Autumn advice for dog owners
The nights grow dark and the leaves grow yellow, there’s more rain than you’d like but still, there’s something lovely about Autumn, right?
Let's look at how to keep your dog safe and comfortable during the autumn.
A brief summary...
- Stay visible when you're out walking your dog
- Keep your dog protected against fleas
- Keep antifreeze out of your dog's reach
- Maintain your dog's healthy weight
- Keep your dog nice and warm - especially older dogs
- Get ready for Halloween and Bonfire Night
Stay visible on walks
In an ideal world, you'd walk your dog before dark - but as the days get shorter and shorter during the lead-up to winter, you may not have a choice.
To stay visible to drivers, cyclists and other people that are out walking, consider getting some reflective or high-visibility clothing for you and your dog.
You can also get quirky flashing lights to attach to your dog’s collar. This will help you keep an eye on them when you’re out and about after dark.
Many of us switch our central heating back on during the autumn, which is great news for pesky fleas. As it gets colder outside, fleas will make their way inside - getting comfortable, laying their eggs onto your dog's fur. The eggs will fall off your dog's fur at home and lurk in your carpets and beneath other nooks and crannies; they'll pass from the pupae stage to the larvae stage and become grown-up, bloodthirsty adult fleas before you know it.
Luckily, you can prevent this by making sure your dog is up to date with their parasite prevention treatments.
Remember: if your dog does get fleas, you'll need to treat your house too. Read more on how to check your dog for fleas.
If your dog ingested antifreeze, they'd be at risk of acute kidney failure or even death. Pets enjoy the taste of antifreeze (especially cats) so it's important to keep antifreeze well out of their reach. If you spill antifreeze, be sure to clean it up immediately whether inside or outside.
Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Generally appearing uncoordinated
If your dog shows any of these signs, contact your vet right away.
If ingested, rock salk (or road grit) can cause dehydration and liver failure. To protect your dog from rock salt poisoning, make sure you wipe their feet and paws thoroughly after a walk.
With the dark nights and the cold, wet weather, our dogs' walks are usually a lot shorter during the autumn and winter months. This could increase their risk of weight gain.
To prevent your dog gaining weight, try monitoring their food intake. Stick to their recommended food allowance and avoid giving them too many treats or scraps.
Compensate for their reduced exercise by playing some fun indoor games - this will help to keep your dog's mind occupied too!
Older and thinner dogs feel the cold more than most.
A dog jacket will keep them warm and toasty when they’re out on walks. Also, when you get home from a walk, make sure you dry off your dog thoroughly.
At home, supply plenty of bedding, and aim to keep your dog's bed in a room that's warm, well-insulated and draught-free. This is especially important for dogs with arthritis.
Autumn is home to plenty of events that dogs may find stressful, but you can limit their anxieties by planning ahead.
And finally…get cosy!
Is there anything better than being inside on a rainy night, the fire roaring and your dog cuddled up to you?
For more info on keeping your dog safe, happy and healthy during the autumn, have a chat with your local vet.