Labor Day has come and gone. The white pants have been put away, the regular weekend trips to the beach have slowed, the kids are back in school, and cinnamon spice candles and fall decorations cover the house (well, my house)! But with the autumn season also comes some common pet emergencies. Today, I wanted to take a moment to prepare everyone for these autumn pet dangers and give you my tips on providing the best health for your pet this season.

6 Fall Pet Dangers, Hazards, and Toxins

Many pet dangers involve ingesting something that is toxic or a choking hazard. Avoid these top dangers to keep your furbabies safe during the transition into the holiday season!

1. Mushrooms

Certain types of mushrooms can be toxic for our pets, causing vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, depression, tremors, seizures, and possibly liver and kidney disease. Amanita phalloides is a mushroom found throughout the United States which can be difficult to identify. I tell my clients to avoid all mushrooms and consider them toxic until proven otherwise. Make sure to check your yards for any wild mushrooms, and scour the area when you take your pets for a walk.

2. Mothballs

Mothballs contain either paradichlorobenzene or naphthalene, which cause vomiting, severe abdominal pain, tremors, weakness, possible kidney or liver failure, and severe abnormality of your pet’s red blood cells. If you use mothballs, please make sure they are well out of the reach of your pets.

3. Antifreeze

Antifreeze has a sweet smell and taste, and our pets love to lick it. It is extremely dangerous if ingested and is one of the most common forms of poisoning in pets. As little as one teaspoon in a cat or a tablespoon or two for dogs, depending on the size of animal, can be fatal. Signs of early poisoning include acting drunk or uncoordinated, excessive thirst, lethargy, and acute kidney failure. Be mindful of antifreeze and other potential hazards in your garage.

4. Rodenticides

There are several different types of chemicals in mouse and rat poisons, all with different active ingredients. Many of these mouse and rat baits are toxic and can be deadly if ingested. If your pet ingests any rodenticides, take them to your veterinarian immediately. Try and take the label or box of the rodenticide so your veterinarian can assess the active ingredient and whether it is toxic. When placing rodenticides, it is imperative to keep them away from your pets!

5. Compost Bins or Piles

Piles of decomposing and decaying organic matter and molding food products in your backyard compost pile have the potential to contain “tremorgenic mycotoxins,” meaning molds which cause tremors. Even small amounts ingested can result in tremors or seizures within 30 minutes to several hours.

6. Football Parties and Human Food

It’s officially football season, and we certainly love hosting. I see a lot of upset stomachs during the fall because of table scraps and foods that guests give pets. Dogs and cats are used to eating the same food every day. Their gastrointestinal tracts develop a natural flora or bacteria that specifically digests their regular food. When they get something they aren’t accustomed to eating, such as nachos and chicken wings, they can develop severe inflammation with vomiting and diarrhea. It can also lead to more serious conditions such as pancreatitis.

In addition to foreign foods, many foods in large quantities are toxic to our pets, such as grapes, onions, garlic, and raisins. Grapes and raisins are safe for cats, but keep onions and garlic away from them. Some foods can present a risk for choking, such as corn on the cob, fruits with pits, foods with bones, toothpicks, or skewers. I have surgically removed all of these items, which can be very costly and stressful. Make sure to talk to your guests, especially kids, before parties and remind them to not feed your pets any food. You want to enjoy the party, too, not spend it looking after a pet with an upset stomach.

So you now know to avoid these common pet dangers and hazardous human foods.

But what CAN your pets eat?!

I’m glad you asked! Because we’ve got some great tips on feeding your pet the best nutrition available. We also have some great tips on what human foods are actually GOOD for your pets!

Click here to read 7 Favorite Fall Foods for Pets and Their Eastern Food Therapy Benefits

Dr. Alison Birken

Dr. Alison Birken is a small animal veterinarian in Ft. Lauderdale Florida. She owns Victoria Animal Hospital, is the co-founder of Forever Freckled, wife to her amazing husband Rob, mom to her 3 greatest accomplishments Luke, Leah & Hayden and dog mom to her Saint Bernard Dory

By Libby Sinden


Just added to your wishlist:
My Wishlist
You've just added this product to the cart:
Go to cart page