Now that temps have dropped and some leaves are starting to change we can relax and know that summer has bid us adieu. Having a respite from the heat is nice, but we should keep in mind our furry friends. Though they have coats on all the time, they still need consideration in colder weather.
Pets who like to nap on cool surfaces in the summer may not enjoy it so much now. Make sure there is bedding available for your buddy to snuggle on when he’s tired. Make sure that if he gets wet, he is dried quickly. He will still need plenty of water to drink. Just because it’s not hot, it doesn’t mean he’s not thirsty!
Antifreeze is a big danger this time of year. Dogs and cats both think it’s a tasty treat, but it is extremely toxic. Keep an eye on your pet when outdoors, and make sure she doesn’t drink anything from the ground that looks suspicious. Antifreeze is a bright green color and pools where cars have parked and leaked it from their engines. Symptoms of ethylene glycol poisoning include nausea or vomiting, increased thirst, tremors or twitching, and wobbly or uncoordinated movement. Portable heaters are also a hazard – never leave a pet unsupervised in a room with a space heater, and keep an eye on them around fireplaces too.
When the holidays come around, there is a whole new list of things to worry about! Alcohol and chocolate are abundant, but make sure they’re all accounted for so that your best four-legged friend doesn’t regret overindulging. Many plants are poisonous. Poinsettias are rumored to be toxic, but aren’t as bad as they’ve been made out. They won’t kill your plant-chewing cat, but they can cause an upset stomach. The best rule is to keep all vegetation out of reach, so that even if they’re not poisonous you’re not cleaning up half-digested plant bits from all corners of the house. Even when not fatal many greens cause vomiting and diarrhea, and that’s never fun for any of us. For cats who like grass, there is cat grass and catnip which are both fine for them to nibble in moderation. These can both be found in pet stores.
Decorations can be hazardous too. Electric cords, candles, and glass trinkets or ornaments all bring out the mischievous side of our pets. Tinsel can be especially bad for cats who like strings. If eaten, it can become tangled in the stomach or intestine and require surgery to be safely removed. Tree-climbing cats should be kept away from Christmas trees, or there could be a very large mess to clean up!
Fall and winter are great seasons. Just keep a few things in mind, and your and your pets can enjoy them with fewer troubles.