10 Common Hazards For Dogs In Autumn

As the leaves start to turn and the weather begins to cool, fall could be an awesome time to enjoy the great outdoors with your dog.

Although this beautiful season seems all but harmless, there are actually several toxic substances that are more common in the fall than in the winter and summer months.

But as long as you keep an eye out for these 10 most common autumn hazards, you and your pup should have a wonderful time.

1. Fallen Leaves

A bed of fallen leaves can be lots of fun to play on. But while newly fallen foliage should be perfectly safe, piles that have been lying around for a while may not be as harmless.

Moisture within the piles could lead to the production of mold and bacteria, which could be harmful to your dog.

Courtesy of Pexels

2. Mushrooms & Toadstools

Piles of leaves and some moisture from rain is the perfect environment for mushrooms to grow and thrive.

While most mushrooms in the US are non-toxic, there are still those that vary in toxicity from causing an upset stomach to severe organ damage.

While outdoors, keep your pup in a proper dog harness so you can safely restrain them from pulling towards mushroom growth.

Photo by Waldo Jaquith.

3. Conkers and Acorns

When acorns fall from oak and conkers from horse chestnut trees, dogs could easily see these poisonous nuts and seeds as snacks or little toys.

When going out for walks, it’s always better to use a dog leash so you can keep an eye on them at all times.

A pug sniffing some fallen acorns. Photo by geradbrazell.

4. Chocolate & Candy

Autumn brings in the Halloween fun, which means an excellent time to play dress-up in some of the best dog clothes and costumes.

But, the time for trick-or-treating also means tons of chocolate and candies that are incredibly poisonous to dogs.

 Photo by Matt Hill

5. Grapes & Raisins

While giving your dog random fruits and table scraps might seem like a reward for being so adorable, there are human foods that are incredibly toxic to them.

These include grapes and raisins, which are common in autumn, especially during Thanksgiving.

Photo by Grabowska

6. Rat Poison

When temperatures drop outside, rodents and other pests might start moving in. That might tempt you to use rat poison and other rodenticides, which could be fatal to your dog.

If you need to use these, make sure your pets can’t reach them.

Vet techs check out a dog who may have been exposed to rat poison. Photo by Austin Community College

7. Mothballs

When you take your heavier clothes out to prepare for colder weather, make sure your dogs don’t have access to the mothballs you might have used in your closet.

8. Allergies

Dogs are more susceptible to allergies -- especially canine hayfever – as summer shifts to fall.

While few things can be done to prevent respiratory allergies, you can warm your dog up in a dog hoodie to also protect their skin from autumn allergens.

9. Seasonal Canine Illness

Though rare, Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI) is more prevalent in the fall. Researchers have yet to determine what causes it, but it usually occurs within days of exposure to the woodlands.

Dogs who have this exhibit various symptoms, including diarrhea and vomiting.

Photo by Bruno Cervera


10. Early Nights

Because nights come earlier, it might get dark in the middle of your usual walk.

If you take your dog out to places where cars often zoom by, make sure you both are visible.

A reflective vest or a dog harness with reflective strips should keep you safe.

Photo by Helena Lopez

Now that you know what to look out for to keep your pup safe in the autumn months, you can stay vigilant and enjoy some incredibly fun outdoor activities. But if you ever suspect your dog might have accessed some poisonous products, don’t hesitate to visit your veterinarian right away.


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