There it is. Right between Thanksgiving and the December Holiday season. Vomit and diarrhea season. The idea seems strange at first, until you look deeper. Deeper into those big piles of leaves that are hiding well, everything delicious.
What’s under there that could pose such a problem for your scent driven dog? So so much. Let’s first realize what this season really is. Preparation for winter. So we have all sorts of activity going on outside. Little hibernating animals running around getting materials to make their nests, other ones storing up food for their winter supply. Some of that food makes it back to the intended nest sites but other bits get dropped or abandoned and lie in wait for a foraging nose to find them. We also have a lot more activity around schools and with after school programs, and so treats or food bits inevitably get dropped and quickly get lost under the leaf litter. Let’s not forget the leaf litter itself. It’s a fantastic hiding place for little critters to nestle into for a fall nap and an even better place for mushrooms to spring up, especially with all the rain we have been having. So just under those pretty fallen leaves is a literal delicous schmorgous board of all sorts of composting “food” bits and organic waste that not only smell delicious to our pets but their bet is that it tastes even better...And so we have the fall season of vomiting and diarrhea.
It goes without saying that all of these decomposing morsels of deliciousness not only have mold and bacteria on them, but they may also contain parasites that they have picked up from the surrounding grass such as roundworm eggs or giardia. You can find out more about these parasites HERE. Any of these things, or the toxins released during the decomposition of organic matter can upset your dogs stomach, intestines, pancreas or all of them. Ingesting these leaf litter treats can lead to many signs ranging from lethargy, inappetence, abdominal discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea or worse.
So how can we protect our dogs from being exposed to these fall goodies? The best way is avoidance. Of course you can’t stop your dog from going outside, nor would we want you to miss this weather before the snow comes! But do consider being more diligent to clear leaves from your yard in a timely manner to help reduce the chances of your dog finding things before you do, and reduce the chance of things like mushrooms springing up. Additionally, keep your dog on a shorter leash while on a walk. If they are making a bee-line to a certain spot of leaves, it’s probably better to steer them in the other direction. As well, pay attention to what they are doing. If they are dive into the leaves and appear to be eating something take the time yourself to double check what was under the pile so you can describe what they got into if you need to seek medical care for your dog.
Of course if your dog has eaten something and is feeling unwell, remember that the vets at healthypet.io are just a phone call away to help you determine the best way to help them!
To view other things to consider in the fall follow this link: https://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/15-fall-dangers-pets