Autumn Safety Tips for Pet Owners

Chris Ching

Exercise and time outdoors are vital for a pet’s well-being. Daily outdoor time for pets is correlated with a healthy weight range, high levels of happiness, and healthy levels of Vitamin D. Being outdoors helps stimulate your pet’s brain, allowing them to release built up energy.

Dropping temperatures during the fall make it a great season to give your pets additional outdoor time. Before you let your pets into the backyard, consider these safety tips.

picaridin for dogs

Steer Clear of Weed Killers

Lawn care is important, especially during the fall when weeds mark their territory on yards, driveways, and sidewalks. Herbicide is a common substance that homeowners rely on to kill weeds. However, it’s extremely toxic for pets. Pets are innately curious and can’t help but to sniff, and possibly ingest, plants and grass that have been sprayed with herbicides. 

Overtime, pets can experience herbicide poisoning if they consume too many pesticides. Signs of pesticide toxicity include lethargy, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive drooling. 

If you plan on spraying your lawn, please be cautious of your pets. We recommend keeping them away from freshly sprayed lawns for the duration listed on the bottle’s directions. Dog owners should be vigilant of their furry friends on rainy days, as they may be tempted to lick wet grass that has been recently covered in lawn chemicals.

dog in ranger ready bug spray bandana

Keep Ticks on Your Radar

Many associate ticks with warm weather, but the reality is that they can sustain cold weather, too. In fact, Pet Health Network declares autumn as a major tick season. As we begin seeing more wildlife out this time of year, we should also expect to encounter more blacklegged (deer) tick as well. Therefore, please be more proactive when letting your pets outside.

In order to protect your pets from ticks, please check them regularly. Examine their skin, paying close attention to their neck under their collar, groin area, ears, paws, and under their front legs and tail. Please consider using a flea comb for dogs with long hair. Red or irritated patches, as well as bumps, are usually indicators of a tick bite.

Follow these steps if you suspect that your pet has been bitten by a tick. Pets are not generally infected within the first 24 to 36 hours after being bit, so quick detection is imperative.

Pet owners should not have to fear for their pets lives whenever they spend time outdoors. We recommend investing in a safe and effective tick preventative. Unfortunately, many tick preventatives found on store shelves are not as safe as we think. 

According to NRDC, the pesticides used for flea and tick prevention can pose serious health risks to people, causing cancer, neurological and respiratory issues. Meanwhile, they have been linked to causing skin irritation, neurological problems, gastrointestinal disorders, and even organ failure.  

We recommend investing in a pet-safe bug spray or a tick repellent for dogs. We recommend staying away from any repellent containing DEET, as DEET is toxic for dogs. Repellents with picaridin have become the go-to repellent ingredient as it is widely accepted as a safe alternative for dogs and horses.

dog tick protection with picaridin

Keep Your Pets Away from Antifreeze

Antifreeze is a necessity for anyone who lives in cold regions and relies on a car as their primary form of transportation.

However, antifreeze contains substances that are both enticing and deadly for pets. Ethylene glycol is a toxic compound that all pet owners should be informed about. This substance has a sweet smell that pets find irresistible. For this reason, pet owners should keep all bottles of antifreeze out of reach from their pets. If possible, please keep all pets indoors while you refill your car’s engine and immediately clean any spills.

If you suspect that your dog has ingested antifreeze, please rush them to a veterinarian immediately. Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital states that antifreeze poisoning generally occurs 30 minutes after ingestion, and the signs include: twitching, tremors, vomiting, increased urination, decreased thirst, stumbling, and depression.

dog safe picaridin bug spray

More Time Spent Outdoors Means an Increased Appetite

Winter appetites aren’t only relevant to people; our pets are also affected – they actually burn more energy in the winter as they use their energy to stay warm. That, along with more time spent outdoors playing, means that your pet needs bigger meals in order to feel satiated and to remain healthy. We know that we will be sneaking a few extra treats to Olive and the other Ranger Ready team pets.

Please contact your veterinarian for their recommendations before changing your pet’s eating habits, as every pet is different.

Take these tips into consideration in order to assure that your pet is both happy and healthy while roaming through the great outdoors. 

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