Help for Heart Worms

3 Important Autumn And Winter Safety Tips For Your Dog

Fall and winter should be a fun time of year for you and your dog. The mild weather and changes in foliage in the fall can make for more frequent and more pleasant walks and time spent outdoors. The winter holidays can mean guests or trips to visit family, which can be fun for both you and your furry friend. However, there are also certain dangers that go along with the fall season that you should be on the lookout for. Take a look at some important autumn safety tips that can help you protect your dog.

Be Careful About Sharing Thanksgiving Dinner With Your Dog

One of the best things about the fall and winter seasons is the food, especially at a Thanksgiving or Christmas celebration. And there's no doubt that your dog will want in on some of the goodies at your table. Unless your dog is on a special diet, it's not a problem to share some of your holiday dinner with them, in moderation.

However, it's important to be careful when sharing the holiday turkey or goose with your dog. Poultry bones can splinter when your dog gnaws on them, and your dog can choke on the splinters. Your dog can also swallow the splinters, which could result in intestinal perforation. Really, any kinds of cooked bones are generally unsafe for dogs. Raw bones won't splinter and are safer, but it's important to make sure that they're free from bacteria that can cause illness.

Beware of Antifreeze Poisoning

Fall is the time of year when you have to start winterizing things, including your car. But the antifreeze that can help keep your car safe from the colder temperatures can be hazardous to your pet. Some experts estimate that as many as 10,000 pets a year are poisoned by antifreeze every year. It's important to make sure that your dog isn't one of those pets.

Antifreeze has a sweet scent and taste that might be attractive to your dog. As little as two ounces of the liquid could cause fatal poisoning in a medium-sized dog. Make sure to keep your dog out of the garage when you're adding antifreeze to your car. If it spills or leaks, ensure that it's entirely cleaned up before allowing your dog back into the area. If you need to put your dog in your garage, or whatever area your antifreeze is stored in, make certain that the antifreeze is tightly sealed and stored out of reach of your dog.

Watch Out for Poisonous Plants

Hunting for fall mushrooms can be a fun activity for humans, but it can be dangerous for your pet. Many types of mushrooms are toxic to dogs, and your dog can't tell the difference between toxic and non-toxic mushrooms the way that you can. Toxic fall mushrooms can cause anything from gastrointestinal upset to complete liver failure, so it's best to keep your dog away from any wild mushrooms, just to be safe.

It's not just wild plants, like mushrooms, that you have to watch out for. Many popular houseplants that people bring home during the fall and winter months are also toxic to dogs. You may be aware that the poinsettia flower is toxic. However, that's not the only problematic plant. Poinsettias are only mildly toxic, and the sap from the leaves is irritating to your dog's mouth and throat, which will likely keep them from eating a deadly amount of the plant. On the other hand, holly and mistletoe can cause sudden, severely lowered blood pressure. The amaryllis plant is highly toxic. And even the needles from a Christmas tree can cause gastrointestinal obstructions and blockages if your dog eats them. Be careful to keep your dog away from holiday houseplants.  

Be sure that you also know the emergency contact information for your veterinarian, just in case. Being prepared and aware of potential dangers can help you keep your pet safe.