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School is back in session, the leaves are beginning to change color and the pumpkin spice latte is back! Fall is a magical time here in Oklahoma however it does present its own set of dangers to our pets. Here are a few of the things to be looking out for to protect your pets this fall.

Wild Mushrooms— Mushrooms make a comeback as the temperatures begin to drop. Although many wild mushrooms aren’t toxic, some common backyard species can be poisonous and even deadly if eaten by dogs and cats. Because it is so difficult to distinguish toxic mushrooms from the non toxic it is simpler to remove them from your yard and keep pets on a leash when out hiking.

Walking in the Dark— The days are getting shorter and you may find that your usual walks are taking place in the dark. Walking in the dark presents both a threat to your pet and yourself. Consider carrying a flashlight to carry. There are a variety of reflective products for pets including collars, leashes and coats that will help keep your pet visible to others.

RodenticidesDuring fall, many people use rodenticides to deter rats and other rodents who seek shelter inside as the weather cools down. Rodenticides are extremely toxic to animals and if ingested, and can be fatal. If you must use a rodenticide, be very careful and make sure they are placed in areas where your pet cannot access them.

Snakebites-Watch where you walk! Autumn is the time that snakes are preparing for winter hibernation, they can be more aggressive during this time and therefore more likely to bite. Fortunately only 7 species of the 46 that call Oklahoma home are venemous. (Copperhead, Cottonmouth and 5 varieties of rattlesnakes).

Flea and Tick Checks— Just because the leaves are falling doesn’t mean the fleas and ticks are hibernating. In Oklahoma, the fall and winter months often do not remain cold long enough to eradicate the fleas and ticks. Help keep your pet protected with regular flea and tick prevention year round.

Allergies— People who suffer from hay fever and ragweed allergies can be miserable until the first frost. The same goes for pets who have environmental allergies. If your pet is itching, scratching or chewing on his or her skin, consult your veterinarian for medications that can help bring your pet relief.

Human Cold and Flu Medications— Over-the-counter human medication may contain potentially dangerous ingredients for pets. Keep all medications out of reach of curious pets! Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be problematic to dogs but is especially toxic to cats, it can cause liver failure and poor oxygenation. Ibuprofen (Motrin)and naproxen (Aleve), are often combined with decongestants, if ingested these can cause ulcers or liver and kidney damage.

Antifreeze and Windshield Deicers— Winterizing your car? Antifreeze and other car products may contain ethylene glycol. Many dogs and cats find its sweet taste inviting, but ingesting a large enough amount can lead to kidney failure. Be sure to clean up any spills on the garage floor and lock all car products away from wandering pets.

With a little planning, you can help protect your pet from seasonal incidents. And that should make you feel as warm and comfortable as your new flannel shirt.

Fall Gardening-Many people plant daffodil and tulip bulbs in the fall for early spring flowering. While they make a lovely addition to spring gardens, the bulbs of these two spring favorites are quite toxic if ingested. Keep your pets away from newly planted areas that might entice them to dig up the bulbs.

Football parties and holiday foodsOklahoman’s take their football very seriously, we get together with friends and family to munch on snacks and watch our favorite teams play. One of the most common reasons veterinarians see pets in the fall is due to dietary indiscretions. People food can cause a variety of gastrointestinal issues with our pets including pancreatitis, vomiting, diarrhea or blockages. Remind your friends and family this fall not to feed your pet holiday snacks.

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