Fall is Upon Us!

Happy Fall!  It is a time of cozy sweaters, warm beverages, fires, leaves, fall hikes and the relief of cooler temperatures. Fall also brings some dangers for pets, which is what we will discuss in this article.

Fall brings us a new planting season, did you know that there is a bevy of poisonous bulbs and garden hazards to watch out for. Mushrooms, crocus, chrysanthemum, clematis, tulip bulbs, crocus bulbs and hyacinth bulbs all pose a threat to our pets.  These things are toxic and cause serious harm, including death if not treated.

Fall also brings fertilizers such as bone and blood meal (as well as other toxic chemicals and fertilizers), which seem harmless due to their organic nature.  These fertilizers actually can cause gastric upset (diarrhea, vomiting etc.), however, one of the biggest dangers is due to the likelihood of the fertilizer clumping in the intestines and causing a blockage.  In the case of a “foreign body,is” an exploratory surgery and removal are almost always required.

We also see increased exposure to antifreeze, rodenticide poisonings as well as sickness from ingesting rotted/moldy composting, plants, and fruits/nuts dropped by trees.  Pet parents must make sure to keep yards safe, tidy, and hazardous materials away from pets’ reach.  In case of accidental poisoning call your veterinarian immediately.  The ASPCA has an app as well for pet parents to download.  One should always call their veterinarian first however, as these situations often require immediate treatment to prevent serious illness or death.

Halloween by far is one of the most dangerous times of the year for our dogs with chocolate toxicity and anxiety from loud noises and constant visitors from trick or treaters being dangers.  Some helpful tips for keeping your dog’s safe at Halloween;

-Do not walk your dog during high traffic times on Halloween if you think that masses of people in costumes and loud noises may spook your dog,

-Keep your pet locked in a room they feel safe in or crate him/her to avoid high anxiety/bolting/charging or any unwanted behaviors.

-Keep candy, chocolate and candy wrappers away from your pets.  Chocolate and candy sweetened with Xylitol are particularly toxic to dogs.  Wrappers pose danger in the form of intestinal/bowel obstruction or “foreign bodies”.

It is imperative that if your pet is exposed to any of these please call your veterinarian or a veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

Not sure how to tell if your pet is stressed or anxious? Here is a list of symptoms/signs.

-refusing to make eye contact

-seeing the whites of their eyes

-being totally still

-tail being held between his/her legs

-tense body

-raised fur

-head bobbing


Keep safe friends and enjoy the fall season.

Written by Tara O’Grady, DDC Manager