Guarding Against Pet Poisoning This Fall

Tasty lollipopThe transformative power of fall goes beyond the leaves changing colors and temperatures slowly dipping. It’s an almost mystical time that makes us pivot toward a slower pace and take a moment to breath it all in and be thankful for what we have.

This seasonal change, while teeming with goodness, also presents countless opportunities for your precious pet to find trouble – or be in the wrong place at the right time for trouble to find him or her. Pet poisoning is a very real threat that warrants a thorough understanding of a range of symptoms, what items to keep out of reach, and how to help your pet through an emergency.

I Saw The Sign

A pet poisoning typically occurs when we least expect it. Letting your guard down for even a moment can create an opportunity for a curious pet to investigate, and even one small taste or sniff can quickly lead to a fall pet poisoning.

We’ll get to the list of fall culprits in a moment. First, it’s critical to observe your pet closely for any of these signs that he or she may have been poisoned:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Refusal to eat
  • Pale gums
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Coughing of blood
  • Weakness or lethargy
  • Collapse
  • Excessive thirst
  • Decreased urination

Any of these symptoms could certainly be related to other illnesses, so it’s important to scan the house or yard for any evidence of tampering with containers or wrappers. Please bring in what you think your pet consumed as we can cross reference it with difference tests we can run in our in-house laboratory.

Fall Pet Poisons

It’s common practice in the fall to plant spring bulbs, winterize the car, deposit rodenticide or insecticide, and fertilize the yard – all of which can be fatally toxic for your pet.

Self-preservation is a good motivator to stay away from poisonous ingredients or items, but chances are, your pet is ill-equipped in the critical thinking department and simply cannot judge for him or herself the reasons behind not eating or sniffing something dangerous. That leaves you the responsibility to prevent an accident from happening at all.

Please keep these products off any lower surfaces in your yard storage or garage, or better yet, secure them behind a locked cabinet:

  • Fertilizer
  • Antifreeze
  • Pest control products, such as fly, snail, or slug bait or flea treatments
  • Rat or mouse bait
  • Pool/water feature treatment supplies
  • Citronella candles
  • Cocoa mulch

If you plan on bringing any plants inside during the winter, please make sure to consult the ASPCA’s helpful list of toxic plants.

While it’s critical to know how to prevent a pet poisoning, having essential first aid skills and supplies could save your pet’s life.

That Time Of Year

Beyond the outdoor clean-up, fall pet poisonings can abound inside your home, as well. As a reminder, be sure that any item below is neither offered to your pet nor left out:

  • Alcohol
  • Products sweetened with Xylitol
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Avocado
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Raisins or grapes
  • Garlic
  • Onions and onion powder
  • Fatty or salty foods
  • Moldy or rotten foods
  • Any human medications, or meds not specifically prescribed for your pet (and even then…)

You may begin to see the warning signs of a pet poisoning anywhere between 4-24 hours. Call us immediately if you have questions about pet poisoning, or believe your pet is in danger. Toxic plants, outdoor supplies, or food intended for human consumption can all be easily found in the fall (at home and elsewhere in the neighborhood), and can place your pet in harm’s way.