Ahh, fall is in the air! Beautiful foliage and temperatures that have dropped.
But don’t let down your guard when it comes to protecting your dog from potential autumn dangers, including:
- Compost Piles/Bins
Keep reading to learn how to protect your pup from autumn dangers.
Antifreeze is a Sweet Menace
Antifreeze (an ethylene glycol-based engine coolant) unfortunately offers a sweet smell that attracts curious pets.
A mere 8 ounces can kill a 75-pound dog and as little as half a teaspoon can kill an average-sized cat.
What You Should Do: Use “Low Tox” antifreeze made of propylene glycol instead. While not completely non-toxic, they are less toxic and could mean the difference between life and death if your pet comes across a spill.
Mushrooms Pose a Natural Toxin
Autumn means mushroom season! While only 1% of them are highly toxic to pets, prevention is always best because that 1% can cause life-threatening problems. (One of the most dangerous is the Amanita phalloides or death cap mushroom, found throughout the United States.) Since the proper identification of mushrooms can be very difficult, prevention is the most effective way to protect your pet.
What You Should Do: Learn which toxic mushrooms grow in your locality and avoid those areas. Also, keep your dog on a leash to protect them.
Contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately if you witness your pet eating a wild mushroom.
Snakes … oh my!
Snakes are busy getting ready for their winter hibernation which means they may be out and about even more with the cooler temperatures.
What You Should Do: Familiarize yourself with the local venomous snakes. Avoid the areas they are typically found; and again, keep your dog on a leash to protect them.
Rodents are also hard at work at finding warmer places to call home during the winter months especially indoors. Consequently, this is the season for prevalent use of rat and mouse poisons as people begin to winterize their dwellings. As toxic poisons meant to kill small rodents, if ingested, these same poisons can potentially be fatal for your pets (particularly for smaller dogs and cats).
Another risk of rodenticides is called relay toxicity.
“In other words, if your dog eats a large number of dead mice poisoned by rodenticides, they can experience secondary effects,” explains Dr. Ahna Brutlag, Assistant Director of Veterinary Services at Pet Poison Helpline.
Also keep in mind: even if YOU are not using rodent poisons, your neighbor(s) may be using them on their property.
What You Should Do: Only use these fatal toxins in places that are inaccessible to dogs, pets and even children and keep your dogs confined to your property.
Composts are NOT Dog-Friendly
Yes, your compost is environment-friendly and waste-reducing, but it might also be dangerous to your dog(s), pets, wildlife and even children.
As the contents of your compost pile or bin break down, dangerous pathogens (illness- or disease-causing agents) and tremorgenic mycotoxins (poisons from molds which can cause tremors or even seizures) are created and can seriously harm – or even kill – your dog and other pets.
Even small ingested amounts can lead to tremors or seizures within as little as 30 minutes to several hours.
What You Should Do:
- Never compost dairy, grains, nuts, legumes, breads or meats due to their tendency to become moldy.
- Use tightly sealed and secured compost containers.
Learn more from our post: Psst … Your Compost may not be Dog-Friendly!
To learn more about autumn dangers for your dog, go to ASPCA.org and Pet Poison Helpline.