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Published: Sep 28, 2012

Now that autumn has officially arrived, pet health experts say it's important for pet owners to consider some potential dangers of the season.

While the cooler weather may drive many pet owners outdoors more often with their furry friends, it may also cause rodents, such as mice, to go indoors. According to the ASPCA, the use of rodenticides increases during the fall as humans try to keep these pests out of their homes. If you use these products, it's important to remember to be extremely careful with them and put them in locations where they cannot be accessed by your pet.

Fleas and ticks on dogs and cats may also be a problem for some pet owners this time of year. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, ticks can be active all year round, even in the fall and winter. Flea infestations can continue until a hard freeze occurs outside, NorthJersey.com reports. Pet owners can reduce their animal's risk of getting fleas or ticks by speaking with their veterinarian about preventative treatments.

Remember that cats and dogs share the same fleas. So, if you have an indoor cat, she can become infested by the same fleas your dog brings inside. That's just one reason why flea control for dogs is important even when the weather turns cooler.

If your pet spends a lot of time outdoors this fall, make sure he always has clean water and appropriate shelter from the cold, windy weather. Additionally, the ASPCA recommends feeding animals who exercise heavily outdoors, or who live outdoors, more food during the cooler months. AnimalCompanionsAndTheirPeople.com reminds pet owners to gradually introduce pets to cooler weather and not leave them outdoors in uncomfortably cold conditions for an extended length of time.

Animal experts say that pets may also be at an increased risk of being bitten by a snake during the fall. As snakes prepare for hibernation, they may become irritated and are more likely to bite pets who intrude upon their terrain. It's important to keep your animals away from possible snake-infested areas, especially during the fall, according to the ASPCA.

Other seasonal hazards include Halloween candy and school supplies that can be accidentally ingested by your pet. Remember that foods such as candy, chocolate and other sweets as well as some household products can make your pet sick if eaten.
 

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