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Safety tips that every pet owner should know for the fall season

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Leaves can conceal harmful items and substances that your pet might not notice until they step in it.

Has your pet become more cuddly lately? Do they come into the house dirtier than usual? Do they protest before going outside because it's raining? These are all signs that autumn is here. As a pet owner, every season brings unique challenges. Stay vigilant this fall as you watch your pet romp in the warmly colored leaves.

Puddles

More rain means more standing water on the ground. Your dog will probably think this is extra drinking water, especially if they encounter a puddle while they're exhausting themselves at a park. Unfortunately, standing water is a major hazard for your pet because it can contain the bacteria that cause leptospirosis. This disease is spread through the urine of infected animals, and it can cause kidney damage, liver failure, respiratory problems, and death.

It's easier to prevent your dog from drinking from puddles while they're on a leash, but if you go to off-leash areas, you should practice a marker word beforehand that tells your pet to avoid something. There is also a leptospirosis vaccine, so talk to your veterinarian about immunizing your pet.

Debris piles

Leaves can conceal harmful items and substances that your pet might not notice until they step in it. Of course, they might smell something if another animal has gone potty there, but don't let your pet get too close because they could contract giardia, which is spread through the feces of infected animals.

Dangerous autumn plants

Allowing your pet to sniff flowers and trees is safe if they are on a leash, but watch them carefully if they have an affinity for eating foreign objects. Certain plants that bloom in the fall are toxic to pets. If you notice any signs of stomach upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea, take your pet to the veterinarian immediately, and try to find a sample of what they accidentally ate.

Foods that are common in the fall

The rule of thumb is to always check with a trusted source about whether to feed your pet anything from the table. Apples and pumpkin are safe for dogs and cats to eat, but the hot dogs from your tailgate party likely aren't because they contain so many additives. Avoid foods like garlic and onion, which you might add to a hearty soup. Definitely don't let any Halloween candy reach the floor!

Fireplace safety

Do you own a wood-burning fireplace? If so, cozying up with your pet near the warm flames probably sounds like a wonderful way to spend a weekend. However, be careful to clean up around the fireplace regularly. Soot and small pieces of wood can be dangerous if your pet decides to eat them. Don't let your pet lay too close to the fire because sparks may fly through the metal curtain and hurt them.

A reminder about fleas and ticks

Fleas and ticks are parasites that can attack your pet at any time of the year. You never want your pet to be afflicted by these pests, so prevention is always the best policy. Fleas and ticks thrive in warmer temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but they can still survive in colder temperatures.

A reminder about exercise

When it's cold and wet outside, it can be tempting to stay indoors. Your pet isn't a hibernating bear, so you still need to incorporate exercise regularly during the colder months. Play some fetch, have them run on some stairs, or find a covered area where you can take them to run. Then you won't have a rude awakening from your vet telling you to put your pet on a diet in the spring.

Have a question about pet health? Want to become the best possible pet parent? Find helpful tips, reminders, and insight to giving your furry friend the best possible care with For Pet's Sake! Learn more at drdevonsmith.com.