The fall season ushers in a plethora of festivities. From Halloween to Thanksgiving and all the cozy gatherings in between, there's a lot to look forward to. But as pet-care professionals, it's our responsibility to ensure that the furry members of our families have a safe and enjoyable season too. Here are some crucial pet safety tips to consider as we embrace the fall festivities.
1. Beware of Decorative Plants and Foods
Fall decorations often include potentially hazardous plants like chrysanthemums, which are toxic to pets. Likewise, foods that are abundant in the season like grapes, raisins, and chocolate are harmful to pets, especially dogs. Ensure these items are kept well out of reach.
2. Keep Candles at Bay
The allure of pumpkin-spiced candles is hard to resist. But a wagging tail or a curious cat can easily knock them over. To prevent accidents, always supervise pets around open flames or consider flameless candles as an alternative.
3. Costume Caution
Dressing up pets for Halloween can be a delightful sight, but not all pets appreciate the gesture. If you decide to dress your pet, ensure the costume doesn't restrict their movement, sight, or ability to breathe. Also, check for small, easily chewable pieces that could be a choking hazard.
4. Limit Noise Exposure
The excitement of fall festivities, especially Halloween, might come with loud noises and fireworks. These can be terrifying for pets. Ensure they have a quiet space to retreat to if the celebrations get too boisterous.
5. Update Identification
With the frequent opening and closing of doors during the season, the risk of pets bolting out unexpectedly increases. Ensure that your pet's identification tags and microchip details are up to date in case they decide to embark on an unplanned adventure.
6. Watch the Candy Stash
Many fall festivities come with an abundance of candies and sweets. Ingredients like xylitol, commonly found in gum and some candy, are deadly for pets. Always keep your sweet stash secured and out of your pet's reach.
7. Beware of Rodenticides
As the weather gets colder, rodents may try to find their way into homes, leading many to use rodenticides. These are highly toxic to pets. If you must use them, ensure they're placed where your pet can't access them.
8. Keep Pets Indoors During Peak Trick-or-Treat Hours
The constant ringing of the doorbell, unfamiliar faces, and strange costumes can be stressful for pets. It's best to keep them in a secure room during peak trick-or-treat hours to prevent anxiety or the chance of them darting out the door.
9. Watch Out for Mushrooms
Fall is a common time for mushrooms to appear in yards and parks. While many are non-toxic, some can be lethal if ingested by pets. Regularly check your yard and keep your pets clear of areas where mushrooms are growing.
10. Stay Cautious with Heaters
As the nights get cooler, many households start using heaters. Pets, especially cats, might find these warm spots alluring. Ensure that pets are supervised when heaters are on to prevent burns or other injuries.
Fall is a season of joy, warmth, and celebration. By taking these simple precautions, we can ensure that it remains a delightful time for all members of the family, including our four-legged ones. Remember, safety first, and here's to a festive fall season!