We at Lazy Days Pet Sitting are really enjoying these cooler days lately. They are certainly ideal for dog walks! Fall officially began on September 22, and we are definitely ready for it.

But while this season has a lot to offer–fun holidays, gorgeous leaves, and yummy treats–it’s also a time that has its own unique threats to pets. As you move through the upcoming months, keep these things in mind to help keep your animals safe.

Wildlife and Poisons

As the air turns chillier, certain creatures are looking for places to hibernate or stay warm. Snakes will be preparing for hibernation, so keep your eye on pets while they’re outside. Mice may also look to your home as a nice, warm place to shelter during this time. If you choose to use snake repellent and/or rodenticide around your property, make sure you keep your pets away from these substances.

Plants

Anyone else notice a ton of mushrooms taking over yards in late summer this year? Well, mushrooms are also prevalent during the autumn months. While most species don’t post a major threat to pets, 1% of them are very toxic, according to ASPCA. Most of us can’t tell the difference between safe and dangerous mushrooms and neither can your pet. Mums, another common fall plant, are toxic to both cats and dogs.

School Supplies

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, school looks a lot different this year. Homes have become long-term classrooms for many students. Try to get in the habit of putting up school supplies each day. Pencils and markers are dangerous for pets, and consumed glue can lead to intestinal blockages that require surgery.

Food

Let’s be honest: probably the best thing about this season is the food. Autumn is the ideal time for getting fresh apples from the farmer’s market. While the flesh of this fruit isn’t toxic to pets, the seeds, stems, and leaves are. If consumed, these parts of the apple can make your pet have an upset stomach, breathing issues, or seizures.

applesMany yummy treats tend to be in our homes during October and November, including Halloween candy, baked goods, and Thanksgiving desserts. Dishes prepared for the Thanksgiving meal often contain onions, garlic, or a high amount of fat–all of which can cause life-threatening illness. Make sure you keep food out of reach of your curious pets.

Outdoor Activities

It’s already getting darker sooner, and that will only continue over the next several months. If you’re fond of going on evening walks with your dog, make sure you both have on reflective apparel and keep a flashlight on hand.

The fall is also a major time for hunting in North Carolina. If you live near a hunting area, it’s especially important to monitor your pets and keep them leashed or contained while outdoors.

If you’re fond of walking near wooded areas, it wouldn’t hurt for you and your furry companions to keep bright clothing on just in case. Be aware that some animals are scared of gunshots just as they are fireworks, so they may take off if they’re running loose outside.

Some of these tips may seem like common sense, but it’s easy to get distracted and not notice your pet chewing on a mushroom outside or finding that leftover Halloween candy on the coffee table. We hope you and your family have a safe autumn!