Fall is in full swing, which means leaves are changing, football is back, the air is crisp, and it is a great time to get outside with your pet. When it comes to fall and keeping your pet safe and healthy, here are a few tips.

Keep An Eye On Nutrition

Fall means cooler temperatures and your pet may choose to stay indoors more. You might not be taking them on as many walks as you were in the warmer months. How does this affect your pet and its weight? If your pet has significantly decreased their activity level, you should contact your veterinarian to see if a decrease in food might be necessary to avoid your pet from gaining weight. On the flipside, if your pet spends a lot of time outdoors in the cold months, they might need a little more food to help provide the energy needed to keep them warm.

Watch Out For Toxic Hazards

Your pet can and may be exposed to many different toxins during this time of year. Rodenticides (rat/mouse poison) and other similar poisons pose a great risk to your pet. There are two types of rodenticide poisons; one contains a toxin, warfarin that triggers your pet’s blood to stop clotting causing uncontrollable bleeding in the body.  The second contains bromethalin, which causes neurological dysfunction and is deadly to your pet if consumed. Unfortunately, it is not always obvious this has happened until it is too late. Try using live traps instead or speak with your veterinarian about other pest control methods that are safe for your pet.  Keep in mind that you do not know what methods your neighbors are using which is why it is important to always keep an eye on your pet’s whereabouts.

Another toxin is ethylene glycol, which is an ingredient in antifreeze, engine coolant and hydraulic brake fluids all of which can leak onto the ground. Ethylene glycol has a sweet taste that entices pets into consuming large quantities. This toxin causes damage to different organs in the body and can be fatal in small quantities and in a short amount of time. Make sure to keep all containers tightly closed and clean up spills immediately.

Paws to consider: Look for antifreeze that has Propylene Glycol instead, which has a wider margin of safety compared to ethylene glycol.

Ticks Are Still A Problem

It is a common misconception that when the temperatures begin to drop, ticks are no longer a problem.  This, unfortunately, is not true. In fact according to the University of Rhode Island, many species of ticks can survive cold temperatures and through the first frost.  If the temperatures remain above freezing, some ticks can remain active through spring. Thus the reason it is important to keep your pets on tick prevention. Speak with your veterinarian about what times of year it is recommended to give tick preventative in Colorado.  Make sure you are checking your pet thoroughly to ensure no ticks have made their home on your pet.

Candy, Plants, Decorations…Oh My!

As the holiday season approaches new items start appearing around your home that are not normally there. This includes candy and chocolate which can be toxic. High fat foods at holiday dinners can cause gastrointestinal issues (vomiting and diarrhea) and pancreatitis.  What about bones and other small items that can pose as a potential choking hazard? Tinsel, ornaments, small trinkets, etc. can be ingested and potentially cause an obstruction in the GI tract. Keep plants out of reach, as some are toxic to pets such as lilies, poinsettias, holly, mistletoe and daffodils. Even the oils released from fir trees can be irritating to your pet’s mouth.

Steer Clear of Mushrooms and Other Fungus

Due to Fall’s cool and wet climate, it makes it the season for mushrooms and other fungus to start popping up. According to the ASPCA, 99% of mushrooms have little to no toxicity but the 1% of mushrooms that do, can be life threatening. It can be hard to distinguish non-toxic from toxic fungi and the best way to prevent an accident is to stay away and avoid areas where mushrooms and fungi are growing.

Paws to consider: If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call The Pet Poison Hotline at 1-855-764-7661 24 hours a day, 365 days a year or The ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435.

At Veterinary Center of Parker, Inc. we are happy to answer any questions that you may have about your pet and keeping them safe and healthy this Fall.

Give us a call at 720-851-0820 today to get more information!