Fall is a great time of year to take your dog on hikes, trail walks, and camping trips. In September, the summer heat starts to cool into a comfortable autumn breeze, and the leaves begin to change into beautiful fiery colors. It’s a picture-perfect time to spend outdoors! 

Even in this seemingly perfect time of year, there are still threats outside that can be potentially harmful to your dog. Some of these objects include acorns from Oak trees, pinecones, ticks, and even different species of rattlesnakes stretching along the East Coast. 


What harm can acorns do to your dog?

  • Upset stomach 
  • Sharp points can perforate the intestines 
  • Foreign body obstruction
  • Pancreatitis 
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure 

*If possible, try to clean up acorns in your yard. While out on a walk or an adventure, keep a close eye on your pup so they don’t try to snatch up any acorns.


What harm can pinecones do to your dog?

  • Potential GI obstruction if eaten
  • Irritation to the esophagus
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

*Do not let your dog use a pinecone as a chew toy. They can often swallow them faster than you can get them out of their mouth.


Though ticks are active all year long, they are especially prevalent in the spring and fall months when the temperature is cooler. Ticks are everywhere on the East Coast but are especially common in the northeast region. They like to live in tall grasses, fields, and wooded areas. Ticks will attach anywhere on the body, but they prefer warm and dark areas such as in and around the ears, the groin, and under the front legs. It only takes 24-48 hours for a black-legged tick to transmit Lyme disease. It’s very important to keep your dog on reliable tick prevention all year. 

*Check yourself and your dog for ticks after coming inside. Baby ticks, or nymphs, are smaller than a poppy seed. Remember to check those dark, warm areas!


The Timber rattlesnake is present on the East Coast from southern New Hampshire down to Florida. In most areas, these snakes are active in the late summer and early fall months.

These snakes tend to reside in mountainous and wooded areas.  Rattlesnakes camouflage into their environment, so always keep a sharp eye out for them!

*If your dog gets bitten by a snake, take your dog to the nearest emergency veterinary hospital immediately. For the fastest treatment, be sure to take a picture of the snake if possible, or bring the deceased snake with you for identification. 

Read The Daily Dog’s summer dog safety guide here.