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10 Dangers My Dogs Are Exposed To In Autumn


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 are 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:

10 Autumn Dangers Dogs Are Exposed To

Autumn Dangers in the Yard


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 a 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 can cause intestinal blockage and upset in some dogs


While most dogs don’t die from eating acorns they can cause gastrointestinal issues if eaten in large amounts. They can also be a choking hazard for small dogs and cause an intestinal blockage. 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 standoff. For over a 1/2 an 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. Mothballs 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.

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.

Autumn Dangers in the House

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 shells can be harmful to dogs if ingested.


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.  Our friend Maisie the Newfie had a scare with corn cobs this summer.

Clamshells can have sharp edges and if a dog crunches on them it can create cuts on the mouth, broken teeth and could possibly lacerate the intestines if swallowed.

Autumn Dangers Outside

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 neighbor’s 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.


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 lookout closest to dusk and early in the morning.

Insect sprays.

Spiders, thousand leggers and every other gross bug are 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 as possible. What dangers do you encounter with your dog in Autumn?

Dog are exposed to many dangers in the fall months including mushrooms, acrons, clambakes, pests and insects and even wildlife.

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Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom

Sunday 2nd of October 2016

The mushroom "crop" in our yard comes and goes. Not because of the dogs, but because of the lack of rain. We had torrential downpours around the beginning of August - and I scooped up lots of 'shrooms with the pooper scooper for days afterward - but since then we've had very little rain. Not even enough to entice them to grow.

As for acorns, Shadow picks up pieces of them in her fur that tend to detach themselves inside. While Ducky has picked up quite a few of them over these last four years, she spits them out. I guess the texture of the outer shell doesn't appeal to her. (Thankfully).

I thank you for this post, Jen. It's a great reminder for us pet parents who may have become somewhat complacent with the change of the seasons.

Monika & Sam

Saturday 1st of October 2016

All great tips. Ah yes, favorite color. ?


Saturday 1st of October 2016

Every time Barley and I see turkeys, they always run the way--but they are freaky things, so I would probably be the one traumatized if one came towards us! We saw a coyote the other night, too, but thankfully we were in the car already because I don't want to find out what type of reaction Barley would have to seeing one when we were all outside.

Jan K

Friday 30th of September 2016

Very thorough list! I'm always on the lookout for mushrooms and removing them too. Acorns were never an issue for us until we moved to our new house....there are about a bazillion of them here! They are constantly bouncing off everything, and Luke is very interested in them. Luckily he only occasionally tries to eat one though. The other thing we have in the yard is apples. I know the seeds can be a problem if they eat too many; but so far I've only caught Luke and Sheba eating or nibbling on them, and they are very small.

M. K. Clinton

Friday 30th of September 2016

I have become obsessed with getting rid of the mushrooms in my backyard. I don't think the boys would eat them but I can't take any chances.

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