Toxic Fall Plants Your Pets Should Avoid

Fall is a favorite time of year for many, full of beautiful flowers, colorful trees and festive decorations. Some seasonal plants and decorations, such as pumpkins and corn, are considered non-toxic to dogs and cats, but some autumn plants can be very harmful to pets. It’s important to know which fall beauties are friends and which are foes. Before you and your furry friend venture out into the yard or the neighborhood this fall, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) wants to make sure you familiarize yourself with these plants so you can best keep your pets safe.

Beautiful Flowers

• Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale), also known as the Meadow Saffron, is a perennial that blooms in the fall. This is not to be confused with the spring crocus (Crocus sp.) that blooms in the spring and is non-toxic. Autumn crocus can be extremely toxic to dogs and cats and pet parents should be on high alert for this plant. Problems from ingestion may consist of vomiting and diarrhea, weakness, a decrease in production of the cells responsible for immunity, carrying oxygen and blood clotting, multi-organ failure and even death.

• Chrysanthemums, also known as mums or daisies, are a popular fall flower and come in various colors. Chrysanthemums are considered a mild to moderately toxic plant for pets. Depending on how much your cat or dog eats, symptoms associated with ingestion can consist of vomiting, diarrhea, drooling and wobbliness.

Colorful Trees

Aside from the flowers we may pass while out for a walk, there are hidden fall toxins that come from the colorful trees above us. During fall, certain trees drop leaves, fruits and seeds onto the ground, creating a smorgasbord opportunity for our four-legged friends.

• Apples, including crabapples, contain cyanide in all parts of the plant except the fruit flesh. Cyanide affects the enzymes responsible for oxygen transport and prevents cells from using the oxygen in the blood stream—making fallen apples a dangerous snack for pets. Signs of a cyanide toxicity include dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, bright red gum color, shock and death. However, cyanide toxicity is rare in dogs and cats because the whole seeds or pit must be masticated and the leaves must be wilting or stressed for the cyanide to be released. Dogs and cats will often develop signs of stomach upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea if they ingest parts of an apple. Fruit left on the ground to spoil and ferment can also pose a risk for alcohol toxicity if consumed.

• Oak trees shed leaves and acorn seeds during the fall season. Acorns are also commonly used in fall decorations and contain high concentration of tannins. Tannins can be irritating to a pet’s digestive system, so vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal discomfort can develop with one-time exposures. Kidney damage has also been reported in grazing animals such as cows and horses, but it’s rare for dogs and cats, because they generally don’t eat enough acorns to cause long-term damage.

• Red maple trees make for a stunning fall display, but horse lovers should beware! Red maples contain a toxin that causes a breakdown of the red blood cells that leads to anemia. Horses can exhibit signs of weakness, pale gum color and elevated heart rates if they’ve ingested red maple leaves. Thankfully, red maples are considered nontoxic to dogs and cats, and just slight stomach upset is possible if the leaves are ingested. Festive Decorations

Fall festivities are not complete without beautiful decorations. Pumpkins, gourds, wheat, hay, corn and sunflowers are commonly used and are all considered non-toxic to dogs and cats. (Though wheat, hay and corn can trigger allergies in pets that have a sensitivity to grains.) However, there are other concerns to consider. Toxic molds can grow on fruits, seeds and grains, and even small ingestions can cause significant side effects to the nervous system in pets. In addition, large ingestions of leaves, seeds or corn cobs can become lodged in the intestinal tract and cause a blockage.

source: ASPCAMy Dog

Learn How Much to Feed a Dog

Feeding dogs seems so simple. You just offer an appropriate dry dog food or wet dog food and never anticipate a problem.

Except, it’s really not that simple.

As pet parents, we care about our dogs’ well-being and health. We monitor how they’re feeling; we take them to the veterinarian; we give them all the attention in the world. But if we’re not paying attention to their diet—not just what we’re feeding them, but how much we’re feeding them—we could be doing our dogs harm.

The question, “How much should I be feeding my dog?” needs to be answered, but the answer doesn’t come easily. How can you accurately determine your dog’s caloric requirements? How clear are the instructions on your dog’s food? Why is your dog gaining weight when you feed what’s recommended on the bag?

If you’re ready to learn a few easy tricks to ensure that your pup is getting the right amount of dog food, then you’re in the right place.

How Much to Feed Your Dog

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, in 2017 about 56 percent of dogs in the United States were overweight or obese. To put this into perspective, that’s about 50.2 million dogs that are too heavy and at risk for health problems.

While we can’t say that overfeeding based on confusion regarding how much food to feed dogs is the entire reason that dogs suffer from weight issues, it’s certainly a factor.

Learning the mathematics behind how much your dog should be eating is a powerful tool for helping your dog stay happy, healthy and trim.

But determining the right amount of food isn’t as easy as placing a dog bowl in front of him and letting him eat until he’s full. Many dogs will eat what you put out, no matter what. It’s up to you to figure out what’s a healthy amount. So, how can you determine how much to feed a dog?

Start by Talking With Your Veterinarian

For starters, take your dog to the vet. Get your dog weighed, have the vet give him a physical examination, and talk about whether or not the amount of food you’re currently serving is appropriate.

Be honest about your dog’s activity level and the amount of food he currently consumes (including dog treats, table scraps and other extras!). This way, you can get a more accurate idea not just about what you should be feeding him, but also about how much you should be feeding him.

Next, take a look at the label on your dog’s food and look for a dog feeding chart.

Understanding Dog Feeding Charts

Dog feeding charts look straightforward, but they’re not as cut and dry as you might think. For starters, dog food bags typically give an estimate like, “for dogs 10-30 pounds, feed ½-1 ½ cups.” An overly generalized statement like this isn’t very helpful.

If you have a 20-pound dog who lays around all day and has no interest in exercising, feeding him the maximum amount would almost certainly lead to unhealthy weight gain. Alternatively, an active dog who zips around all the time probably needs more calories than would be provided by the lower end of the range.

Dog food labels can be confusing in other ways too. Think about the example above. What it’s saying is that you should feed your dog ½-1 ½ cups over the course of an entire day, but it’s easy to understand how some pet parents could read it as ½-1 ½ cups per meal.

Portions: They’re Not as Easy as You Might Think

Only you and your vet can properly determine the number of calories your dog should be getting. Once that decision is made, it’s time to figure out a good feeding schedule for your dog. Most dogs thrive on two meals a day, but it’s often okay, for healthy adult dogs, to feed dogs once a day if that’s more convenient. Puppies may need to eat three times a day or even more frequently depending on their size and age.

If your vet helps you decide that your dog should eat 2 cups of a particular food per day and you want to feed two meals per day, portion that out to 1 cup in the morning and 1 cup in the afternoon.

Maybe you’d like to feed your dog dry food in the morning and wet food at night. As long as you feed half of the total daily dry ration in the morning and half of what is recommended per day of the canned food at night, this should work out just fine.

source: Pet MD

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Meet Jackie

She was rescued from the animal shelter by one of the local rescues and went to live with Steve. Steve came to pick Jackie up from heartworm treatment and had decided to adopt her! Jackie was so happy to hear the news. She ran out to her new forever dad and placed her head on his chest and he held her. Jackie’s dream had come true. She finally had her forever home!!Jackie