Fall Pet Dangers


Date: July 27th, 2011

As the leaves begin to turn and the weather gets cooler, your mind may wander to Halloween candy or Thanksgiving turkey. While the splendors of fall can be exciting, don’t forget about your lovable canine or feline. Listed below are the top 10 fall pet dangers to watch out for.


Compost Pile

Composting is a great way to reduce, reuse and recycle Mother Nature’s gifts. Unfortunately, decomposing organic material may contain mycotoxins that can cause hyperthermia, agitation, excessive panting or drooling, and even seizures in your pet. Placing your compost pile in a safe location will ensure that your dog or cat will not be able to utilize any of its digging skills it learned from rooting through your neighbor's garbage.

Rodent Poisons

As the weather cools off, mice and rats scurry for the warmth that the indoor surroundings provide. To combat these rodents, traps or poisons can be placed around your house. While you may be successful in ridding your house of rats and mice, you are also putting your pet in danger. Poisons have the potency to be fatal to your pet. Always place traps or poisons in an area that is not accessible to your pet.


The fall season is the perfect time for mushrooms to begin sprouting in your yard. While they may appear harmless, many mushrooms are toxic to dogs! Always be on the lookout for mushrooms in areas where your dog plays or goes for walks. Mushroom poisoning can result in vomiting, diarrhea, severe digestive problems, or even liver failure.

Cold Weather

As the leaves turn, unfortunately the weather follows suit. Pets that are indoor animals are susceptible to the cold weather if they have a short coat. Pet sweaters and booties can keep your pet warm and safe from ice and rock salt. And he'll look fashionable!


By some estimates, more than 10,000 dogs and cats are accidentally poisoned with vehicle antifreeze each year. Pets are attracted to the sweet taste of ethylene glycol, and it only takes 1-2 teaspoons to kill a cat and 3 to kill a dog. Keep extra antifreeze well out of reach of your pet. If your car leaks antifreeze, have the leak fixed. Puddles of antifreeze can accumulate on your driveway and lead to disaster. 



Beautiful holiday plants can be a perfect touch to a holiday party or themed dinner. However, they can also be toxic to dogs. A quick list of plants to keep out of reach include: holly, amaryllis, mistletoe, poinsettia, Christmas and Thanksgiving cactus, American and European bittersweet, chrysanthemum, Christmas rose, Jerusalem cherry, autumn crocus, and burning bush. These plants can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, lack of appetite, belly pain, shock, organ damage, difficulty breathing, collapse and even death. For a more comprehensive list of plants that cause danger, click here for dogs, and here for cats.


Holiday decorations can prove to be dangerous to pets. Keep all decorations out of reach of your pet and consider not including small decorations that may lead to choking.

Halloween in particular can lead to the exposure of many dangerous items to your pet. Costume parts, decorations, and candy all have a prominent role in Halloween and can lead to trouble. During this holiday, pumpkins in particular always lead to the fascination of your dog. If your dog happens to snag a bite of your carved masterpiece, don’t worry, its not poisonous. You should worry however if you have lit pumpkins around the house. A curious dog could knock over a pumpkin and ignite a fire.

Trick or Treating

Trick or treating, although it is a great excuse to dole out old candy, can be very stressful for your dog. Frequent unannounced visitors and constant doorbell ringing can overexcite or stress your dog. Plus, these visitors are not going to be the sweet old couple down the street; it will be children in masks and costumes. If a dog feels threatened by a visitor, he may lash out and bite. Put your pet in a contained area with food, water and his favorite toy. Check up on him frequently to make sure he is doing ok.


Make sure you don’t drop any candy from your son’s 5 pound sack of trick or treat loot! There is a pretty good chance that your Halloween candy contains something poisonous to your pet – whether it be chocolate, xylitol or raisins. For a list of foods poisonous to dogs, click here, and for cats, here. Also, be careful of leaving around any wrappers or lollipop sticks. These can become lodged in your pet and cause intestinal blockages.  


While this is a time to show thanks, don’t do so by feeding a hunk of fatty turkey to your pet. Table scraps can be healthy in moderation, but certain foods should be avoided. Read this article to find out more information on feeding your pet table scraps. Also, it may seem only right to give your dog a bone, but poultry bones can easily splinter and break causing serious damage if swallowed.



The fall is a great season to enjoy many activities. After reading this article, you can make sure this season is just as enjoyable for your pet!


If you have any further questions, leave a comment below or visit your local CountryMax store today!

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