The arrival of fall often brings with it enjoyable family activities. Many look forward to evenings spent around a campfire, or watching dogs and kids play in leaf piles, and before you know it, the holidays. But this time of year also brings with it some dangers for your pet that you might not have considered. It is important to recognize these dangers ahead of time so that you can prevent unexpected, and sometimes life-threatening, situations for your animals. Read on to find out how you can protect your pet this fall.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of the fall season is the foods we enjoy. Whether it be sweets, holiday meals, or hot beverages, the season has a lot of food and drinks to look forward to. Unfortunately, many of these foods can be hazardous to your pets.
Candy and Sweets For families with children and pets Halloween is a fun time of dressing up, taking pictures, and going trick-or-treating. Homes are usually filled with bags of sugary chocolates and gummies for kids to enjoy. While cats and dogs look adorable in their Halloween costumes, it can be incredibly dangerous and even fatal for them to partake in the Halloween goodies.
Sugar free foods, chewing gum and some candies often contain the sugar substitutes xylitol, which is toxic to animals. Chocolate contains a toxin called theobromine which, in small doses, can cause GI upset in your pet. In larger doses it can cause cardiac symptoms, seizures, and elevation in body temperature. It is important that candy in your house is kept out of reach of pets. Many pets who don’t typically get into things they shouldn’t are still able to jump onto counters and will eat through bags if they smell something appealing enough so be mindful of where your pet can and cannot reach.
“The problem that comes with this, for pets,
is that these candies can be toxic and even fatal.”
Candy isn’t the only food toxic to animals. Everyone loves holiday meals but some of the ingredients in your favorite dishes are also dangerous for your pets. Grapes and Raisins are harmful to your pet’s kidneys. They can cause GI symptoms, lethargy, and kidney damage. Onions, garlic, and chives can affect your pet’s GI system and blood cells. Ingestion can cause an increased heart rate, jaundice, and an increased respiratory rate. Some of those special holiday dishes are often very high in fat content, which can also pose problems for animals. In pets, eating foods very high in fat can lead to a condition known as pancreatitis. If your pet suffers from pancreatitis they can require hospitalization.
“In pets, eating foods very high
in fat can lead to a condition known as pancreatitis”
While enjoying holiday foods and treats this season keep in mind the impact that eating these same treats could have on your pet. While dog and cat food might seem like a boring meal to you, it is the safest thing you can feed your pet. Foods aren’t the only toxins this season to be mindful of. There are also things in your environment this time of year that you might not realize can be dangerious to your pet.
As the temperature drops everyone spends more time indoors to stay warm. This includes unwanted rodents. While you might not want to share your home with mice, they certainly have a way of finding their way inside your homes this time of year. Many find themselves trying to figure out the best way to rid their homes of unwanted pests. Some turn to rodenticides or poisons. The danger with these rodenticides is that many of them are highly toxic to your pets. Many of these poisons contain an anti-coagulant, which causes blood in the body to not clot. If your pet ingests these types of products, they can have serious health complications from excessive bleeding. Some newer rodenticides contain agents that can cause kidney damage, trembling, high blood calcium levels, and kidney failure. Even if these products are kept out of your pet’s normal daily environment, they often have a way of sniffing them out when you least expect it. When evaluating the best way to keep pests out of your home think carefully about the best approach.
“Even if these products are kept out of your pet’s normal daily environment,
they often have a way of sniffing them out when you least expect it.”
There is no better time of year than fall to start decorating around your home. Whether it be autumn inspired nick-nacks, jack-o-lanterns outside, festive fall wreaths, or, for some, getting an early start on Christmas there is something special about decorating at this time of year. Pets can be incredibly curious and want to check out anything new, and one of the ways pets explore new things is with their mouths. Puppies and kittens are notorious for chewing and swallowing items around the home but even some older pets will get in on the act if they find something appealing enough. Decorations that are chewed and swallowed can cause an obstruction in your pet. Sometimes you might not even realize that something has gone missing in your home until your pet begins showing symptoms. It is important to be mindful as you decorate for anything that could appeal to your pet and keep it out of their reach. Strings, lights, hooks, and ball shaped objects are very common to be ingested at this time of year. If you do find that your pet seems interested in putting something in their mouth remove it immediately and be sure it is kept out of their reach.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
The importance of safety can often be overlooked when enjoying fun events, holidays, and activities. No matter how you plan to spend your time this fall it is important to be aware that the season also holds some hidden dangers for your pet. Whether it be festive foods and treats, environmental toxins, or decorations around your home, keeping your pet from getting into something dangerous can be a challenge. By being aware of the hazards, and taking a few preventative steps, you can ensure that your pet will be able to safely enjoy this season with you.
If you have any questions about MainStreetVet.net, or to schedule an appointment for your pet, call one of our locations today.
PERKIOMENVILLE 1335 N. Gravel Pike, Perkiomenville, PA 18074 Telephone: 610-287-5100
SOUDERTON 201 North Main Street, Souderton, PA 18964 Telephone: 215-660-3699