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Seven Top Autumn Safety Tips for Dogs and Cats


Autumn is a busy time of year for many families. Just when you’ve gotten the kids safely back-to-school, it’s time for apple picking, pumpkin carving and trick-or-treating on Halloween ... and then the holiday season officially begins.

dog autumn

If your dog exercises heavily outdoors during the cooler months, he may need more food in order to generate body heat, according to the ASPCA.

However, autumn is also an important time of year to do a quick pet safety check around your home. Just a few minutes now can save your furry family members from some commonly overlooked fall pet hazards that could be lurking around your home right now.

The following seven autumn pet safety tips, compiled by the ASPCA, will keep your cat or dog happy and healthy all autumn long.

1. Keep Your Dog Warm

If your dog has long hair, do not shave it down to the skin during these cooler months, as the longer coat will keep your dog warm.

If you own a short-haired breed, you may need to get him a coat to keep him warm. According to the ASPCA:

"Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear."

dog coats

Apache River Dog Coats are snuggly, super warm and have an ingenious fit. Made by the manufacturers of top-notch horse blankets, these coats can even be custom fit to your individual dog. Learn more now!

One high-quality and super warm option is Apache River Dog Coats.

These coats will keep your dog cozy, warm and dry on even the coldest winter days. Manufactured by Norman Equine Designs, a premier maker of horse blankets, these coats impressed us because of their lightweight, yet super-warm, fabric and snug, ingenious fit.

The coat wraps around your dog's chest and belly, something many other dog coats are lacking, and they come in regular and LONG sizes to fit a variety of dogs.

These coats are made of fleece fabric with a full lining and are designed to hug your dog's body like a second layer of fur. Plus, they are a cinch to take on and off: just slip over your dog's head, bring the breast flap through the front legs, then attach the (incredibly strong) Velcro to the body on each side.

It’s also important to be sure you dry your dog thoroughly after a bath in the cooler months. Be especially sure your dog is completely dry before taking him outside for a walk.

2. Be Careful with Rat and Mice Poison and Other Rodenticides

Rodents commonly seek indoor shelters when the weather turns cold, which means you may be noticing an increase of these pesky critters in your home. But rodenticides contain poison that is highly toxic and even fatal to pets.

Looking for High-Quality, Natural Pet Products?

greener wiener

At Greener Wiener their mission is simple: to provide natural pet products that promote wellness for dogs and cats.

Greener Wiener believes your pets deserve healthy food and treats, and toys made from non-toxic materials. They believe the Earth deserves a break too, which is why they actively seek out products made from safe, environmentally friendly materials.

Visit now to view their unique line of all-natural pet products to enhance the health and well-being of your furry little ones.

A safer option for you and your pets are the humane mousetraps you can find in some hardware stores and also online. These reusable traps are completely safe and non-toxic. They catch mice and other rodents alive so they can be released outdoors (you will have to check the traps often so the mice can be released).

If you must use a rodenticide, use them only in areas that are inaccessible to your pets (and also to your children!).

3. Keep Your Pets Away From Mushrooms

Fall is mushroom season, which means you’ve probably noticed an array of fungi popping up in your backyard. While 99 percent of mushrooms are not toxic, 1 percent are ... and those 1 percent are very difficult to distinguish from the non-toxic varieties.

If your dog or cat eats a toxic poisonous mushroom, it can be life-threatening so the best option is to simply keep your pets away from areas where mushrooms grow.

If you see your pet eat a wild mushroom, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately. (You can call the Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if you’re concerned your pet ate a poisonous substance. They may charge you a $60 consultation fee for the call.)

4. Watch Out for Snakes

dog walk

Many dogs enjoy crisp autumn walks, especially if they’ve just been through a sweltering hot summer.

Snakes prepare to hibernate in the fall and as the ASPCA says, this means they may be particularly "grumpy" -- and a grumpy snake is never a good thing!

The risk of severe snakebites increases in the fall, so be sure you are aware of what types of venomous snakes live in your area ... and where they like to hide out. Then keep your dog or cat away from those areas.

5. Use Care When Changing Your Car’s Coolant

Autumn is a common time of year to change your car’s engine coolant, but ethylene glycol-based coolants are highly toxic to pets. Switching to a propylene glycol-based coolant is a good choice, as although these can still harm pets they are less toxic than other coolants.

Either way, keep your pets away from your garage when changing the coolant, and clean up any spills immediately.

6. Assess How Much You’re Feeding Your Dog

Pets may need to be given more food in cooler months in order to generate body heat. This is especially true if your pet lives outdoors or exercises heavily outside. And as always, the higher quality food you feed, the better off your pet will be.

7. Keep School Supplies Tucked Away

Crayons, glue sticks, pencils and magic markers can have a way of multiplying around the house once kids get involved with homework and other school projects. While most school supplies are not extremely toxic unless large amounts are consumed, they can cause gastrointestinal blockages and upset if your pet eats them.

So, just as you would if you had a toddler crawling around the floor, be sure to keep school supplies safely stowed away and out of your pet’s reach.

Recommended Reading

What’s Really in Your Dog’s Food? Top Reasons Why Your Pet’s Food Could be Slowly Killing Him

Which Dogs Make the Best Pets? The Top Eight


The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA): Autumn Safety Tips

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA): Cold Weather Tips

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