Autumn Pet Safety: Keeping Your Pets Safe This Fall

beagle playing in leaves.

As fall sets in here in Tennessee, many of us have autumn fun on our lists of things to do. Harpeth Hills Animal Hospital wants to be sure that all of our pets are included in the fall festivities, and that they are able to stay safe while doing so. Autumn pet safety is important, and we want to be sure that potential hazards are on your list.

Pet-Friendly Fall Gardens

The fall season is full of pretty plants and garden harvests, but are they all safe for Fido and Fluffy? Some autumn plants are toxic to pets, so it is important that pet-safe plants are on your radar this fall. 

Be sure to stay safe around:

  • The iconic chrysanthemum (“mum”) flower, as it is mildly toxic upon ingestion, causing vomiting, diarrhea, increased salivation, and incoordination
  • The autumn crocus whose late season blooms can cause serious results when ingested
  • Falling apples can cause a foreign body obstruction, or cyanide poisoning if a large number of seeds are ingested. 
  • Oak leaves and acorns who can cause gastrointestinal upset when ingested due to their tannin concentration

Plenty of plants are pet safe, though. Asters, fountain grass, Russian sage, and pansies make for great pet-friendly fall gardens. 

Safe Fall Treats for Pets

Pumpkin spice everything is on our list to enjoy this fall. But what safe fall treats can you share with your pets? Here are a few of our favorites for an occasional treat:

  • A small amount of pumpkin or butternut squash puree (try freezing them for a special treat!)
  • Carrots (cooked or raw)
  • A small amount of white meat turkey without the skin
  • Green beans (no butter or bacon, though!)
  • Apples slices sans the core
  • Baked sweet potato

You can even get creative and make a pet-friendly sweet potato muffin or some pumpkin tuna kitty treats.

Obviously chocolate is off limits as a pet safe choice, but peanut butter is okay. Just be sure that anything you choose to feed your pet is xylitol free

Other Autumn Animal Worries

There are a handful of other autumn pet hazards to be aware of. Keep your pet safe by staying aware of:

  • Corn cobs as decorations, as they can make an attractive chew toy that can result in a gastrointestinal obstruction
  • Bringing outdoor plants inside to protect them from the frost—be sure that they are pet safe or secure from your animals
  • Mulch or fertilizer that becomes moldy from the moisture of the season
  • Fungi growing in the yard
  • Mouse/rat poison—these chemicals don’t just harm rodents
  • Space heaters and cozy electric blankets can be nice, but they are also burn hazards for pets
  • Candles and wax warmers which can lead to burns especially if knocked over
  • Fleas tend to be at their peak in the late summer and early fall months, contact us for advice on protecting your pet

Fall is an amazing time of year, and with a little care, it can be great for your pets, too. Wishing you a cozy harvest season!