Autumn is a beautiful time of the year to be outside enjoying the outdoors with your dog but it also presents some dangers that dog owners may tend to overlook.
I know that there’s several Autumn Danger lists circulating around, but for me, they seem to be missing quite a few things. Perhaps it’s because of location or activity but here’s my list of dangers that my dogs are faced with in Autumn:
- Mushrooms. Certain mushrooms can be toxic and even fatal to dogs. I get them in my yard every Fall and Spring and just the other day I noticed a clump of shiny white mushrooms peeking through the grass that I’ve never seen before. I got those out of there as quickly as I could. On our local news stations yesterday, there was a story of dog who died this week from eating mushrooms in her yard. Every year we hear about dogs dying from ingesting poisonous so we make sure to check our yard daily.
- Acorns. While most dogs don’t die from eating acorns they can cause gastrointestinal issues if eaten in large amounts. You can check out our post on acorns HERE.
- Fleas and Ticks. We’ve had a pretty mild year for ticks but I know they are going to be making a comeback soon. Autumn is a great time for fleas and ticks to come out and hitch a ride on a warm body so we make sure that our flea and tick prevention is set into place. Leroy and I travel to a lot of parks this time of the year and wooded areas are perfect areas for ticks to hide.
- Moth Balls. Every Fall we have a bat that likes to hang out under our patio. Usually I just let him hang as needed but this year he picked a spot way to close to our door. Every time I would open the door at night to let the dogs out, he would fly off. My fear was that he would fly into the house because he was so close to the door. One night we had a stand off. For over a 1/2 and hour I did everything thing I could to make that bat fly off, Finally I had to retreat and let the dog out the front. After trying other safe ways to deter him I finally had to hang moth balls in his hanging area. Moth balls are very toxic to dogs if ingested because they contain naphthalene so this was a last resort. I had my husband hang it as secure as he possibly could and I check it every day.
- Chocolate and Candy. I don’t know about you guys but I started buying Halloween candy last month and we don’t even get any trick or treaters! This should be an obvious one but some people don’t realize that chocolate can be toxic to dogs. It can be and this is the time of year where kids leave it laying around the most! My kids are notorious for leaving candy wrappers all over the house.
- Clam bakes. I don’t ever see this one listed on an Autumn Danger list but it should be. I love clam bakes and we use to have one every year. 2 big dangers here are corn cobs and clam shells. If swallowed whole, a corn cob can become lodged in a dog’s intestines and has to be surgically removed. Corn cobs won’t dissolve, they will just sit there. Clam shells can have sharp edges and if a dog crunches on them it can create cuts on the mouth, broken teeth and could possible lacerate the intestines if swallowed.
- Wild Turkeys. This is location specific but we have a group of wild turkeys that appear in the Fall. We have a fenced in yard so they are mostly found in our neighbors yard but they can fly so there’s a chance they could get in if they wanted to. Wild turkeys are aggressive and freaky fast!. I have no clue if they carry diseases but I’m sure, since they are wild animals, that they can. I’m honestly more concerned that Sherman would be mentally traumatized if one came at him.
- Coyotes. Another location specific danger but Fall is normally when young coyotes start to drift away from their families. They are an issue in our area but I don’t get overly concerned because Sherman and Leroy are way bigger than a coyote, but an encounter isn’t out of the question. We keep a look out closest to dusk and early in the morning.
- Autumn bulbs. Before careful when planting Fall bulbs such as tulips. According to the Pet Poison Helpline, they contain allergenic lactones or similar alkaloids. The toxic principle of these plants is very concentrated in the bulbs (versus the leaf or flower), and when ingested in large amounts, can result in severe clinical signs. Severe poisoning from hyacinth or tulip poisoning is often seen when dogs dig up freshly planted bulbs or having access to a large bag of them. When the plant parts or bulbs are chewed or ingested, it can result in tissue irritation to the mouth and esophagus.
- Insect sprays. Spiders, thousand leggers and every other gross bug is trying to find warmth so they squirm into our house. This is the time of year when people get out sprays and start spraying the perimeter of their house. Be careful that you don’t expose your pet to this. Don’t spray by areas that they lay or near food and water bowls. Try a natural spray that isn’t harmful to pets or dogs. I recently started using EcoSMART. It has a strong minty smell but it has worked very well for us so far.
A personal danger for me is that I tend to go all out when Autumn hits. I’m so excited to get out with the boys that I forget we’ve all been pretty sedentary for the summer and that we need to build back up our stamina. My husband is great with this because he always reminds me to settle down and take it easy.
Autumn is a beautiful time of the year and many of us spend the crisp days outside with our dogs right by our side, but we should all be aware of the dangers that are lurking out there so that we can keep our dogs as safe possible. What dangers do you encounter with your dog in Autumn?
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