Fall Safety Tips for Dogs

border collie in the woodsIn the Richmond area, we are enjoying a wonderful season full of changing colors and cool, crisp air. Even though you and your dog may be enjoying the return to cooler temperatures, you should be aware that along with the change of seasons comes a new set of potential dangers for your dog. The following tips will help you prepare your home and your dog for the fall season.

  • Brush up on basic dog training commands to be sure your dog will respond when you call him. With the cooler temperatures, your dog may be more active or down right frisky. If you haven’t used your training commands lately, your dog may have forgotten them.
  • Keep an eye out for poisonous mushrooms when spending time with your dog outside. Though most mushrooms are harmless, some species are incredibly toxic and consumption could be fatal. Take the time to learn how to distinguish toxic from non-toxic mushrooms and, just as a precaution, remove all mushrooms from your property when you find them.
  • As temperatures drop, rodents and insects begin to seek refuge indoor which means that you may start getting out the rodent traps and insecticides during the fall. Always store these products in sealed containers and keep them out of your dog’s reach. Keep the animal poison control center number on hand in case your dog does happen to get into something.
  • For families, fall also means the start of holiday decorating. Make sure your family members understand the importance of keeping holiday and craft supplies like glue, markers and crayons out of your dog’s reach. These items are not highly toxic to pets but, if consumed in large quantities, they could cause stomach upset.
  • If you live in a rural area, you may need to keep an eye out for hunters while walking your dog in the woods. If you are a Richmond dog owner, take your dog to a  local state park instead or to an area where hunting is strictly prohibited. If you do take your dog to a place where hunters may be present, tie a bright orange bandana or put an orange collar around your dog’s neck so hunters do not mistake your dog for a deer. Hunters are prohibited to hunt on Sundays, so that is the best day for walking in the woods.  For more information on hunting seasons and regulations, check  out  http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/hunting/regulations/ .