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Autumn Hazards for Dogs

October 1, 2018

Fall is a beautiful time of year here in Ontario. However, it can also be a bit dangerous for our canine buddies. Read on as a Brampton, ON vet lists some seasonal dangers for pet owners to be aware of.


At this time of year, many people fill their vehicles with antifreeze, and treat their properties with chemicals and fertilizers. These things are extremely poisonous to our furry friends! Keep your four-legged pal away from recently-treated areas. If you get an antifreeze spill, clean it up right away, and then pour sand or kitty liver over the damp spot.

Wild Animals

As the weather cools, many wild animals will be looking for places to hibernate, and could be more aggressive than usual. Don’t let your canine friend run around off-leash, especially in areas that could be housing grumpy wildlife.


Autumn decorations can give your home a special whimsical feel. However, your four-legged friend may think they make a good snack. Hang anything that Fido may be tempted to eat out of paws’ reach.

Heating Elements

Candles and dogs are a very dangerous combination. It’s very easy for your pup to knock a candle or potpourri over with his tail. Put these things in high, secure places. If you use heaters or fireplaces, use protect grates to keep your cute pet away.


As Halloween approaches, stores and candy dishes will fill with all sorts of goodies. Keep these treats away from your furry pal! Hard candies and wrappers both pose serious choking risks. Many sweets also contain things that are toxic to dogs, such as chocolate, nuts, raisins, and xylitol.


It can get cold very quickly at this time of year. Keep an eye on the weather, and limit your pet’s outdoor time on frigid days. Dogs are always safer, happier, and healthier indoors, but if your canine pal has a doghouse, get it ready for the cold. Make sure it is well insulated, and hang strips of carpet or thick plastic over the door to block the wind. Pooches with thin coats may be more comfortable in sweaters. This is also a good time to go through Fido’s wardrobe, and make sure everything still fits him comfortably.

Our Advice on Autumn Hazards for Dogs in 2024

What are the risks associated with chemicals and fertilizers in autumn?

In autumn, chemicals and fertilizers pose significant risks to dogs. Many of these products contain highly toxic substances if ingested by pets. For example, antifreeze, widely utilized in vehicles during the colder seasons, has ethylene glycol. This substance can quickly lead to kidney failure and even be fatal for dogs, even when ingested in minimal quantities. Likewise, lawn fertilizers and pesticides often include components that might cause digestive disturbances, neurological problems, or more severe health complications in dogs. Dog owners must avoid treated areas and promptly clean up spills to prevent accidental ingestion.

What hazards are associated with heating elements like candles and fireplaces for dogs?

Heating elements like candles and fireplaces present multiple hazards for dogs. If knocked over by a dog’s tail or playful behavior, Candles can lead to burns or start a house fire. Similarly, dogs can get too close to a lit fireplace, risking burns or singeing their fur. Additionally, inhaling smoke or hot air from these sources can cause respiratory distress. To mitigate these risks, it’s essential to place candles and other heating elements out of dogs’ reach and use protective grates around fireplaces to keep pets at a safe distance.

Why should candy, especially around Halloween, be kept away from dogs?

During Halloween, keeping the candy away from dogs is crucial due to its potential toxicity and choking hazards. Many candies contain chocolate and xylitol, which are incredibly harmful to dogs. Chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, heart issues, and seizures, while xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in some candies and gum, can lead to liver failure and hypoglycemia. Also, hard candies and wrappers present choking risks and can cause intestinal blockages. For these reasons, it’s essential to store candy in a place inaccessible to dogs to protect their health.

How can dog owners prepare outdoor doghouses for the fall and winter seasons?

Dog owners should ensure the house is well-insulated against cold and moisture to prepare outdoor doghouses for fall and winter. Using materials like straw or specialized bedding that don’t retain moisture is essential. The doghouse should be elevated off the ground to prevent dampness and cold seeping in. Installing a flap over the entrance can keep out wind and rain. It’s also essential to check for drafts or leaks and seal any gaps. Placing the doghouse sheltered from wind and heavy precipitation protects pets from harsh weather.

Why might dogs with thin coats need extra protection like sweaters in cooler weather?

Dogs with thin coats have less natural insulation against cold weather, making them more susceptible to the cold. Unlike breeds with thick, dense fur, these dogs don’t have a substantial undercoat to trap heat and protect them from low temperatures. Sweaters provide an additional layer of warmth, helping to maintain their body temperature and prevent hypothermia. This is especially important during outdoor activities in cooler weather. Providing extra protection with sweaters or coats is a practical way to ensure the comfort and safety of these dogs in colder environments.

Do you have questions or concerns about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your local Brampton, ON vet clinic, today. We’re here to help!