Many consider Autumn to be the perfect time to own a dog. The weather is neither too hot or cold and ideal for outdoor pursuits such as dog walking. The crisp clear days are only improved as the leaves change colour and start to drop.
There are a few precautions worth considering during this season, however if we are to keep our pets safe.
Conkers are unlikely to be appealing to most dogs but they may carry them around and play with them. Eaten in small quantities they can cause upset stomachs but in larger amounts can prove toxic. Of course there is always the added risk of gastrointestinal obstruction due to their shape and size!
Soft fruits that have not been picked will begin to fall and can again cause stomach upsets. They will ferment producing a natural alcohol which can again have a toxic effect on our pets.
Many dogs love rushing around in leaves and on the whole this is completely harmless fun but if eaten in large quantities the bacteria and fungi produced during decomposition of leaves can also upset stomachs.
As the weather cools we frequently think about topping up antifreeze in our cars. This has a sweet taste and smell making it appealing to our pets. Unfortunately antifreeze can cause fatal kidney failure even if small amounts are swallowed so please be extra careful and keep well out of pets reach.
Bonfire night is approaching and many pets find this a particularly stressful time of year as many dogs suffer from noise phobia, these tend to worsen as animals gets older. Keep pets in after dark especially around the 5th of November and consider a desensitisation programme for those particularly anxious pets. Please feel free to speak to a member of staff for further advice on this.
As the nights draw in be aware that pets become increasingly hard to spot by motorists. Keep dogs on leads, use high visibility vests and I would encourage cat owners to keep their cats in at night as there is no doubt, road accidents and cat fights are far more common after dark.
I think autumn is one of the best seasons with bright low suns and crystal clear days, even the odd sprinkling of frost. Of course it could just rain from now until Christmas but lets hope not!
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