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fall pet safety tipsThe holiday season is fast approaching, and your to-do list is likely filling up with shopping, planning, and endless activities. Spending time with your furry best friend may naturally take a backburner during these hectic days, but a little extra attention can go a long way when it comes to making sure they don’t wind up in trouble.

Make the most of this wonderful time of year by adding fall pet safety to your schedule!

Pet Safety Begins With Food

Delicious aromas and delightful indulgences are all a part of the holiday experience, but serving table scraps to your pets can cause serious problems.

The following foods are toxic to pets and should be kept away from them at all times:

  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol (a sweetener)
  • Onions and garlic
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Alcohol

Tummy Troubles

Gastrointestinal distress and pancreatitis (a dangerous inflammatory condition) are of special concern for pets around the holidays due to the abundance of fatty, high-calorie foods commonly found around the house this time of year.

Many pets find non-food items to be pretty tasty, such as plastic wrap, aluminum foil, corn cobs, and peach pits, all of which can be harmful or toxic. Ingesting these items can lead to an intestinal blockage or worse.

Fortunately, protecting your pet can be accomplished with a few simple actions:

  • Directly limit your pet’s intake of table scraps (especially fatty items like poultry skin, gravy, bacon, and trimmed fat), and ask guests to not give any to your pets.
  • Cover and put away leftovers as soon as you are done eating, and never leave pets alone in a room with uncovered food.
  • Put garbage into covered bins, or carry it to the outside trash can as soon as possible to prevent pets from scavenging.

If you are ever concerned that your pet may have eaten something they shouldn’t have, don’t hesitate to give us a call or head to the nearest veterinary emergency hospital.

The Evening Chill

Shorter days may put a damper on your dog’s evening walk. Plan ahead by getting out earlier and gearing up with a reflective vest or collar. Be sure to bring pets inside before it gets dark, as the temperature can drop rapidly once the sun sets. Older or arthritic pets may benefit from a heated, orthopedic bed to keep out the chill.

Outdoor Considerations

Fall pet safety means making sure that common autumn toxins and chemicals such as rodenticides, insecticides, fertilizers, and antifreeze are tightly closed and stored well out of your pet’s reach.

Fall Wellness

Just because temperatures have cooled down doesn’t mean that fleas, ticks, and heartworm aren’t a continued risk to our pets. Make sure your dog or cat continues to receive monthly parasite preventives, and don’t hesitate to contact us for a refill or to schedule a wellness exam for your pet.

If you have any further questions about fall pet safety, please contact the friendly staff at Huntington Veterinary Hospital.