Strange as it may sound, fall can be one of the most dangerous times of year for domestic pets. While the worries regarding dehydration and overheating fade with the summer sun, there are a number of hazards that your furry friend may potentially encounter during the cooler months of the year.
In an effort to ensure your pet is as safe as possible through the fall months, below, we’ve put together a simple guide to the pet health hazards all owners need to be aware of at this time of year.
Mushrooms thrive in the fall months but, unfortunately, cats and dogs cannot tell the harmless from the harmful. If you spot any mushrooms growing in your yard, remove them immediately, and remain vigilant when walking your dog in woodland areas.
Rat and mice poison
As detailed in this post, rodents tend to be more noticeable to humans during fall, often attempting to enter properties in an effort to find warmth. For fall safety indoors, many pet owners will place rat and mice poison in areas where these critters are suspected, but this can be highly toxic to your pets. If you have a rodent problem, you could try traps instead; alternatively, if you use poison, ensure your pet is kept away from the area at all times.
Any guide to managing your car’s maintenance will tell you that this is the time of year to change your car’s coolant or washer fluid to a variety that provides antifreeze benefits. This is a great idea for car maintenance, but the chemicals found in antifreeze are highly toxic to pets. To prevent any mishaps, change antifreeze outside of your own garage or parking space, so there’s no risk of leaks that your pet may then walk on and lick from their paws. When it comes to storing the antifreeze itself, ensure the container is securely fastened and kept at height, far away from any areas your pets are able to access.
What should you do if you suspect your pet has ingested a poison?
Even with the best will in the world, there is a chance that your pet may ingest a poison: your cat may nibble on a rodent that has ingested poison, or your dog discovers a patch of mushrooms and tucks in before you have the chance to stop them. As a result, it’s useful to know the signs of toxin ingestion:
- Excessive salivation or lip licking
- Subdued behavior
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
If you notice any of these symptoms, or have reason to believe that your pet has consumed a toxic substance, then contact 1-800-924-0588 as soon as possible for further advice.
Fall is a wonderful season, but it can undoubtedly pose a number of hazards to pets. To address these issues, keep the above tips in mind, and be prepared to take swift action should you suspect your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t have. With these precautions in place, you and your furry friend should be able to enjoy the season - and all the cuddles in front of the fire that it provides!
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The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention conducted a study back in 2014 that revealed 53% of dogs and 58% of cats are obese. If you were to look at these percentages in actual numbers, it translates to 41 million dogs and 49 million cats that are living with extra pounds! Those few extra pounds that your pet has packed on may look cute to you, but it’s not. Pet obesity can lead to serious problems for your animal's health which may result in health complications. This is why you need to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to prevent your pet from becoming obese. As a pet owner, you must take pet health as seriously as you would your own.
Some of the most common weight related issues in pets can include the following:
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Insulin Resistance
- Kidney Disease
- Type II Diabetes
- Respiratory Disease
In addition to these conditions, if your pet is obese then it is possible that this will cause their lifespan to be decreased by around two and a half years. As a loving pet owner, you are going to want to do everything possible to spend as many quality years as possible with your pet.
How To Combat Obesity
The first thing that you can do to help your pet lose weight, or even before it gets that far, is make sure that you are feeding your pet the appropriate amount of quality pet food every day. Most food packaging labels will give you the recommended amount of food for your pet’s weight. Use a measuring cup to get the amount of food accurate at meal times.
If you tend to give your pets treats through the day for good behavior or for any other reason, you should also consider cutting down on the amount you are giving them. While this may be a good way to train your pet, if you are giving them unnecessary calories, it can lead to pet obesity.
Exercise is the other option we strongly advise. It is very important that your pet is being exercised adequately everyday. If you have a dog, you should make sure that they are getting thirty minutes of walking/running or at least some sort of exercise where they need to exert themselves. This could be something as simple as repeatedly throwing their toys in the yard to place fetch. Your pet will love the extra attention (and mental stimulation) from you.
If you have a cat, you already know that for a large portion of the day they will be asleep. As this is the case, you need to make sure that you are fully utilizing the time that they are awake and you can do this by playing with them. Try providing them safe toys that they will chase after or play with.
For both our feline and canine friends, our online store offers healthy food options and toys to keep your pets active.. You can head over there and take a look at our full range of products that could benefit your pet.
If you are unsure about whether your pet is overweight, you can always request an appointment with our veterinary team to get them checked out by a veterinarian. Our veterinarians will be able to help you to develop a plan to help your pet if they are overweight.
Sources used in article:
“Pet Statistics.” ASPCA, www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics.
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