Fall Away from Autumn Dangers
While fall is a welcome relief from the summer heat, it also brings with its own dangers, including wildlife, pests, and holiday foods. Read on to learn more about the different aspects of fall dangers and how to avoid them.
Flora and Fauna of Fall
Once we “fall behind” and our clocks revert to an hour earlier, night will seem to be coming on sooner! With it comes a higher risk of encountering nocturnal animals whether out on your evening stroll or even in your backyard. Raccoons, opossums, and foxes are often out scavenging for food, and while generally not dangerous, they or your pet could feel threatened and attack each other. The biggest danger is your pet contracting disease from encounters with wild animals who can carry leptospirosis, ringworm, E-coli, distemper, rabies, and more.
To reduce the risk of altercations with wildlife:
- Keep your cat indoors or leash-train your cat
- Keep your dogs in a fenced yard or leashed when outside
- Do not allow your dog to harass wildlife
- Ensure your pets are up to date on their vaccinations
Beyond wildlife, fall also means an abundance of mushrooms, which thrive in the cooler weather. These fungi may be interesting to smell and even taste for your pet, but many of them are poisonous and should be avoided!
Fleas, Ticks & Heartworms
Unfortunately, fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes can all be active during the cooler days of fall.
- Mosquitoes, which can carry heartworm disease, are active through temperatures in the 40s, but luckily, they do die off with colder winter winds. However, the time of their resurgence is always unpredictable.
- Fleas may be inactive with temperatures dropping towards freezing but they don’t always die. They are very good at finding warm places (such as beneath your house) to weather out the colder months and re-emerge in spring.
- Ticks are by far the most worrisome, because they can remain active through temperatures that hover just above freezing.
In order to keep your pet safe through the season, keep up on pest prevention!
Halloween and Thanksgiving alike feature tasty treats and hearty foods that, while wonderful to us, can be harmful to our pets. Keep the chocolates and sweets, which can contain the dangerous sugar alternative, xylitol, out of your pet’s reach. Same thing goes with many of Thanksgiving’s foods including:
- Turkey (a small piece of cooked turkey is fine, but don’t feed them raw turkey, or any pieces with bones, which can get lodged in their intestinal track)
- Bread dough (the yeast in bread dough can expand rapidly in your pet’s stomach and cause pain, vomiting, and bloating, which could be dangerous and require surgery)
- Alcohol (even a small amount can be toxic)
- Garlic (whether in your stuffing, potatoes, or bread, it is highly toxic to pets)
- Grapes and raisins (these can induce kidney failure in dogs that could be irreversible)
Please contact us should you have any questions regarding your pet’s safety this fall season!