Keeping Your Pet Safe This Autumn

Cool air, gorgeous foliage, apple picking, and gatherings with warm food are coming! Here are some common toxins and hazards to avoid this fall so that our pets can enjoy themselves safely.

  • Grapes and raisins – Can cause kidney failure in dogs. Even a very small amount of grapes can be fatal for some dogs.
  • Corn cobs – Can become lodged in the intestinal tract, causing a life-threatening blockage which often requires surgery to repair.
  • Macadamia nuts – Can cause weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, and/or a high fever in dogs.
  • Xylitol (artificial sweetener) – Can cause hypoglycemia (severely low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure, or even death in dogs. This artificial sweetener can be found in many candies, especially gum, and also in some types of peanut butter.
  • Bones – Can splinter in your pet’s mouth, causing injury to the mouth or esophagus, and larger pieces can become caught in the digestive system, causing a life-threatening blockage.
  • Wild Mushrooms – Many types of mushrooms are safe, but when exploring outside, it is best to avoid all wild mushrooms as there are many (like the death cap mushroom) which can be fatal if ingested. Depending on the type of mushroom, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, seizures, and/or liver or kidney damage may occur.
  • Antifreeze – Will cause kidney failure in both cats and dogs. As you are getting your car ready for colder weather, ensure that all antifreeze is kept safely out of reach of your pets. Cats and dogs find this toxic liquid very tasty, and even a small mouthful can prove fatal since the antifreeze completely shuts down your pet’s kidneys.
  • Mouse and rat poisons (rodenticides) – Can cause bleeding disorders or severe neurologic toxicity, depending on the type ingested, and can be fatal.

What to do if Your Pet Ingests a Toxin

Even when we are vigilant with keeping our pets safe, accidents do happen. If you suspect that your pet has ingested a toxin, call your veterinarian immediately. Or, if overnight, do not wait – bring your pet to the closest emergency clinic. With many toxins, time is of the essence, and the sooner your pet is seen and treated, the better the chance of their recovery.

Call a pet poison control hotline when your pet eats a toxin to obtain the most information to help your veterinarian to properly treat your pet. Many types of gum, in particular, have varying amounts of xylitol, a toxic artificial sweetener, and the pet poison control center can provide critical information regarding the exact substance your pet ingested to aid your veterinarian in developing the best treatment plan.

When you call, be prepared to write down any information, consultation numbers, etc. that your veterinarian may need in order to discuss treatment with the center. Also, make sure to bring the poison control phone number with you if you have your animal seen so the veterinarian knows which center to contact.

Animal Poison Control Centers:

National Poison Center: 1-888-232-8870
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: 1-888-426-4435
Pet Poison Helpline: 1-800-213-6680

What Treats Can Our Pets Safely Enjoy?

  • Carrots
  • Frozen (or fresh) green beans
  • Blueberries
  • Watermelon
  • Freeze-dried chicken
  • Boiled chicken or other lean meats in small quantities
  • Training treats (these are a great, low-calorie way to reward your pet!)

Fresh fruits and vegetables and training treats with very few calories are a fun way to treat your pet without packing on the pounds. Just be sure to avoid the toxic treats listed above to keep your pet safe.

We hope everyone has a lovely, fun-filled, and safe autumn. As always, we are here for you and your pets. Please don’t hesitate to call our team at Lake Road Animal Hospital with any questions or concerns about your furry family members.