Originally published on Poway Patch:
Watch out for snakes: It’s easy to get lulled into a false
sense of security once the temperatures cool, but our reptile friends
are still out and about. Snakes are preparing to hibernate this time of
year, which means they are particularly bad-tempered. When hiking with
your dog, keep him on a leash and stay on the trail. If you do see a
snake, do not approach it and slowly back away. At home, be diligent
about keeping your yard tidy.
Be careful with rodenticides: It’s not uncommon to see an
increase in rodents around your home when the weather turns colder.
Rodenticides may keep them at bay, but they contain poison that is
highly toxic and even fatal to our pets. Humane mousetraps are a safer
option – you can find them at your local hardware store. If you must use
a rodenticide, use it only in areas that your pets cannot reach or
No fungi: Have you ever noticed little mushrooms popping up in
your yard? Fall is prime time for the fungi to appear, so you may be
seeing them more and more. Most mushrooms are non-toxic, but some are
dangerous to dogs and cats. Just be sure to keep your pets away from
where they grow.
Fleas and ticks: Summer is the peak season for fleas and
ticks, but you still need to be diligent about prevention year-round. There are
countless products on the market that promise to prevent and treat fleas
on our pets, so consult with your veterinarian about which products are
best for you and your pet. Bees, hornets and wasps are other critters
that are prevalent in the fall. They are known to burrow under fallen
leaves, so keep your yard clutter-free to prevent painful stings.
Toxic plants: If you move your plants indoors as it cools
down, be aware that many plants are poisonous to our pets. Just a few
include amaryllis, aloe, lilies, carnations, chrysanthemums, daffodils,
daisies, philodendron, some palms and grasses, poinsettias, holly and
some common herbs.
Use caution when changing your car’s coolant: According to the
ASPCA, autumn is a common time of year to change your car’s engine
coolant, but ethylene glycol-based coolants are highly toxic to pets.
Switching to a propylene glycol-based coolant is a good choice. Although
these can still harm pets they are less toxic than other coolants.
Either way, keep your pets away from your garage when changing the
coolant, and clean up any spills immediately.
Cats and cars: During cool weather, some cats sleep under the hoods of cars to keep warm. Before starting your car, bang loudly on the hood to give the cat a chance to escape.