Blog by Irene Hislop
Autumn is here. The days are shorter, cooler and wetter, and the leaves are turning colour. We’re trying to get the dogs walked when it isn’t too rainy out, and the dogs are delighted at the chance to curl up next to us for a cosy evening on the sofa and enjoy some delicious and Autumn themed treats. It’s time to light the fire, relax and enjoy. Of course, the change in season also means we need to be aware of a few autumn dangers for dogs so we can keep our fur babies safe.
While many dogs enjoy spending time outdoors in the spring and summer, they need warm, dry shelter during the colder, wetter months. Because dogs are pack animals, their strongest instinct is to be near their family, inside the house, preferably on the sofa next to you.
Walking After Dark - Dark has crept into the evening walk, and that means that in many areas being visible is key to being safe. Hi viz reflective gear for dogs ensures that drivers can see them. And we humans should don some as well. With the cold and rain coming along with the dark, a dog raincoat with reflective trim is a great solution that can also keep your fur baby warm and dry. Always keep your dog on lead when walking along roads.
Dangers from Plants – Conkers are great fun for people, and you might be tempted to throw one for your dog to chase. But they are toxic and pose a choking hazard. Acorns, which grow on oak trees, are also a toxic choking hazard. Mushrooms of all sorts are appearing, and some of them are poisonous. Your dog doesn’t know which ones. They might not eat them, but if they dig where there are mushrooms and then lick their paws to clean them, they’ll ingest some.
Poisons People Use – Your neighbours aren’t likely to deliberately poison a beloved pet, but some of them might be using things that are a lethal poison to animals. Anti-freeze is extremely dangerous, and unless a bittering agent is added, the scent and taste are very appealing to dogs. Many people put down poison for rodents in the autumn. This poses two dangers: dogs could get the poison directly or they could get a rodent that has been poisoned. Either way, the dog is consuming the poison.
If your dog appears weak or lethargic, vomits or has diarrhoea, contact your vet. Explain your dog’s symptoms and where they have been that day. This can help your vet determine if your pet has encountered something poisonous.
Autumn is a beautiful season. Our walks might be shorter on the rainy days, but as long as they can stay near us our pets are mostly content. Indoor play time can help them stay active. If your dog is significantly less active in the autumn and winter, you can cut down on treats to help them maintain a healthy weight.