As the air begins to cool and the leaves start to change, autumn emerges and we begin to prepare for the upcoming winter. If changing the coolant in your car and helping children complete art projects for school tops your to-do list, pay a little extra attention to the whereabouts of the family pet. Some common seasonal tasks and household items may be harmful to your pet.
Back to School Toxins
During the excitement of going back to school and completing class projects before the seasonal holiday breaks, school supplies often litter the home. Odors from bottles of glue, tubs of paint and permanent markers may attract the family pet, according to the The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Designate a place for all school supplies when not in use. A pantry shelf, cupboard or drawer keeps the toxic supplies out of the pet’s reach.
Rodenticide and Pets
In the fall rodents seek warm shelter–sometimes in your home or garage. The use of rodenticides often increases during autumn. If ingested, rodent repellent products can cause internal bleeding, illness, and death of a pet. Place rodenticide products in areas inaccessible to pets such as narrow spaces behind heavy appliances, basement crawlspaces or inside narrow tubing secured to the floor.
Auto Coolant Dangers
If an outdoor pet seeks refuge in a garage during cool autumn evenings, make sure all car chemicals and fluids are placed out of the pet’s reach. Ethylene glycol–more commonly known as antifreeze or coolant– has a slightly sweet scent which attracts pets and it is highly toxic. When flushing and filling the car’s radiator with antifreeze, keep pets away. After completing the car maintenance, check under the vehicle for drips and clean them up promptly.
Fall Holiday Hazards
During the fall friends and family gather to celebrate several holidays. When the home is filled with new faces, animal lovers may reach down and give the family pet a bite of food with good intentions. However, advising guests that turkey and chicken bones splinter easily and may cause internal injury to a pet. Fatty foods, desserts flavored with artificial sweeteners and all chocolate candies should never be fed to pets.
“As little as one ounce of baking chocolate or eight ounces of milk chocolate can kill a 10-pound dog,”
Sources and Suggested Further Reading:
ASPCA, “Autumn Safety Tips“, ASPCA
Katie Williams DVM, “Fall Pet Safety Tips“, Fetch Magazine