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Tip of the Month

9/12/2011 Pros and Cons to the Fall Season

With fall just around the corner, and October being Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog month, it is important to know the season dangers for your new adoptee or even your current canine friend.

There are several benefits to the fall season for your dog. The cooler weather means cooler road temperatures which is kinder to your pets’ tender paws. Cooler outside temperatures often encourages owners, dog trainers, and even kids to get out and exercise by playing with their pets more, which makes for a happy dog! The holiday season usually brings more guests over to the house which means more attention and playtime for your pet pooch. Along with the holidays comes pumpkin and pumpkin pie! Pumpkin is actually very good for dogs. It is both nutritious and low in calories. Pure canned pumpkin is a good source of fiber and is also recommended for dogs suffering from constipation.

While the Fall season offers a happy home environment for your pets, there are also some dangers that come along with the Autumnal months. Acorns and oak leaves are poisonous to dogs and can cause intestinal blockage. Water with oak leaves can also be very poisonous to dogs. Make sure they stay away from acorns and do not allow them to drink from puddles. Tree debris, pine needles and pine cones could damage a dogs’ gastrointestinal tract. Don’t forget that dogs love playing in piles of leaves but be careful what is hiding in the pile so your dog does not get an unpleasant surprise. Depending on the area where you live, some hibernating animals can be dangerous to your pooch!

Halloween brings lots of candy and kids to the house for trick-or-treating. However, beware of trick-or-treaters who may drop a sweet candied morsel around your yard. Chocolate can overproduce insulin in dogs, and when their sugar level decrease, they could be at risk for liver failure. In addition to the candy dangers, remember, trick-or-treaters in costume, to a protective or territorial dog can be a bad situation. Be sure to confine your dog to a more peaceful part of your home to prevent any Halloween night problems that may arise.

Fall has its own plants and pollens that can affect your dog. Ragweed pollen and mold spores are some of the allergens your dog could run into; causing itchy eyes, drippy noses and sneezing. If you feel your dog might be suffering from allergies, make sure to visit your vet for professional advice. Finally, during the holiday season, many families have turkey. Be sure to keep turkey bones and scraps away from your dog. Turkey bones can be a choking hazard, causing splintering and possibly a puncture to the internal organs.

By knowing what dangers you may encounter in the fall, or with any season, you will know what to look out for in order to protect your favorite four pawed friend!

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