel of dangers for our furry companions. Here’s how to keep your pets safe and healthy this season.
An increased need for food as the summer heat lessens up?
Several decades ago, your veterinarian may have recommended a slight increase in your pet’s food consumption as the weather cooled and your pet required slightly more caloric intake to regulate his system. Today, however, things have changed. With a shocking number of pets categorized as obese and most dogs and cats are primarily house pets, this isn’t a concern for most pet parents. If you do have a very fit working dog, a small increase may be a wise idea; with this said, an increase around 10% is probably all that is necessary. This does not mean an extra meal or an unlimited pass to treats.
School and home project supplies pose risks to curious pets.
While kids may be dedicated to keeping their school supplies tidy for the first week or so, at this point in the season, school supplies may be holding living rooms hostage. School glues, permanent markers, and pencils can all cause upset stomachs. Heavy-duty glues can cause serious blockages in the GI tract and even require surgery to remove them—and part of your pet’s GI system. Make sure your children’s projects stay covered up and are not accessible to your pets. Dogs in particular seem to like the flavor of glue.
This also goes for adults if you’re doing home improvement projects now that the weather has cooled off. If you are in the middle of a project, your dog could ingest things like glue for flooring. So be sure to block off the work space to prevent your pet from getting into trouble. These accidents are easily avoided, but the damage to your pets GI system is not so easy to fix.
An apple a day?
As it turns out, apples are not the cure to health for Fido or Meow Meows. If your dog likes to graze the ground for food, consider leaving Fido at home during your stroll of the apple orchards. While the flesh of ripe apples doesn’t pose a problem for dogs or cats, apple stems, leaves and seeds are not so gentle. They can cause GI upset, decreased oxygen in the blood, decreased heart rate, difficulty breathing, seizures, coma, and even death. With reasonable preparation, the flesh of apples can make a suitable treat for dogs but cats are unlikely to enjoy the flavor of this fruit.
Fall is a prime season for mushrooms.
While most are non-toxic, dogs are highly susceptible to mushroom poisoning because of their wandering and scavenging behavior. Unfortunately, dogs are unable to sniff out the toxic ones, so the best way to avoid trouble is to keep pets away from areas where any mushrooms are growing.