Category Archives: Pest Control

Pet Safety: Avoiding Autumn Seasonal Hazards

Does it feel like languid summer where you live, or is there a cool fall nip in the air? Perhaps you and your pet are taking advantage of the break in the heat to get active outdoors, or maybe you’re curled up inside, indulging in a new season of television. Autumn poses its particular challenges to pets, just like any season, but with a few precautions, you’ll still have plenty of fall fun. Take a look at these reminders from PetMD and the ASPCA.

Dwindling Daylight

If only fall didn’t come with fewer hours of daylight! Take care when walking your pet, keeping in mind that the reduced light makes it more difficult for drivers to see the two of you. Wear reflective gear and bring along a flashlight; you might even consider a light-up collar for your pet. Ensure that your pet’s tag and/or microchip information is up to date.

School Supplies

You might feel like your dog needs a refresher on what he learned in obedience school, but he certainly doesn’t need any school supplies! Keep glue sticks, markers, and other school supplies out of pets’ reach. Even an item with low toxicity can be harmful in other ways (as a choking hazard or the cause of a blockage).

Antifreeze

Don’t let your pet be lured by the sweet taste of antifreeze. This temptation is extremely toxic to pets, even in small amounts. Check your car for leaks, clean up spills immediately, and keep your pet away from areas where antifreeze is stored. Seek veterinary attention if your pet ingests it.

Rodenticides

Likewise, rodenticides are toxic to pets and should be used with extreme caution. Place them in an area that is completely inaccessible to pets.

Mushrooms

Most mushrooms are not harmful to your pet, but a small percentage of them are toxic. It’s best to remove them from your yard and to keep your curious pet away from an area where mushrooms are growing. Consult your veterinarian immediately if your pet ingests a wild mushroom.

Fleas and Ticks

Just because temperatures dip doesn’t mean it’s safe to stop your pet’s preventative medication. In most areas, autumn is one of the worst seasons for fleas and ticks. Consult your veterinarian, who will probably suggest that you continue your pet’s flea and tick preventatives year round. Follow label instructions carefully, and use only the dosage that is appropriate for your pet.

Cold Weather

Be aware of cold snaps and drops in nighttime temperatures. Ensure outdoor pets have adequate food, water, and shelter. If you take your indoor pet outside, keep in mind that he may not be able to withstand cooler temperatures for long periods of time.

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How to Protect Pets From Fleas and Ticks

We all suffer through it: the keening buzz, the telltale sting, the insatiable itch that sends your fingernails—or hind leg—scrambling to provide sweet, skin-raking relief. Whether you are of the two-legged or four-legged variety, we all have to weather flea and tick season. Being human means you can take preventative measures like applying bug spray or choosing not to slather yourself with perfume and tromp through the woods in your shortest shorts smelling like the world’s sweetest blood-filled eclair. Dogs and cats, however, will need a bit of help if they hope to emerge from flea and tick season with their fur still intact.

1. The Perils of Having Blood: The adverse effects of blood-sucking pests affect canine, feline, and homo sapien alike. Fleas could leave your pets with patchy pelts or scabby skin, and if they accidentally ingest a flea infected with tapeworm, they might soon be facing a new infestation. Lyme’s Disease and West Nile Virus are diseases you and your pets could contract from just one bite from the wrong bug.

2. Nip It in the Blood: The EPA is a treasure trove of preventative measures that can be taken to protect yourself and your pet. Indoors, vacuum daily in suspect areas and wash pet furniture every two to three weeks. Outdoors, keep brush and grass maintained and preferably as far from your house as possible. Interestingly, a moat of wood chips and gravel between your yard and the wood line will deter any pests hoping to turn your home into an all-you-can-eat buffet.

3. Don’t Overdo It: All joking aside, serious health complications can occur in your pet if pesticides aren’t used correctly. Elderly, pregnant, allergic, or ill pets may be particularly sensitive to pesticides, so read those instructions carefully. Don’t use pesticides meant for adult pets on the young, and don’t use cat flea preventative on a dog and vise-versa. Finally, keep a close eye on your pet after the initial administration—if he or she appears to be having a reaction, apply a mild soap and liberal amounts of water to its fur right away. You’ll want to hang onto the package too in case these side effects do occur—further instruction on how to handle the reaction or contact the manufacturer might be included.

As the EPA points out in the start of the article, pesticides may not even be required with proper prevention tactics. Keep on top of the pest problem, and you’ll be sparing yourself a host of future problems this summer!

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Pest Control, Pet Health