After a wonderful summer and with the onset of autumn, you might be thinking about taking your adventurous dog out in the woods to enjoy the fun of romping in a blanket of colourful leaves. It’s a great time of year for walking in the cooler weather, but here are a few things to keep in mind.
You might not realise that Conkers are toxic to dogs. Look out for retching, drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal tenderness. Acorns are popular decorations but unfortunately are also toxic to dogs and can lead to vomiting and diarrhoea. If you come across mushrooms, remember that all are toxic to dogs. Be particularly aware of parasol-shaped and small brown mushrooms. Symptoms can range from vomiting and diarrhea to liver failure!
Leaf piles are fun for dogs, but they can also be harbouring rodents. Autumn is also a popular time for setting traps for mice and rats so be careful where you leave them.
The change of season can mean a decrease in exercise and affects from the changing temperatures. Season allergies are common for dogs, most commonly skin allergies and rhinitis which cause sneezing, loud snorting, snoring and a clear discharge from your dog’s nose. Ragweed, mold and grass can also cause the same symptoms. Your vet might prescribe antihistamines to treat these allergies. Also, prevalent at this time of year is Kennel Cough which is a highly contagious air-borne group of viruses, so make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date. A healthy diet is always the first port of call to boost your dog’s immune system in plenty of time for winter. As the weather gets cooler, your dog will burn more calories, so a slight increase in food might be needed.
To make your dog more comfortable as the weather gets cooler consider a coat or sweater for walks, preferably waterproof. If you’re walking when it gets darker, try a reflective collar or harness, and take a torch for peace of mind.
Don’t forget to stimulate a healthy winter coat – it’s always nice to pamper your dog with a special grooming at this time of year. A thorough flea treatment will protect you and your family before your dog starts to spend longer hours indoors where upholstery and carpets can become perfect breeding grounds.
If your dog lives outside, now is the time to prepare the dog house. A door will protect from biting winds as winter approaches and of course nice clean, warm bedding is essential.
Finally, make sure your dog is wearing suitable identification. Otherwise, not only are you risking a fine of up to £2,000 (see our blog on UK Dog Laws), you and your dog might be separated during what was meant to be a fun outing. Visit Pet-Tags to see our fantastic selection of colourful tags, all guaranteed for life against fading.
So with all of these pointers in mind, enjoy all the beauty and fun that autumn has to offer, before the really cold weather arrives!