Pet Safety Tips for Autumn

Pet Safety Tips for Autumn

October has arrived, and that means it’s officially autumn! We encourage you to celebrate the change of seasons with your four-legged friend, but make sure that they stay safe this time of year. Below, a veterinarian from River Valley Veterinary Hospital, serving the Fox Chapel, PA area, tells you about some common fall-time hazards.

Pesticides and Rodenticides

As temperatures outside drop, pesky critters like insects, roaches, and wild rodents often invade our homes to seek warmth. If you use pesticides, rodenticides, and similar products to ward intruders off, use caution—these products are poisons, not only to the critters they’re designed to kill but to our animal companions as well! Place pesticides carefully where pets can’t reach.


Veterinarians often see an increase in snake-bite injuries during the fall; that’s because snakes are preparing to hibernate for the winter and are extra irritable as a result. An unsuspecting pet can run across one in underbrush, wooded areas, or tall grasses and accidentally get bitten, so don’t let your pet roam around outdoors unsupervised. Ask your vet what sort of snakes, both venomous and non-venomous, are common where you live.

Toxic Mushrooms

The vast majority of wild mushrooms aren’t toxic, but there is a small percentage that can cause serious harm. There’s no sense in letting your pet run the risk; even mushrooms that aren’t poisonous may cause your pet to choke or experience an upset stomach, and they could have residual fertilizers or weed-killing chemicals on them that pets shouldn’t ingest. Don’t let your pet munch on any mushrooms they may find while exploring the great outdoors.

Portable Heating Devices

We often set up portable heaters around the home this time of year to keep the chilly air at bay. Don’t let pets lie too close to these devices, because it’s all too easy for your animal friend to accidentally burn themselves.

School Supplies

This is an autumn hazard you may not have thought of! As our young children go back to class, it’s likely that back-to-school supplies like glue, markers, crayons, sharp pencils, scissors, and more are lying about. Some of these products are poisonous to pets, and sharp objects like scissors present a laceration hazard. Keep all such items off of the floor and countertops where pets might reach them.

Want more advice on keeping your pet safe this fall? Call your Fox Chapel, PA veterinarian’s office.

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