Animals Being Jerks

7 Fall Hazards All Pet Parents Should Be Aware Of


7 Fall Hazards All Pet Parents Should Be Aware Of

    Proud Dog Mom  

Along with the beauty of fall comes some potential fall hazards that all pet parents should be aware of. Find out the top 7 things to watch for. 

Fall—it’s here and beautiful as ever. The foliage is changing, the air is getting crisper, days are shorter, and the festive feelings of Halloween and Thanksgiving are in the air. But, along with the beauty of the season come some potential fall hazards that all pet parents should be aware of. 

1. Rodenticides


As the days are getting shorter and cooler, mother nature’s little outdoor critters will begin looking for some temporary fall and winter housing to call home. Mice and rats are notorious for trying to get inside garages, basements, attics, and sheds as they search for a cozy place to call home. To avoid unwanted little tenants, many households put out rodent poisons. If you use these poisons anywhere in your home, make sure to keep them hidden and far out of the reach of your canine kids. These chemical formulas are toxic and potentially deadly for your pooch.

2. Mushroom Poisoning


Mushrooms have a habit of popping up around this time of the year. While not all mushrooms are poisonous, it can be hard to tell which ones are safe. For this reason, it’s best to consider all mushrooms growing in your yard or out in nature poisonous for Fido. If you see mushrooms growing in your yard, pick them from the root and throw them out. Scan your yard for them frequently as mushrooms seem to pop up overnight. 

If your pooch does munch on a mushroom, call your vet immediately. Mild toxicity can cause gastrointestinal upset, like vomiting and diarrhea. Severe toxicity can cause neurological, kidney, and liver damage, or even death depending on what type of mushroom was eaten. 

3. Chrysanthemums


Who else loves seeing the various colored mums in fall? While they may be pretty, pet parents beware! These flowers are toxic to your dog. If your pooch ingests any part of the chrysanthemum plant it can cause an upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, unsteady uncoordinated movements, and skin rashes.

4. Autumn Crocus


Any part of this plant is extremely toxic to your dog. It can cause multi-system organ damage to the lungs, stomach, kidneys, liver, and nervous system. Symptoms can include loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, weakness, seizures and even death.

5. Halloween Candy


Whether your kiddos will be coming home with a big bag of goodies this Halloween or you just have a big bowl of candy waiting by the door for the little ghosts and goblins to arrive – that candy can be a ticking time bomb for Fido. According to Pet Poison Helpline, “During the week of Halloween, calls to the veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline increase by 12 percent, making it the call center’s busiest time of year.” 

Remember: Chocolate is highly toxic and can be deadly to your pooch. Pet Poison Helpline writes, “The four most common food-related Halloween hazards for pets are chocolate, candy overindulgence, raisins, and candy wrappers.”

6. Thanksgiving Feast


I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t love over-indulging in a Thanksgiving feast! And while tossing your pooch a few table scraps is tempting, it’s important to remember that the Thanksgiving table is filled with not-so-good-for-your-pooch foods. 

In order to help keep your pup safe, it’s a good idea to ask your guests not to feed him anything from the table. Many traditional Thanksgiving foods are loaded with fats, onions, seasonings, and spices that can be harmful to a dog. If it makes you feel good to give your pooch a treat from the table then I recommend preparing something extra special for Fido to feast on. I’ve included a link to 4 easy pumpkin-based recipes that are bound to make your pup’s tail wag!

7. The Creatures Hiding In A Pile Of Leaves


While your pooch probably loves to frolic in a big pile of fall leaves, did you know that there are lots of hidden hazards that might be lurking inside? Here are a few examples:

  • Fleas and ticks are very active in the fall and they can often be found in the grass or a pile of leaves and brush. They’ll patiently wait for a host to jump onto to live and reproduce. Fido’s warm furry body can be a cushy place for a flea or tick to call home.
  • Bacteria, fungus, molds, and parasites can also be lurking in and beneath the fallen and decaying leaves. If your pooch is playing in the leaves, make sure he doesn’t eat them, he could get very sick.
  • Snakes could also be a hidden hazard of a leaf pile. They are masters at camouflage and always like a good hiding spot. Be aware of what snakes are in your local area and always pay attention to this as a possible danger when running through a leaf pile.
  • Spiders are another hidden hazard that could be lurking beneath a pile of leaves. Consider it a hunting ground for where they can find other insects to eat. Make sure you know which spiders are local to your area. I happen to live in the southeastern United States where Black Widows and Brown Recluse spiders like to call home. I am always on the lookout if I think one may be nearby.

If your canine kid has had contact or ingested any of the items on this list call your veterinarian for help immediately. If your pooch has been exposed to something you’re not sure of and it’s not on this list, here is a link to the Pet Poison Helpline 

Safety First This Halloween

Halloween can be either fun or frightening for your pets.

Halloween is filled with spirited tricks and treats,  can be either fun or frightening for your pets, but it’s important to keep safety in mind for every member of the family—including your pets. A little forethought and preparation can ensure that your pet family is safe during the Halloween festivities in your home and community.   


Costumes, Parties and Parades

First and foremost, even if your pets are going to be wearing costumes,  keep a well-fitting collar with ID tags on them at all times. Their costume shouldn’t interfere with their collar or harness and leash.  Next, make sure their microchip information is up to date. Have you moved, changed your phone number or dropped your landline recently? If so, update your information with your microchip company to ensure that you will be reunited with your pets if they go missing. 

Not all pets enjoy wearing a Halloween costume, so do a trial run first.  Make sure nothing is obstructing their vision, hearing or breathing. Ensuring they won’t get overheated is essential.  They should also be able to walk and potty normally without interference from the costume. Never leave a pet unattended in a costume (even for a minute!).  Make sure there is nothing they can chew or ingest that could harm them. If they seem fearful or stressed it might be better to forego the costume or modify it so that they are more comfortable.  Maybe opt for a Halloween-themed bandana instead! 

 Have a happy and safe Halloween!  

Halloween, costumes, pets, dogs, cats, pet supplies, bandanas, pet costumes

Halloween, costumes, pets, dogs, cats, pet supplies, bandanas, pet costumes


Why Your Dog Shouldn’t Get Vaccines On A Friday

Why Your Dog Shouldn’t Get Vaccines On A Friday (Or THESE Times)

Many vet offices are closed on the weekend. So, if your dog has any sort of a reaction or issue that needs immediate attention then your only real option is to run down to your local emergency vet office.

While you’re there, expect to pay a whole lot more than you normally would! I’ve had to go the emergency vet a few times – when living in Pennsylvania, Texas, and now South Carolina. It’s always an expensive trip. This last time, we paid once when we first arrived (their emergency room fee) and then again as we were leaving (for the vet’s time and the shots). 

Another thing about the emergency vet: You don’t have any relationship with them. While the vet certainly treated Gigi with patience and care, I’m a creature of habit and would have preferred to see MY vet. My vet knows Gigi’s history and I just feel more comfortable there. Perhaps you’re the same way with your vet! 

Try to Avoid Late Evening Appointments

I get it – when you’re working at an office, sometimes evening appointments are the most convenient. It’s easier to sneak away. But, if you book vaccines or procedures late in the day and Fido winds up having a reaction when you get home, you probably won’t be able to reach your vet – because the office will more than likely be closed.

If Possible, Avoid The Day Before a Holiday & Holiday Weekends

Chances are, if a holiday falls on a Wednesday then your vet’s office will be closed that Wednesday. So, treat that day as a Friday! It’s the same with 3-day holiday weekends. 

To put it simply: Try not to schedule vaccines or surgeries when your vet’s office is going to be closed the next day!

The Best Times To Schedule an Appointment

For vaccines: Try to schedule your appointment early in the workweek (Mon-Wednesday) and early in the day. Of course, you’ll want to spend a little time with your dog after their shots, so you can keep an eye on them. If you can’t work from home that day, or take a half-day, ask a family member or friend if they can watch your dog for a few hours while you’re gone. 

For Surgeries: Most vets already schedule their surgeries in the morning so the staff can monitor them as they wake up from anesthesia. Many vets offices also schedule surgeries on specific days of the week. My advice: Try your best to avoid Fridays and long holiday weekends!

Dog DNA Tests: Why Your Mutt’s Makeup Matters


Anyone who has had a mixed breed dog has likely wondered: Just what type of dog do I have?

Now, it may be possible to answer that question. Companies specializing in dog DNA testing are enticing owners who are curious about their mutt’s background. Owners may also decide to test so they can take the information to their veterinarians to discuss potential health issues about their dog’s breeds.

How to Figure Out Your Dog’s Age


If you own a dog, you've heard this rule: 1 year for Fido equals 7 years for you. Turns out, the math isn't that simple. Dogs mature more quickly than we do early on. So the first year of your fuzzy friend’s life is equal to about 15 human years. 

Slideshow: How to Brush Your Dog's Teeth


Step One: Find the Right Time

Brush your dog's teeth when she's calm and relaxed. Your goal: Set a routine. Working up to brushing daily is ideal. But if her mouth is healthy, even three days a week can make a difference. Without brushing, plaque can build up, putting your dog at risk for bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay. It can also cause painful infection. Severe infection can spread, causing life-threatening conditions

What's Your Dog Trying to Tell You?



If your dog holds her tail straight out from her body, she’s likely:

Tips to Get Out With Your Older Dog


Your pup isn’t a puppy anymore. He’s up for a game of fetch, but he might move a bit slower and tire out sooner. Your job now is to learn how to keep your senior citizen active but respect his aging body. 

Behavior Changes in Aging Dogs


As they age, our dogs often suffer a decline in functioning. Their memory, their ability to learn, their awareness and their senses of sight and hearing can all deteriorate. This deterioration can cause disturbances in their sleep-wake cycles, making them restless at night but sleepy during the day. 

Dog Nutrition


Everything you need to know about dog nutrition, food that your dog can eat, other food that your dog should not eat, nutritious dog food ingredients, common allergens in food, healthy dog food and treat recipes, and what kind of supplements you should (and shouldn’t) include in your dog’s diet. 

Nutritionally Balanced Homemade Dog Food Recipes



 by Dr. Marty Pets Team

 This homemade dog food recipe is perfect if you’ve never cooked for your dog before. A homemade take on the traditional dog kibble, this recipe is also a nice introduction to “new” food for your dog.

In order to make Crunchy Homemade Kibble, you only need a few ingredients, which makes your shopping list easy to manage!

Poisoned Pets


 FDA Issues Public Safety Alert For Contaminated Raw Pet Food, Aunt Jeni’s Raw Dog Food Due to Salmon 

In a public safety alert, the US Food and Drug Administration is cautioning pet owners not to feed their pets Aunt Jeni’s Home Made frozen raw pet food after samples 

Finding Safe Toys to Give Your Pet, Lack of federal oversight leaves consumers on their own....


Worried about what toys are safe to give your pets this holiday season?

You're not alone.

In the wake of's investigation that revealed some Chinese-made pet toys contained what a forensic toxicologist called elevated levels of lead and other toxins, dog and cat owners continue to search for safe alternatives.

The Tip Of The Iceberg


The label on your pet food or treat may conceal a little lie – and this lie could cost your pet his health or even his life. There is something inherently wrong with most processed foods that pet owners are unaware of. The heating and processing that these foods undergo create a fundamental change that could have dangerous ramifications – it renders the food essentially dead.  What goes into the food is not what comes out once it is heated, sterilized, irradiated and extruded and nearly all dog foods will not meet AAFCO standards once they are heated.  As a consequence, the vitamins and minerals must be added back in for the food to pass AAFCO requirements.

Look At The Label


Above  is a label from what many people consider a high-end kibble. See those vitamins, minerals and long chemical names that are listed at the bottom? 

Those very likely came from a premix and that premix was very likely manufactured overseas. If the premix is not added to the food, your dog would become ill and under-nourished from eating the nutritionally dead contents. If the premix is added to the food, you are relying on foreign safety standards and are essentially playing roulette with your dog’s or your cat’s health. 

How to Calm Dogs That Are Scared of Fireworks

Which Succulents Are Poisonous to Dogs and Cats?