Autumn is officially here! Along with all the fun—Halloween, candy, pumpkin patches, and hot apple cider—also comes several threats to our dogs. Here are several potential hazards to watch for and things to keep in mind this autumn.

 

Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe this Fall

1. Keep your dog warm.

If your dog has short hair, don’t leave him outside for long in the cold. If you do keep your dog outside this fall, make sure he has a warm shelter to go into at night, and bring him inside during storms or when temperatures get too low.

2. Watch for ticks and fleas!

Even though the temps are beginning to fall, that doesn’t mean the pests aren’t still out and about. Make sure to treat your pet for ticks and fleas all year long.

3. Keep an eye on the candy bowl!

No matter what type of candy fills your bowl, there’s no way it will be healthy for your dog. As we all know, chocolate, especially baking and dark chocolate, is poisonous to dogs. Other candy containing artificial sweeteners is also toxic. To be safe, don’t feed your dog any candy or sweets. Even if it doesn’t contain a toxic substance, the sugar in candy is terrible for your dog’s teeth and health.

4. Keep the water coming.

Make sure your dog always has clean drinking water available. If his water is left outside, make sure it doesn’t freeze when it gets cold.

5. Don’t accidentally poison your pet!

Aside from the chocolate that’s usually in some part of the house in the fall and over the holidays, rat poison and other rodenticides are often left out as well. When it starts to get colder outside, the rodents begin seeking shelter and attempt to make their way inside. Be very careful where you place any rodenticides, whether in your garage or inside the house. If your dog ingests any of this poison, the results could be fatal. Be extremely careful and smart when handling rodenticides, and make sure you place them far out of your pet’s reach.

6. It’s mushroom season!

Keep an eye on your dog whenever you take him outside. Fall is mushroom season, and while most mushrooms are harmless, a small percentage of them are deadly. Don’t allow your dog to eat wild mushrooms and risk his safety. If your dog does ingest a mushroom, call your vet or visit the Animal Poison Control Center on ASPCA’s website for tips on what to do.

7. Snakes can be grumpy.

Autumn is the time when snakes prepare for their winter hibernation. Keep your dog out of long grasses to avoid a run-in with an angry reptile. You don’t want your pet to be severely bitten because he’s in the wrong place at the wrong time.

8. Be careful with your coolant.

It’s common for people to change their engine coolant in the fall before winter hits. Be careful when you do, however, because leaving behind a spill could be dangerous for your pet. Coolants can be highly toxic, so be sure to wipe up any spills, and be careful about where you leave any vehicle fluids.

 

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