10 Fall Pet Safety Tips

As the seasons change, so do the pet safety tips that come with it! From dropping temperatures to holiday decorations and visitors, there are a lot of things to consider when the season changes. Keep reading to learn more about the 10 Fall Pet Safety tips that we recommend.


  1. Keep Them Warm – As the temperatures begin to drop outside and you wrap up in a warm blanket, don’t forget about your furry friends. They may need to spend less time outside or even wear a coat or protective gear for the cold weather. Make sure to always have a warm place for you pet to sleep at night as well.
  2. Use Caution Around Mushrooms – While some mushrooms are completely safe, there are quite a few that can be fatally toxic. The best way to avoid any mishap is to make sure your pet doesn’t eat ANY mushroom that they come across. If you want to learn more about which specific fungi that aren’t so fun for pets, you can learn more in this AKC article.
  3. Watch For Wildlife – The black bear population in the area has been increasing, but they aren’t the only animal looking for food as the days grow cold. Raccoons, possum and other small rodents and animals are all trying to find some extra rations before winter as well. By encountering wildlife like these, you pet is not only at risk for physical injury but also rabies, so make sure your pet is always up to date on their vaccines as well!
  4. Be Seen!  – As we know, the closer we get to winter the faster the sun sets at night. A great way to protect your pet is to supply them with reflective gear (like collars, leashes or harnesses). That way if you’re on a walk or the unfortunate chance your pet gets lost, they can be spotted more easily at night.
  5. Consider Their Joints – Cold weather can effect your pets joints the same way it effects us. Especially if you have a senior pet, you should consider starting them on joint supplements to ease potential pain that your pet may experience during the frigid months. Be sure to always talk to your vet before starting your pet on any new supplements.
  6. Protect Their Paws – Protecting your pets paws is actually a year round job. From hot asphalt to snow melting salt, your pets paws come in contact with a lot. By protecting them year round and treating them with a balm (like this one from the Natural Dog Company) you can ensure your pets paw pads stay healthy & fresh. For some more tips on how to care for your pets paws, check out our other blog post!
  7. Cold Weather Poisons – The use of rat & mouse poisons increase as rodents attempt to seek shelter from the cold inside. These poisons are just that for your pet as well, and can be extremely fatal. If you must use products like these, please make sure to use caution around your pets. Another cold weather poison to watch for is antifreeze or coolant for cars. As the cold approaches people tend to check & change the fluids in their car, which can once again cause fatal for your pet if ingested.
  8. Holiday Stress – The holidays may sound like a fun time of gatherings for us, but it could potentially spell trouble for your pet. Some pets enjoy a lot of company & commotion, but some pets suffer from stress in situations like these and they should be cared for in whatever special ways they may need. Another potential issue with having company is the possibility of your pet escaping from your home due to the doors opening more often and visitors not knowing your pets routines. You should have a plan before the holidays come to make sure your pet will be comfortable throughout the season.
  9. Seasonal Decorations – Seasonal decorations can pose many dangers for your pet. From poisonous plants to items that can cause an obstruction there are many things to be cautious of. Plants like poinsettia, holly and some vines can be poisonous if ingested and should always be kept out of reach from pets. Other decorations can pose a physical danger because if ingested they can cause obstruction or other serious illness.
  10. Make Holiday Arrangements Now – If you know you will be travelling this holiday season, then you should start making your pets arrangements now to ensure that they are comfortable and taken care of while you are gone. Boarding you pet is an option, but also consider having someone come to watch your pet is another option if your pet suffers from extra stress. We do offer boarding here at AHSC and you can learn more about it here.

Our Certifications

AAHA: The Animal Hospital of Sussex County is a certified hospital in the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). To achieve this distinction, our hospital has passed regular comprehensive inspections of our facilities, medical equipment, veterinary practice methods and management. If you are traveling or relocating anywhere, finding an AAHA hospital will ensure the best medical care for your pet. The AAHA is recognized as the world’s leading association of small animal practitioners.

AAFP: We are also a cat friendly practice, certified by the American Association of Feline Practitioners. This means that the Animal Hospital of Sussex County is specifically set up to decrease stress and provide a more calming environment for your cat. Our staff has also been trained in feline-friendly handling and understanding cat behavior in order to increase the quality of care for your cat.

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