It’s officially the season of pumpkin spice and everything nice! Fall is here and our pets are likely very happy to be getting out of the hot, sticky weather. While they may be excited by the cooler weather, there are still hazards this season brings that are different from those in the summer. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) wants to remind you of the hazards that come along with fall and how to keep your pet happy, safe and healthy during the change in seasons.
Keep School Supplies Out of Paws’ Reach
School is back in session, which means there will be plenty of school supplies in the home. Those with young children likely have drawers filled with glue sticks, pencils and magic markers! Although these items are considered low toxicity to pets, gastrointestinal upset and blockages can occur if ingested. Be sure to keep school supplies out of paws’ reach.
Beware of Rodenticides and Cold Weather Poisons
The use of rat and mouse poisons increases in the fall as rodents seek shelter from the cooler temperatures by attempting to move indoors. Rodenticides are highly toxic (and sometimes very appealing) to pets, and if ingested, the results could be fatal. If you must use these products, please do so with extreme caution and keep them in places inaccessible to your pets.
Many people choose Fall as the time to change their car’s engine coolant. Ethylene glycol-based coolants are highly toxic, so they should be kept away from pets and any spills should be cleaned up immediately. Consider switching to propylene glycol-based coolants—though they aren’t completely nontoxic, they are much less toxic than other engine coolants.
Watch Out for Wildlife
During the Autumn season, snakes prepare for hibernation, increasing the possibility of bites to pets who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Pet parents should know what kinds of venomous snakes may be lurking in their environment—and where those snakes are most likely to be found—so pets can be kept out of those areas.
Steer Clear of Mushrooms
With Fall comes mushroom season. While 99% of mushrooms have little or no toxicity, the 1% that are highly toxic can cause life-threatening problems in pets. Since most toxic mushrooms are difficult to distinguish from nontoxic ones, the best way to prevent pets from ingesting these poisonous plants is to keep them away from areas where any mushrooms are growing. Please visit our poisonous plants page for more information.
If you suspect your pet may have ingested something toxic or has been bitten by a snake, please contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.
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