Have an awesome autumn
Autumn is a great time of year; our gardens turn a blaze of golden colours, our dogs love playing in piles of leaves, and it’s a chance for us to get out our chunky scarves. As with any change of season, there are a few things we can do to keep our dogs safe and healthy.
One of our favourite things to do is to go for a long muddy walk with our dogs. Don’t forget to take a towel with you if you’re out in the car and rinse the mud off once you get home. Remember to watch out for blue-green algae on bodies of water in early autumn. Blue-green algae can produce harmful toxins which can stop a dog’s liver from functioning properly. Avoid muddy and stagnant puddles if possible (try telling that to our dogs!) as ingestion of this type of water can cause upset stomachs.
Don’t change your dog’s feeding or walking routine
With the shorter days and darker nights, it’s tempting to go for less frequent or shorter walks. This, however, could result in your dog putting on weight and the associated risks with this. You may also find your dog chewing or displaying hyperactive behaviour with less exercise. You may want to read one of our blogs about some games you can do with your dog indoors.
Prepare for dark nights
Walking in the dark can be a little more dangerous, whether you live in a busy area or a quiet area. Invest in a reflective jacket for yourself and maybe a reflective or light-up collar for your dog, especially for your dark walks. Maybe take a torch with you, let someone know where you are going and how long you will be, and it goes without saying, take a charged phone with you.
Once you see acorns or conkers on your walk, you know autumn has arrived. While they can be great to collect or for children to craft with, they are actually poisonous to dogs, so watch out for them on walks and keep them out of your dogs way at home.
Ingestion of conkers can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, a lack of appetite, salivation and excessive drinking. Your dog may require veterinary treatment of anti-vomiting medicine and fluid therapy, but should recover ok. The conkers themselves can cause an intestinal blockage, which could be fatal, so make sure to keep a close eye on your dog if it starts nibbling on things when out on walks.
Acorns from oak trees are also poisonous to your dog. The symptoms of acorn poisoning can take several hours to manifest themselves and can include retching, vomiting, pain, diarrhoea and lethargy. In extreme cases, the end result could be permanent damage to the liver or kidneys, but if caught early, this can be avoided. If you suspect your dog may have ingested an acorn, then consult your vet straight away.
We often use luminous necklaces or glow sticks during Halloween and Bonfire Night, but did you know that they can cause uncomfortable symptoms for your pet as the chemicals in them can cause foaming at the mouth, dribbling, vomiting and stomach pain. Although these symptoms aren’t very nice for your pet, fortunately, they rarely cause long-term damage. Make sure you keep these sorts of items out of your dog’s reach.
Get ready for the spooky season
- Walk early to avoid scary costumes: When Halloween is here, take your dog for a walk before it gets dark, so they don’t get spooked by people out dressed up or trick or treating.
- Don’t get tricked by sweet treats: Remember that chocolate is highly toxic for pets, so you will need to keep all sweets for trick-or-treating safely out of the reach of all paws!
- Reduce anxiety in your home: When the doorbell rings, some dogs can get anxious – especially if the person on the other side of the door is dressed up wearing a freaky costume! Help your dog stay calm by providing them with a safe den away from the front door, where they can retreat or simply keep them away from the door so they don’t get spooked in the first place. You can also shut the curtains and play music or have the tv on to help them avoid any activity outside.
- Be mindful with decorations: Reaching for decorations can be tempting for our mischievous dogs. Try to keep Halloween décor away from paws reach – your pet could easily swallow something harmful.
Just because your dog has a fur coat doesn’t mean they don’t feel the cold
As the temperature drops, dogs can also suffer from the cold – especially elderly dogs, because they cannot regulate their own body temperature as efficiently as younger animals. So you may want to consider buying your dog a coat for walkies. Consider providing your dog with extra bedding – particularly for dogs that suffer from arthritis since the cold can aggravate joints. Grab a blanket yourself and get snuggled up together.