With summer behind us and the dark nights starting to creep in, autumn brings with it many challenges for pets and their owners.
As well as cooler weather, autumn also sees the start of the fireworks season and Halloween, which can both prove to be stressful for many pets. It’s important to be aware of the seasonal dangers to your pets so you can all enjoy the fun outdoors and scenery that autumn creates.
Pets love nothing more than time outside, exploring new smells and sights in the garden or on walks, however with this can come a number of challenges and hazards to look out for. We highlight some of the hazards that pet owners should be aware of during this time of year.
We highlight some of the hazards that pet owners should be aware of at this time of year.
Seeds and conkers
With seeds and leaves dropping during autumn months, some are poisonous to pets and can cause serious illness. Yew trees are poisonous and eating just a small amount can be serious. The bark, leaves, flowers and conkers of Horse Chestnut Trees are also poisonous to pets. Conkers can also become a choking hazard or cause blockages.
Acorns are also a common sight during autumn. They can be found on the ground throughout autumn months. These can cause blockages when eaten by pets.
As the darker nights approach, if you are walking your dog early in the morning or late at night be sure to wear reflective clothing. You could also use a reflective collar and coat for your dog, just in case they get lost. Ensure that your dog’s microchip details are up-to-date, and they are wearing an identity tag.
Despite the cooler wet weather, it is still important to keep up with your pet’s exercise routine. This will help to prevent any weight gain, as well as keeping their joints mobile and avoid stiffness. As the weather changes, you could reduce the length of their walks. If your pet is exercising less, be sure to adjust their diet accordingly, speak to your vet if you are unsure how much they should exercise for their age and breed.
As we start to turn the central heating on in our homes, this makes a more comfortable environment for pesky fleas. Keeping up with your pet’s flea treatment will help to prevent any unwanted house guests at this time of year. Ticks are also still prominent in autumn, so be sure to check your pets regularly for ticks, especially after dog walks.
Fleas can cause irritation for pets, with some having flea allergies, which can cause discomfort for your pet and affect their skin if not treated properly. Pets with flea allergies can be allergic to the saliva of the flea and become itchy after being bitten. When treating your pet for fleas, remember to also treat your home, where your pet sleeps or spends a lot of time.
With Halloween and the start of fireworks season many pets become anxious from the loud bangs, trick or treaters and scary costumes seen around this time. Stick to routines as much as possible to help reduce stress. Don’t force your pet to wear a funny costumer for Halloween if they don’t want to – no matter how cute they may look. Ask your vet about natural supplements like Nutracalm to help reduce stress
Around Halloween time, there can be lots of chocolate and sweet treats around the home, ready for trick or treaters or just for the family to enjoy. Chocolate and some sweets contain toxic substances which can make your pet poorly and even a small amount could cause serious health issues. Be sure to keep chocolate and any sweet treats away from your pet to prevent them developing an upset tummy. To prevent them begging for your Halloween treats, keep some of your pet’s favourite treats to hand so they don’t feel left out and stop you from being tempted to give them some of yours.
These are commonly used as decorations throughout autumn and Halloween. Although they are not poisonous, if consumed in large quantities, they could lead to your pet having a sensitive tummy. If you use candles in your pumpkins, make sure these are out of reach from your pet and can’t be knocked over.
Autumn marks the start of the fireworks season. It can last from October to New Year and make this time of year very stressful for some pets and their owners. These can be extremely stressful for some pets who are scared to the loud bangs.
Preparing in advance could help to reduce stress for your pet during the fireworks. Make your pet a den to retreat to if needed and close curtains and play music to help block out the noise. Be sure to walk your dog earlier in the day before the fireworks start and keep all pets indoors after dark. Ask your vet about natural calming supplements such as Nutracalm, which help to naturally calm anxious pets.
Cold and wet weather
If your pet spends a lot of time outside, be sure to provide a shelter for them for when the weather gets colder or if it rains. Make sure they have lots of blankets to keep them warm and comfy. As the weather gets colder bring smaller pets indoors.
If you are worried about your pet and think they may have been affected by any of the above be sure consult your vet.