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Keeping Your Pet Safe in the Autumn

October 15, 2014

The sweltering heat of summer is finally dissipating, replaced with the cool breeze and changing colors of autumn. Although your pet is probably looking forward to a break from the heat, make sure she stays out of harm’s way this season! Here, a Poughkeepsie veterinarian lists some of the most common fall-time pet hazards.


Small field rodents like mice and rats tend to seek warmth inside our homes this time of year. Many homeowners combat their intrusions with rodenticides. Don’t forget that these products are poisonous to companion animals as well as the pests they’re designed to kill! Place pesticides of any kind with extreme caution, where pets don’t have access. Ask your vet about pet-safe alternatives that may be right for your home.

Wild Mushrooms

Even though it’s unlikely your pet will come across a toxic mushroom—only about 1% of all mushrooms are dangerous—there’s no sense in taking the risk. Avoid all mushrooms when walking your pet outdoors, especially if your pet is the curious type.

School Supplies

Fall is back-to-school time for many families. You may not have considered that various school supplies can actually be quite hazardous to pets: glue sticks, scissors, markers, and much more can be dangerous if a curious pet decides to chow down! Store all new school supplies in a safe place where pets don’t have access.


This time of year, snakes are preparing for their winter hibernation. As a result, they’re extra-irritable; a pet that accidentally runs across one is at a much higher likelihood of getting bitten. Use caution when outdoors with your pet, and try to avoid thick underbrush, tall grasses, rocky areas, and other snake hotspots. Be sure to keep your vet’s number close by in the event of an emergency.

Engine Coolant

With the cold winter approaching, car owners use the fall to change the antifreeze in their engines. Remember that antifreeze is extremely toxic to dogs and cats, as it contains sweet-tasting ethylene glycol. Clean up any spills immediately, and store antifreeze where pets can’t get to it.

Would you like even more great fall-time safety tips? Contact your Poughkeepsie veterinary professional today.

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