Fall is in the air in Virginia. School is back in session, some trees are already turning colors, and there’s even a nip in the air some days. This can be an especially enjoyable season, but it also presents new safety hazards for pets. By taking a few precautions, you and your pet can enjoy the fun of fall together.
Tips for Outdoor Safety
You might not think these tips apply to you if you have an indoor pet, but some dogs and cats are determined to get outside no matter what you do. Potential outdoor dangers include:
  • Rodent traps: With the weather getting cooler, it’s common for mice and other rodents to attempt to get inside a home for shelter. Homeowners typically place rodenticide along the exterior of their homes to keep the critters out. However, the poison used to kill rodents can also have a toxic or fatal effect on your dog or cat. We recommend looking for a pet-safe rodenticide and supervising your pet closely while outdoors.
  • This is also the time of year that Virginia residents drain the air conditioning coolant from their cars. If the coolant drips on the ground, your pet may mistake it for drinking water. This substance is highly toxic and can make your dog or cat extremely ill. If you’re unable to keep your pet indoors when removing the coolant from your car, switch to one made from propylene glycol.
  • A small percentage of mushrooms are fatal or toxic to companion animals. Since you don’t always know which ones are safe and which ones are toxic, don’t allow your pet to chew on any mushrooms growing outside. 
Fall Safety Tips for Inside the Home
Your pet may feel stressed or lonely after the kids go back to school. He is also likely to investigate the contents of your child’s backpack that potentially contains toxic items like markers and glue sticks. To avoid an emergency, make sure your child keeps the backpack in another room and closes the door. 
Although we still have plenty of time to plan for Halloween, it’s never too early to make sure it’s a safe one. If you’re thinking about getting a costume for your pet this year, be sure that it fits well and doesn’t cover her mouth or eyes. It’s also important to keep your pet inside in another room on Halloween night. The stress of so many people coming to the door can cause her to misbehave or try to escape.
Many families have a big cleaning session in the spring and again in the fall. Just make sure that you keep cleaning supplies away from your pet while using them and keep them in a secured area when not in use. 
Should you experience an emergency with your pet this fall, please contact us right away at 540-955-2171. If it’s after hours, please click this link for information about emergency care in the area.
Photo Credit: G & J Fey / Getty Images