Autumn can be fun for both dogs and their owners. Crisp cool air and the smell of wood smoke in the air are perfect enticements to run outside, while the approach of the holiday season fills homes with excitement and anticipation.
However, danger lurks both outside and indoors for your dog in Autumn, so you must be extra vigilant in keeping them safe.
Outdoor Autumn Hazards for Your Dog
Before your dog is allowed to remain outside unattended, you must consider the following risk factors.
Mulch is abundant in Autumn, as gardeners attempt to protect their plants from winter's chill. Every type of mulch is potentially dangerous for dogs because of the risk of choking, but specific types of mulch can pose a more serious problem.
Cocoa hull mulch is popular because of its pleasant scent, but it can be deadly to dogs because of the presence of theobromine in the hulls. The effect is the same as eating chocolate, and eating sufficient quantities can cause death.
Rat poison is also a serious concern, even if you don't place it outside yourself. It is used more frequently in Autumn as cooler weather forces rats to seek out warmer abodes. Your dog doesn't need to eat the poison directly. It can eat a dying rat or the carcass of a poisoned rat that has entered your property.
Blood in vomit or diarrhea may be eveidence of ingestion of rat poison, because it is a powerful anticoagulant, causing uncontrolled internal bleeding. Any suspicion of poisoning requires an immediate trip to a veterinary clinic or animal hospital.
Rats may also prepare for winter by digging extensive tunnels throughout your yard, which can cause serious foot, leg, and hip injuries to dogs that step or fall into them.
Indoor Autumn Hazards for Your Dog
Many of the indoor hazards are associated with foods that are abundant as the holiday season roars in with its abundance of tasty temptations. In addition to the forementioned issues with chocolate, dog owners must also be sure that their dogs are not given other holiday-related foods such as:
- Poultry bones. They can splinter and cause severe intestinal damage.
- Xylitol. An artificial sweetener that cause cause a dramatic drop in blood sugar levels.
- Onions and Garlic. Dogs may eat them in prepared foods as experience lower red blood cell counts.
- Avocados. They contain a substance that is deadly to dogs.
Of course, dogs should never have access to alcohol, whether it is given to them in jest or stolen by them through careless placement or storage.
Autumn can be a time of great enjoyment for dogs as they enjoy the festive atmosphere with their human families. Keep them safe to enjoy many Autumns to come by being extra mindful of the dangers mixed with the fun. For more information, contact establishments like Parkview Animal Hospital.