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Beware of Autumn Pet Dangers

Autumn has officially arrived. Like the other seasons, fall time brings with it a few pet hazards to be aware of! Learn more below from a vet in Roanoke, VA.

Pesticide Products

It’s not uncommon for insects, small rodents, roaches, and other pests to begin invading our homes in the autumn, seeking warmth and shelter from the cooling weather outside. You may set up pesticides, rodenticides, and similar products around your home to ward off these pesky critters. Remember: pesticides are poisons, made specifically to kill the creatures who come in contact with them! Place pesticides with extreme caution, and always use pet-safe products or non-toxic options.

Wild Animals

Wild animals like raccoons and opossums can be more active in the fall, and they may harm an unsuspecting pet who disturbs them. Snakes are another wild-animal hazard in the fall; since they’re preparing for hibernation and are extra grumpy, they may bite a pet who comes across them! Supervise your pet closely while outdoors, and keep them away from tall grasses and heavy shrubbery.

Autumn Plants

Several plants and flowers that flourish in the fall—chrysanthemums, Autumn Crocus, certain lilies, and more—can prove toxic to pets! Additionally, common fall decorations like gourds, pumpkins, and autumn corn can harm a pet. These plants aren’t toxic, per say, but they can cause choking or upset stomach if a pet manages to ingest too much. Always keep a close eye on your pet to make sure they don’t try to chow down on any autumnal plants.

Wild Mushrooms

Autumn is peak season for mushrooms. While the vast majority of wild mushrooms aren’t toxic, a small number are—it’s just not worth the risk for your beloved companion. Plus, even mushrooms that aren’t toxic may be sprayed with weed-killing chemicals or lawn fertilizers, which you don’t want your pet to ingest. When your pet is outdoors, keep them away from any and all mushrooms!

Chilly Weather

Of course, with autumn comes cooler weather. Don’t leave your pet outdoors for long periods of time, where they may get cold. (This is especially true at night, when temperatures can drop to near freezing later in the season!) Your pet will be safest and happiest indoors with you and your family.

These aren’t the only fall-time hazards out there for our four-legged friends. Call your Roanoke, VA veterinarian today to learn about more great safety tips!

Summertime Pet Hazards

The dog days of summer are nearly upon us. Will your animal friend be ready to face the hottest months of the year? Below, brush up on a few essential hot-weather pet care tips presented by your Roanoke, VA veterinary professional.

Heat and Humidity

Just like you, a pet won’t fare well if left out in heat and humidity for extended periods of time. Heatstroke and dehydration are serious issues—never allow your pet to remain outdoors during the summertime for hours on end, and make sure they have a large dish of cool, fresh water to drink from at all times. Check the water dish regularly to see if it needs refilled or refreshed.

Sunburn

Did you know that pets can get sunburnt, just like humans? It’s especially likely to happen on areas that are thinly covered by fur, like the tip of the nose or the edges of the ears. Your best bet to avoiding sunburn on your pet is to keep them out of direct sunlight for long periods. You can also try using a canine- or feline-formulated sunblock if your pet will have to stay outside for a longer period of time. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.

Outdoor Pests

Summer is prime-time for outdoor pests to latch on to your four-legged friend and start causing problems. Fleas, ticks, heartworm, roundworm… make sure your pet is protected against these critters! Have your dog or cat wear a flea-and-tick preventative and take a quality heartworm medication. This way, any dangerous pests should be kept at bay.

Hot Asphalt

Do your best to avoid asphalt surfaces like driveways and parking lots when walking your pet. These surfaces can heat up drastically when the hot sun burns down on them all day. A pet who lingers on hot asphalt can experience painful burns and blisters! If possible, choose to walk your pet on cooler grass or dirt surfaces instead.

Toxic Plant Life

It’s likely your pet will spend more time outdoors during the warmer months. Remember that many plants and flowers aren’t safe for pets. Toxic varieties include rhododendron (also called azalea), philodendron, ivy, dieffenbachia, oleander, lilies, tulips, various aloe plants, certain rubber plants, the sago palm, and many more. To be safe, restrict your pet from munching on any plant life.

Want more tips for keeping your pet safe this summer? Call your Roanoke, VA vet clinic today!

Valentine’s Day Hazards for Pets

Valentine’s Day is just a few short weeks away. If you’re going to be celebrating with that special someone and you own a pet, it’s important to be aware of a few holiday hazards! Learn more below from your Troutville, VA veterinarian.

Chocolate

Chocolate abounds during the Valentine’s Day season. Chocolate of all types is a big no-no for pets, as it contains substances like theobromine and caffeine that don’t agree with our animal companions. If too much chocolate is ingested, a pet may display symptoms like lethargy, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and worse—take your pet to the emergency room immediately if they’ve ingested chocolate of any sort.

Candy

Candies, as well as certain gums and toothpastes, are often sweetened with xylitol, an artificial sugar that is toxic to animals. Avoid symptoms like weakness, vomiting and diarrhea, and seizures; keep the holiday candy to yourself, and store it in closed containers or cabinets where your pet can’t reach.

Candles

Lighting candles to set that romantic mood? Make sure they’re placed in areas where pets won’t have access. For one, a pet might swipe a tail or paw through an open flame, potentially causing burns. It’s also possible for a startled pet to knock over a candle, potentially starting a fire.

Human Food

All sorts of common human foods aren’t safe for pets to eat. If you’re cooking a meal for two this Valentine’s Day, make sure your pet isn’t waiting nearby to gobble up any errant morsels. Onions, garlic, chives, leeks, scallions, shallots, avocado, grapes and raisins, certain nuts, caffeinated foods and beverages… the list goes on and on! Keep your pet in another room while cooking, and don’t overdo it with table scraps.

Alcohol

If your romantic celebrations will include alcoholic beverages, it’s important for you to keep your dog or cat’s safety in mind. Alcohol affects pets just like it affects us—the difference is that pets will experience poisoning after only a small amount is ingested. Keep a close eye on adult beverages to make sure that your pet doesn’t have a chance to imbibe.

Plant Life

Lilies are particularly common this time of year. Did you know that they’ve very toxic to our feline friends, and might harm dogs as well? Check all bouquets and remove lilies if necessary.

Want more tips on keeping your pet safe this Valentine’s Day? Call your Troutville, VA vet clinic.