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Autumn Adventures with Your Dog: Safety Tips for Fall Fun

Autumn is a great time get outside and explore with your dog! While you enjoy the beautiful leaves and cooler temperatures, make sure to look out for potential hazards that could ruin your fall fun.

Dog on hike in the woods in the fall

Fall is a great time of year to take your dog on hikes, trail walks, and camping trips! In September, the summer heat starts to cool into a comfortable autumn breeze, and the leaves begin to change into beautiful fiery colors. It’s a picture perfect time to spend outdoors! 

Even in this seemingly perfect time of year, there are still threats outside that can be potentially harmful to your dog! Some of these objects include acorns from Oak trees, pinecones, ticks, and even different species of rattlesnakes.

Acorns

Acorns look harmless but can be pretty troublesome to your pup! If possible, try to clean up acorns in your yard. While out on a walk or an adventure, keep a close eye on your pup so they don’t try to snatch up any acorns. Acorns can cause:

  • Stomach upset
  • Intestinal injury from the sharp husks
  • Foreign body obstruction
  • Pancreatitis
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure 

Signs to look for include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, drinking more water, and urinating more frequently. If you see these signs, please contact your veterinarian.

Pinecones

Another cute fall icon but, please don’t let your dog use a pinecone as a new chew toy! They can often swallow them faster than you can get them out of their mouth! Eating pinecones can cause

  • Irritation to the esophagus
  • Gastrointestinal obstruction
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

It’s Always Tick Season

Though ticks are active all year long, they are especially active in spring and fall months, when the temperature is cooler. A variety of ticks can be found east of the Rockies but they are especially prevalent in the Northeast region. Ticks like to live in tall grasses, fields, and wooded areas. They will attach anywhere on the body, but they prefer warm and dark areas, such as in and around the ears, the groin, and under front legs. Different species of ticks can transmit different diseases. It only takes a few hours for a Blacklegged tick to transmit Lyme disease. It’s very important to keep your dog on a reliable tick prevention all year! 

Check yourself and your dog for ticks after coming inside. Baby ticks, or nymphs, are smaller than a poppy seed. Remember to check those dark, warm areas! For more information of ticks in your region and their potential to spread disease, please check out the CDC's latest tick data.

Rattlesnakes 

Rattlesnakes can be found in almost every state across the US. As the weather cools in the fall, rattlesnakes can become more active. They have excellent camouflage making them difficult to spot, so always keep a sharp eye out for them!

If your dog gets bitten by a snake, take your dog to the nearest emergency veterinary hospital immediately. For the fastest treatment, be sure to take a picture of the snake if possible. 

Fall can be such a gret time to explore with you dog! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to our team or your veterinarian. Happy Fall!