Fall is here. The leaves are beautiful colors and the air is starting to chill. Changes that come with fall affect our four footed family members. A little extra care will make the seasonal transition easy on them, too.
Fall is yard clean up time. We rake, mow, use blowers, weed, and fertilize to help plants start out strong in the spring. When doing yard work, keep pets clear of the area, especially when any electric or gas powered tools are in use. Dirt, twigs, and small stones sent flying by blowers can injure pets with bruises, or even blindness. Those projectiles can fly at speeds of 200 mph. Even the fastest pet can’t run that fast. Power yard tools are also noisy and have emissions that can harm hearing and breathing.
Chain saws are another pet hazard, for many of the same reasons as blowers- noise, dirt, emissions, plus the trimmed branches can injure or kill a pet.
Fertilizer used in the fall may help plants start out strong in the spring but it is poisonous to pets. So are products used to kill rodents (mice, squirrels) and other critters looking for a cozy winter nesting place in your home. Place them where pets cannot access them, or call a professional to do the job.
As the nights get chilly, bring pets inside. The night temperatures will soon dip below freezing. Even outdoor loving pets need time to grow thick under layers of fur that keep them warm. Outdoor pets always need a shelter with dry lining, and water access.
When decorating for fall, be sure to use materials that are pet safe. Avoid paint, plastic and other pet toxic substances in areas pets can reach. Don’t leave ropes, ribbons, bows, or cords dangling where pets can get tangled or eat them. They can get shocked biting into electric cords, or burned investigating candles in pumpkins.
If you plan on taking your pet along for trick or treat time, use common sense. Many pets are scared by part of costumes that flap, make noise, move fast, etc. Kids are excited and loud. A scared pet may snap or bite. Watch for fatigue in pets. They need rest and a drink, too.
Few pets like being in costumes. They feel unnatural to an animal, especially headgear. If you must, dress them for family photos, then take them off.
Candy is bad for pet tummies, and chocolate is toxic to dogs. Accidental candy ingestion can cause stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea or even death. Keep candy out of pet reach.
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