Keep your pet safe this fall

Photo: dobric/iStockphoto

Fall can present unexpected hazards for pets, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says. Follow these tips to help keep your furry friend safe.
Handle rodenticides with care. Use of mouse and rat poisoning increases during the fall months, when vermin attempt to move indoors away from the cold. These products are extremely toxic to pets. If you must use rodenticides, do so with extreme caution and store them where pets can’t get to them.
Clean up engine coolant spills. Many drivers choose fall as a time to change their vehicle’s engine coolant, but ethylene glycol-based antifreeze – which is highly toxic – has a sweet taste that appeals to pets, so spills need to be cleaned up immediately. The ASPCA recommends switching to propylene glycol-based coolants, which are much less toxic.
Keep school supplies away from your pet. Glue sticks, pencils and markers can cause stomach problems for pets if ingested.
Avoid mushrooms. Fall and spring are mushroom seasons, and the 1% of wild mushrooms that are toxic can cause death to pets if consumed. If you believe your pet has eaten a wild mushroom, contact your vet or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
Watch for snakes. “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,” the ASPCA cautions. Keep an eye out when walking your pet.

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