Pet Tips

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Autumn Pet Safety Tips

There's nothing quite like the first few days of fall. The crisp, cool air and beautiful foliage get you excited for the changing of the seasons. But despite all of the pleasant perks the season ushers in, fall can also be a time of lurking dangers for our furry friends. Here are some handy tips to keep your pets happy, safe and healthy during the autumn months.

Keep an eye on your school supplies
Fall is back-to-school time, and for some, that can mean stocking up on supplies like glue sticks, pencils and magic markers. Although these items are not highly toxic to pets, gastrointestinal upset or blockage can occur if they are ingested. Be sure to keep your school supplies up and away from your pet's reach.

Use Caution with "Cold Weather Poisons"

Many people choose fall as the time to change their car's engine coolant. Ethylene glycol-based coolants are highly toxic, so any spills should be cleaned up immediately. Consider switching to propylene glycol-based coolants. Though they aren't completely nontoxic, they are much less toxic than other engine coolants.

Beware of rodenticides
The use of rat and mouse poisons increases in the fall as rodents seek shelter from the cooler temperatures by attempting to move indoors. Rodenticides are highly toxic to pets and, if ingested, the results could be fatal. If you must use these products, please do so with extreme caution and put them out of paws' reach.

Watch Out for Wildlife
Autumn is the season when snakes are preparing for hibernation, increasing the possibility of bites to those unlucky pets who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Pet parents should know what kinds of venomous snakes may be lurking in their environment - and where those snakes are most likely to be found - so pets can be kept out of those areas.

Look out for (and steer clear of) Mushrooms
Fall is one of the high seasons for mushrooms. While 99% of mushrooms have little or no toxicity, the 1% that are highly toxic can cause life-threatening problems in pets. Since most toxic mushrooms are difficult to distinguish from nontoxic ones, the best way to prevent pets from ingesting these poisonous plants is to keep them away from areas where any mushrooms are growing. Contact your veterinarian or a Poison Control Center immediately if you witness your pet eating a wild mushroom. ASPCA Poison Control: (888) 426-4435

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Halloween Pet Safety Tips 
Halloween can be the spookiest night of the year, but keeping your pets safe doesn't have to be tricky. Take a look at these pet safety tips to keep your four legged furry friends safe this Halloween:

Be Careful with Costumes
For some pets, wearing a costume may cause undue stress. Don't put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know he or she loves it. If you do dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume does not limit his or her movement, sight or ability to breathe, bark or meow. Check the costume carefully for small, dangling or easily chewed off pieces that could present a choking hazard. Be sure to have your pet try on the costume before the big night. If he or she seems distressed or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting your pet wear his or her "birthday suit" or don a festive bandana instead.

Keep Pets Calm and Easily Identifiable
Halloween brings a flurry of activity with visitors arriving at the door and too many strangers could be scary or stressful for pets. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. While opening the door for guests, be sure that your dog or cat doesn't dart outside. And always make sure your pet is wearing proper identification-if for any reason he or she does escape, a collar with ID tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver for a lost pet.

Stash the Treats
The candy bowl is for trick-or-treaters, not Scruffy or Fluffy. Several popular Halloween treats are toxic to pets. Chocolate, in all forms (especially dark or baking chocolate) can be very dangerous to dogs and cats. Sugar-free candies containing the sugar substitute xylitol can cause serious problems in pets. If you suspect your pet has ingesting something toxic, contact your veterinarian or a Poison Control Center immediately. ASPCA Poison Control (888) 426-4435.

Watch the Decorations and Keep Wires out of Reach
While a carved jack-o-lantern certainly is festive, pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire. Curious kittens are especially at risk of getting burned or singed by a candle flame. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered relatively nontoxic, but can produce stomach discomfort in pets who nibble on them.

Pet Safety Tips provided by
ASPCA Seasonal Safety Tips & ASPCA Halloween Safety Tips