PhotoPaths lined with colorful leaves make the perfect backdrop for a walk with your dog. But while the foliage may be beautiful and the temperature just right, not every aspect of fall is safe for your four-legged companion.

Before heading outdoors, pet owners should keep in mind that fall brings with it certain risks to dogs. Some of these risks are made by mother nature while others are produced by man, but all of the following doggy dangers are prevalent during the fall.

As you take in the beauty of the season alongside your pup, be sure to watch out for potential hazards that may lead to serious -- or even deadly -- health consequences.

Doggy dangers of fall

Cats aren’t the only creatures whose curiosity may lead them down an unsafe path. Keep your dog’s sniffer from getting him into trouble by keeping an eye out for the following risks and toxic substances.

  • Snakes. According to the ASPCA, snakes preparing for hibernation may be spotted out and about more often, therefore increasing your pets’ risk of being bitten. Protect your pooch by brushing up on the types of snakes in your area and making sure to avoid areas where snakes are often found.
  • Mushrooms. Colorful mushrooms pop up frequently during fall. While most are generally harmless, around 1% are highly toxic to pets. Because it can be difficult to tell which mushrooms are dangerous and which ones aren’t, the ASPCA recommends keeping pets away from all mushrooms.
  • Rodent poison. When the temperatures drop, rats and other rodents often try to sneak indoors. Humans often try to thwart these attempts by laying down rat poison. Unfortunately, these poisons are highly toxic to pets. Homeowners should make sure pets are kept far from areas where rodenticides were used.
  • Engine coolants. Another substance which is notoriously toxic to pets is antifreeze. Keep pets from licking up any spills containing ethylene glycol-based coolants. Alternatively, pet owners may consider using less toxic propylene glycol-based coolants.
  • School supplies. School is officially in session, which means that materials such as glue sticks, pencils, and magic markers are seeing frequent use. Occasionally, these materials may be dropped in a driveway or left around the house. School supplies aren’t toxic to pets, but they could cause digestive problems if Fido decides to make a snack out of them. Keep dogs from eating these materials by making sure they’re not left in an animal-accessible place.

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