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Autumn Pet Safety

Dogs seem to love Autumn leaves - but what lurks underneath all those leaves?
Krista Baltroka
Dogs seem to love Autumn leaves - but what lurks underneath all those leaves?

     Here in the Autumn season, we humans may really appreciate that daytime temperatures are not so hot, and night temperatures ae not too chilly – for many of us, this is just right!  So, are there any reasons to be more protective of our pets?

     This is also the season when outdoor rodents (mice and rats) look for a place to live indoors, you may put out poison to keep them away.  Those pesticides will also harm our pets.  Put any pesticides in places that your furry friends cannot access them.

     Another risk is always antifreeze which has a sweet taste but is deadly.  The most toxic ones contain Ethylene glycol.  Look instead for antifreeze containing propylene glycol – that’s not completely safe, but not nearly as toxic.  With either type, keep your pets away and wipe up any spills.

     Do you rake dead leaves into a big pile?  Outside, it may look like a bunch of dry leaves, but underneath it can be damp and dark – a great environment for mold, fungus and wild mushrooms which could be toxic if ingested by your furry friend.

     Be extra vigilant about flea treatments in the Fall, which (it may surprise you) is a prime season for fleas.  And because many pet owners don’t realize that, they are not as diligent about Autumn flea prevention.  Make sure you continue to do whatever you have been doing throughout the summer to keep your pet flea-free.

     Since the days are getting shorter now, it is dark earlier.  If your pet goes out at night, make sure it is wearing something reflective – a collar or a safety vest – so it can be seen by pedestrians, bikers, drivers.  That will be even more important when we switch from Daylight Savings time to standard time, but it’s a good practice all the time.

     This is a great season to enjoy the great outdoors with your best friend – as long as you keep it safe, when you’re speaking of pets.


Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.