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Cats and Dogs, Critter Chatter, Safety

Pet Safety Tips for Fall by Dr. Brown

The Paw Print

Essential Pet Blog

“Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious few
September, November
And these few precious days I’ll spend with you”
Frank Sinatra September Song

Fall is coming to Vermont. Cooler temperatures, with leaves beginning to change from gorgeous green to effervescent reds, oranges and purples and later disappearing all together for snow to accumulate on bare branches. Communities in the West and South are also experiencing much needed relief from heat.  Such seasonal changes signify the start of some holiday festivities and a time when we all need to be extra diligent with our pets.  Below are few safety tips for Fall.

Halloween (one of my favorite holidays) abounds with sweet and chocolaty candies. It is especially important to keep chocolate from pets because, in addition to upsetting the digestive system, it can cause rapid heart rates, high blood pressure and seizures. If your pet gets into the Halloween candy, have him checked by a veterinarian to make sure all is well.

Thanksgiving (OK, my real favorite – lots of food and no gifts) is time to be diligent in not feeding your pet fatty foods, turkey bones or carcasses or holiday goodies and foods that your pet does not normally consume. I’ll admit, it’s hard not to share some of your Thanksgiving dinner with your pet, but vomiting, diarrhea or an intestinal obstruction or perforation due to turkey bones would squelch holiday festivities. If you really feel guilty, offer your dog or cat steamed vegetables or well- cooked turkey meat… but no pumpkin pie.  No chocolate candy turkeys either.

Both Halloween and Thanksgiving can be stressful for pets that are shy, especially cats. Extra company around the holidays increases the risk of injury from being underfoot or disappearing to find a quiet place in the woods. Be sure your dog or cat has a protected, peaceful place to safely escape to.

Remember to:

  • Check your pet’s identification tags and microchip to make sure all contact information is up-to-date.
  • Make sure any anti-freeze is stored away from an inquisitive dog or cat. It is sweet tasting and quite appealing, especially to cats, but ingestion can result in kidney failure and even death.
  • Not let your pets stay outside for long periods of time. It might seem warm in the house with the Fall sun streaming in windows, but puppies, seniors and smaller animals can chill easily if unprotected.
  • Check your pet for ticks.  Playing in leaf piles is a place to pick up ticks, even as weather cools.
  • Allow your dog’s coat to grow, especially if trimmed closely in the warmer weather. You need a warm coat for the fall and so does your pet.

Fall is a wonderful and exhilarating time of the year when all family members, including your pets, can reflect on a wonderful summer and exciting upcoming holiday season full of precious days.

a vet and his dogABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Brown holds a Doctorate Degree in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the University of California at Davis, a Master of Science Degree in Animal Science and Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Physiology from the University of California.  Following discharge from the Air Force as a Captain, he owned and operated the largest veterinary hospital on Cape Cod for almost twenty years. Brown is the past President of the Yavapai Humane Society Board of Directors, Branding Committee Chairman for National Animal Supplement Council and member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.  He writes and lectures frequently on the benefits of natural and organic foods and supplements for animals and lives with his wife and a Golden doodle named Charlotte.

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