With dark nights starting to creep in and temperatures getting cooler, autumn brings with it many challenges for pets and their owners.
At this time of year, we see the start of the fireworks season and Halloween, which can be stressful for many pets. Being aware of hazards for your pets can allow you all to continue to enjoy time outdoors and the colourful scenery that autumn creates.
Emma Purnell, RVN from Nutravet says: “Dogs can be curious and as the season changes, they’ll want to explore new surroundings. Many pets can also become stressed at this time of year due to the noise from fireworks, so planning for these events will help to reduce any anxiety.
“Like most seasons, pet owners should be aware of any hazards that could cause problems for your pets, such as poorly tummies if they eat something they shouldn’t. Many autumn plants are hazardous for our four-legged friends and should be avoided on walks. If you are worried about your pet’s health at this time of year, speak to your vet who is best placed to offer advice.”
Nutravet share their tips to help pet owners care for their pets during autumn months:
As temperatures drop and the weather becomes more autumnal, it may be tempting to spend more time indoors with our four-legged friends but it’s important to keep up with your dog’s daily walks. 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 and support your pet’s joints with a natural supplement like Nutraquin+.
If your pet is exercising less, be sure to adjust their diet to match this. Your vet will be able to offer advice on how much your pet should be eating. Keep any seasonal treats away from pets, such as Halloween chocolate and sweets, which can be fatal if eaten by dogs. The theobromine within Chocolate is highly toxic.
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.
Fleas and ticks
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.
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.
Halloween can be a stressful event for many pets, who get spooked by scary costumes or anxious about the number of unknown visitors knocking on the front door for trick or treat.
If you know you are going to get trick or treaters at the door, secure your pet in another room so they don’t get spooked and try to escape. Although they look cute, don’t force your pet to wear a Halloween costume if they seem anxious. If they are happy to wear one, make sure it’s not too tight, can’t be chewed and doesn’t restrict their airways in anyway.
Firework season can last from October to New Year and make this time of year very stressful for some pets and their owners. To help reduce stress for your pet, make your pet a den to retreat to during the fireworks and close curtains and play music to help block out the noise. Walk your dog earlier in the day before it gets dark to avoid being out when fireworks are going off and bring any outdoor pets inside.
Provide shelter from the 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 where possible.
As the dark nights draw in, check your pet’s microchip details are up to date. If they get spooked and lost while outside, the correct microchip details can make sure that your pet is returned to you quickly. It is a legal requirement to microchip your dog and cats also must be microchipped by 10 June 2024 or face a fine. 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.
For more tip and product information visit www.nutravet.co.uk