Tag Archives: autumn pet safety

Back-to-School Pet Safety Tips

Are you caught up in the chaos of buying school supplies, planning new schedules, and tackling to-do lists? Keep in mind that this time of year can be a big change for your pet too. Keep your pet safe and healthy during back-to-school time with these suggestions from the ASPCA and PetMD.

1. Keep backpacks out of pets’ reach
If possible, designate an area for children to place their backpacks that is out of the way of pets. Keep school supplies such as pencils, glue sticks, markers, and scissors away from those curious four-legged furballs. Other potential hazards include batteries and medications.

2. Likewise, stash those lunch bags
Remember to keep non-human food away from pets. Don’t let your pet sniff his way into a lunchbox containing grapes, raisins, chocolate, or gum (click here for the ASPCA’s full list of people-only food).

3. Gradually increase your separation time
Slowly let your pet acclimate to more “alone” time, rather than suddenly changing his schedule and leaving him without his buddies for an entire school day. Keep your departure and return low-key, and teach children to do the same. If you remain calm, there’s a better chance your pet will too.

4. Reduce stress and boredom by providing mental stimulation
Leave a safe, sturdy puzzle toy with your dog to keep his mind active. Toys that allow your pet to chew and lick can provide stress relief.

5. Don’t neglect your pet when you are home
Fit in aerobic exercise for your dog or play with your cat each day, preferably before you leave. It’s a great time for you to bond together; plus, if he’s tired, it can help him relax while you’re away. If mornings are too hectic, make sure your pet has some evening exercise to relieve pent-up energy.

6. Consult a veterinarian if needed
If your pet’s separation anxiety is severe, don’t punish your pet. Talk to your veterinarian to determine possible underlying causes and treatment options.

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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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