Monthly Archives: October 2017

Autumn Safety Tips for your pets

Animal Advocacy Blog Picture Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

 

There’s nothing like crisp, cool air, the first months of school and luscious foliage to get you excited for the changing seasons. Your pet, too, is probably welcoming the break from hot, sticky weather. But pet parents, beware—fall is also a time of lurking dangers for our furry friends. From household poisons to cold weather hazards, the season is a minefield! Here are some tips to keep your pet snug and healthy during the autumn months.

  • The use of rodenticides increases in the fall as rodents seek shelter from the cooler temperatures by attempting to move indoors. Rodenticides are highly toxic to pets—if ingested, the results could be fatal. If you must use these products, do so with extreme caution and put them in places inaccessible to your pets.
  • It’s back-to-school time, and those of you with young children know that means stocking up on fun items like glue sticks, pencils and magic markers. These items are considered “low toxicity” to pets, which means they’re unlikely to cause serious problems unless large amounts are ingested. However, since gastrointestinal upset and blockages certainly are possible, be sure your children keep their school supplies out of paw’s reach.
  • Training tip: If you and your pooch haven’t been active outdoors in a while because of the summer heat, do some remedial recall training. Dogs, like people, get rusty on their skills if they aren’t using them.
  • Fall and spring and are mushroom seasons. While 99% of mushrooms have little or no toxicity, the 1% that are highly toxic can cause life-threatening problems in pets. Unfortunately, most of the highly toxic mushrooms are difficult to distinguish from the nontoxic ones, so the best way to keep pets from ingesting poisonous mushrooms is to keep them away from areas where any mushrooms are growing. Contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately if you witness your pet eating a wild mushroom.
  • In order to generate body heat, pets who exercise heavily outdoors, or who live outdoors, should be given more food during colder seasons. Make sure horses and other outdoor animals have access to clean, fresh water that is not frozen.
  • Autumn is the season when snakes who are preparing for hibernation may be particularly “grumpy,” increasing the possibility of severe bites to those unlucky pups who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Pet owners should know what kinds of venomous snakes may be in their environment—and where these snakes are most likely to be found—so they can keep pets out of those areas.
  • Many people choose Fall as the time to change their car’s engine coolant. Ethylene glycol-based coolants are highly toxic, so spills should be cleaned up immediately. Consider switching to propylene glycol-based coolants—though they aren’t completely nontoxic, they are much less toxic than other engine coolants.

What do you do to add to the safety and well-being of your pet? Let us know, and we’ll share it! Your tip may be the life-saving tip for someone’s pet!

Animal Advocacy just-do-something.org logo Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

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Leave Those Leaves! (from Janet)

 

Fall has arrived—which means leaves are changing color and beginning to fall to the ground.

Did you know that leaving the leaves in your yard or garden not only saves you time and energy but also benefits wildlife? 

Here are a few good reasons to put down the rake:

  • Provide habitat for wildlife: frogs, turtles and salamanders rely on fallen leaves to provide cover and hibernation places; many moth and butterfly caterpillars overwinter in fallen leaves before emerging in spring
  • Provide food for wildlife: creatures like earthworms and millipedes reside in and decompose leaf litter, and also are themselves a source of food for bigger wildlife like birds and toads
  • Increase fertility of your soil: as the leaves decompose, nutrients are added to your soil, and also allows for greater water retention

So, the next time you would rather be doing something else than raking leaves – you’re in luck! Remember there are GOOD reasons not to rake, and forgo your raking in favor of doing something more fun this Fall. You’ll be doing wildlife, and yourself, a favor!

PS:

  • Think twice about cutting back all your bushes and branches before the cold weather hits. Wildlife NEED protection from the wintry elements as well as their natural predators. Protection from the winter weather is hard to come by, so make it easier on ALL wildlife and curb the urge to cut and trim everything on your property.
  • Don’t toss your fallen pine cones! Go HERE to find out why!

Animal Advocacy Blog Picture Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

 

 

Animal Advocacy Founder signature Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

Animal Advocacy just-do-something.org logo Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Save Those Pine Cones This Fall! (from Janet)

Animal Advocacy Blog Animal Welfare janet Bovitz sandefur just-do-something.org

Have you ever come across a pile of pine cone scales?  Usually you will find them under the Pine tree itself, close to the trunk.  Most times, the culprit are squirrels.  The scales (outer layer) of the pine cone are removed by both Grey and Red squirrels, so they can get to the pine nuts underneath, which are a natural part of a squirrels’ diet. 

If you are lucky enough to watch a Red Squirrel go about gathering pine cones, it’s something to watch. The Red Squirrel, being so tiny, has a hard time pulling the larger pine cones off the tree and then carrying them away to eat the pine nuts.  Instead, s/he will crawl to the end of the branches where the pine cones grow, and chew the end of off pine cone, severing it from the tree, so that it falls to the ground. Then it’s easier to grab the pine cone that way. Remember, this is a learned behavior handed down from adult squirrels to juveniles. Pretty cool.

Unfortunately, many home owners find squirrels, as well as the pile of pine cone scales, a nuisance.

But many others delight in watching squirrel behavior, and even are able to feed them by hand with time and patience.

Between the squirrels severing pine cones, and the trees naturally dropping them, in no time during the Fall, your lawn may have many pine cones lying around! But for squirrels and other wildlife, this is a wonderful thing. 

Did you know? Pine cones are a food source not only for squirrels, but for woodpeckers and deer. Deer will eat almost anything during times when food is scarce even though pine cones are not part of their main diet and not their first choice. Woodpeckers will pull the scales apart to get at the pine nuts. Even wild rabbits benefit from pine cones, because the scale of the cone can be hard, which, when chewed on by rabbits, helps to wear down their teeth which grow constantly.  Note: do NOT feed pine cones to domestic pets without first checking with your veterinarian.

With Fall here and Winter on it’s way, you can help keep squirrels, woodpeckers and deer fed during the colder months when food is scarce simply by relocating those fallen pine cones to another spot on your property that is clean and quiet.

We did:

Animal Advocacy Blog Animal Welfare janet Bovitz sandefur just-do-something.org

We keep a few spots on our property wild and natural for our wildlife year around, and one of these spots is the perfect place for us to relocate our pine cones.

Now, all these pine cones probably looks messy to you, but it’s actually organized chaos! The majority of these pine cones will have been eaten by the end of the cold weather, and for anything left over, it’s easy enough to rake them up (along with the scale piles) to get ready for a new year.  And, I love that we are able to help wildlife in this little way that will have a positive big impact during the winter months.  

Speaking of pine cone scales, they are a good natural fertilizer, and a perfect way to add “mulch” cover to your gardens. We put down the pine cone scales first, and then top it off with regular mulch.  

So, maybe the next time you are getting ready to do a Fall clean-up, you’ll think twice about tossing those very useful pine cones, and relocating them instead. It will make a world of difference to hungry wildlife this Fall and Winter.

P.S. – And, think twice before you rake up all your leaves and prune everything for the Fall Season! Find out why, HERE!

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Animal Advocacy Founder signature Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

Animal Advocacy just-do-something.org logo Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

 
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