Fall Pet Tips

Labor Day Pet Love

Labor Day is a great holiday to kick off the beginning of the fall season. Fall is one of the most enjoyable seasons because of its reasonable temperatures and beautiful foliage. Fall may seem like a safer season for pets than summer and winter, but it carries it’s own risks. Fall pet care can be a great way to ensure the safety and happiness of your pets.

Dog in Leaves for Fall Pet Tips Article

Courtesy of Josh McGinn/Flickr

Fall pet tips:

  • Dog obesity- Most dog parents enjoy exercising with their pooches during the summer months but tend to get busier and less active in the fall and winter. It is important for you and your dog’s health to keep active and keep off the cool weather pounds.
  • Pet malnutrition- On the flip side, pets need more calories and nutrients as the temperature cools to maintain their nutritional status. This is especially true if you have an outdoor pet with a short or thin hair coat. It is important to consult a veterinarian about the nutritional requirements needed for your pet when the temperatures drop.
  • Rodent poisoning- As the temperatures drop, the rodents will start to make homes out of your own to prepare for winter. Most people will combat this with traps or poison, both of which can harm your pet. You need to make sure your method of ridding rodents is not available to your pet. For more information regarding rodent poison, see the VetRxDirect blog post, Rodent Poisoning in Pets.
  • Coats for pets: Depending on your location, climate, and pet breed, you may need to consider shopping for a coat for your pet. Fall can be a season of dramatic drops in temperature while your pet is still working on growing their winter coat. If your pet doesn’t usually get much of a winter coat or if they haven’t quite developed it during a cold spell, they can suffer from hypothermia. A pet coat is an easy way to prevent hypothermia in pets. For more information regarding coats for pets, stay tuned for an article about how to pick out and use pet coats.
  • Fall plant poisoning: Some plants that bloom or produce fruit during the fall can be toxic to pets. A good example are some of the toxic mushrooms that grow in the fall. Your local DNR office and veterinarian can be great resources to know what you should protect your pet from.

This article highlighted some of the broad fall pet care tips to keep your pet safe. What specific tips do you have for other pet parents?


Rat Poisoning in Dogs

Rodent Poisoning in Pets

Most everyone has dealt with a mouse or rat in their home throughout their life. Even those who haven’t encountered a rodent are likely to use a poison to prevent such animals from making a habitat out of their home. Rodent poison, called rodenticide, also has the power to kill our beloved pets: a well-versed knowledge of rodent poison safety can prevent our pets from becoming victims.

3 common ingredients of rodent poison:

  • Anticoagulants
    • These ingredients block the body from using Vitamin K for blood clotting, eventually causing internal bleeding and death.
    • Common ingredient names: warfarin, coumatetralyl, difenacoum, brodifacoum, flocoumafen, bromadiolone, diphacinone, chlorophacinone, and pindone.
    • Available antidote(s): Vitamin K is administered to pets to counteract the effects of the rodent poison. VetRxDirect now carries a more convenient, chewable vitamin K.
  • Metal Phosphides
    • These ingredients react with the rodent’s stomach contents to form a toxic gas.
    • Common ingredient names: aluminum phosphide calcium phosphide, magnesium phosphide, and zinc phosphide. No specific antidote is available but supportive care can be successful in early cases.
  • Calciferol’s (Vitamin D)
    • These ingredients are different forms of vitamin D and a toxic dose is eaten by the rodent to kill them.
    • Common ingredient names: cholecalciferol and ergocalciferol.
    • Available antidote(s): No specific antidote is available but supportive care can be successful in early cases.

Signs your pet may have ingested rodent poison:

The signs of rodent poisoning in pets varies by type of ingredient. The anticoagulant poisons are likely to cause bleeding. Signs specific to anticoagulant rat poison toxicity include excessive bleeding from cuts and scrapes, bleeding gums, difficulty breathing, bloody stools, bloody vomit, bloody urine, nose bleed, weakness, and bruises.

Signs specific to metal phosphide poisoning include rotten breath odors, depression, rapid breathing, blood in vomit, weakness, and seizures.

Signs specific to Vitamin D poisoning include depression, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, and unpleasant breath odor.

Veda-K! Soft Chews for Rat Poisoning in Dogs

New Veda-K1 Soft Chews Available at VetRxDirect

Actions to take if your pet has ingested rodent poison or you suspect they have:

  1. IMMEDIATELY call your pet’s veterinarian. I emphasize immediately because starting treatment right away can save your pet’s life.
  2. Remove or enclose all rodent poison accessible to your pet. You now know they like the taste of it and it should be out of their reach.
  3. Consult a specialist in removing and preventing rodents from living inside your home.

How to prevent rodent poisoning in dogs:

  • The easiest way to prevent poisoning your pet is to not use rodent poison in your home or surrounding area. However this may not be feasible for those living in highly populated rodent areas.
  • Enclose the rodent poison in contraptions designed just for rodents that aren’t accessible to pets. These are simple devices that the rodent has to crawl into to eat the poison and can help prevent your pet from doing so.
  • You can also try mouse/rat traps, but these are also not completely fool-proof to pets. One curious snout or paw can easily get snapped in a mouse trap.
  • Know the ingredients in your poison(s) and the symptoms of poisoning in your pet. The symptoms may take a while to show but early detection is key for saving their life.

What questions do you have about rodent poisoning in pets? Have you ever experienced a pet ingesting rodent poison?