At this time of year, nothing really beats a crisp autumn breeze, the beautiful foliage, and pumpkin spice flavored everything. Although this is a favorite time of year for humans, fall does usher in a variety of dangers for our furry friends.

Here are a few helpful tips to keep your pets safe and healthy this series:

School and home project supplies pose risks to curious pets

With the start of school, your home will have a lot more arts and crafts inside. Items like school glues, permanent markers, and pencils can all cause upset stomachs for your dog and cat. Heavy-duty adhesives can cause severe blockages in the GI tract and can even require surgery to remove them. To protect your pets, make sure your children’s school projects stay covered up and are not accessible to your pets. Dogs, in particular, seem to like the flavor of glue.

An apple a day?

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, that might be true for you, but it turns out that is not the case for your cat or dog. If you have a dog that likes to peruse for food on the ground, make sure to keep them at home when strolling the apple orchards. While the flesh of ripe apples doesn’t pose a problem for dogs or cats, apple stems, leaves and seeds are not so gentle. They can cause GI upset, decreased oxygen in the blood, reduced heart rate, difficulty breathing, seizures, coma, and even death. With reasonable preparation, the flesh of apples can make a suitable treat for dogs, but cats are unlikely to enjoy the flavor of this fruit.

Fall is a prime season for mushrooms

Many mushrooms are non-toxic, but that doesn’t mean that they are safe from mushroom poisoning. For example, many dogs have a wandering and scavenging behavior. While dogs are typically brilliant, they are unable, however, to sniff out the mushrooms that are toxic. With that in mind, the best way to avoid trouble is to keep pets away from areas where any mushrooms are growing. Dogs should be prevented from consuming mushrooms when they are being exercised. Mushrooms can cause profuse bloody diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dehydration, fever, and elevated heart rates characterize the initial phase of mushroom toxicity. Without treatment, the pet will succumb to liver and kidney failure within 3-7 days. As with most poisonings, prompt upper gastrointestinal decontamination and supportive care are critical elements of treatment.

Snakebite season is here

Autumn is the season when snakes prepare for hibernation and are more likely to strike, increasing the possibility of bites to naive and curious pets. Be aware of what kinds of venomous snakes are in your area and avoid the areas they most often inhabit.