Stay Visible on Walks – One of the most noticeable things about the changing of the seasons is the darkness that comes earlier. Though it isn’t ideal to walk your pup in the dark, as the nights draw in you can be left with no choice. The best thing to do it make sure both you and your dog can be seen by motorists & cyclists.
To stay visible 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.
Fleas, Pesky Fleas – You’d be forgiven to think that fleas are only a summertime problem, but as we start making our homes warmer, fleas will come inside and feel quite comfortable taking up residence on your beloved pet.
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.
Seasonal Canine Illness & Allergies - Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI) is an autumnal illness that affects dogs of any size, breed, or age. Most cases occur between August and November across the UK, but it’s unknown what causes it – only that it could be linked to woodland areas. Dogs usually start showing signs of being unwell 24-72 hours after walking in woodland.
The illness can quickly become fatal if not treated, so it’s important you pay attention to the symptoms. Signs of SCI include vomiting, which can also be accompanied by diarrhoea and lethargy. If you notice these warning signs this season, don’t hang around. Seek veterinary attention quickly.
Dogs can also fall foul of seasonal allergies. Mould, ragweed, grass, and dust can trigger allergies in your pup and make their lives pretty uncomfortable.
Dogs with seasonal allergies can experience problems with both their skin and sinuses. Watch out for signs like rashes, excessive itching, sneezing, clear discharge around the nose, coughing or watery eyes. Consult your vet if you suspect allergies are at play – a vet can help your dog feel more comfortable with antihistamines and other medications.
Beware of Antifreeze – Cars need a bit of help and care to run as the weather gets colder, and antifreeze is a very popular product to use.
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:
If your dog shows any of these signs, contact your vet right away.
Salted Roads - Some roads can become icy towards the end of November. Which means your local council is usually on hand to salt the walkways and roads to keep drivers and pedestrians safe. But road salt is a huge irritant for our dog’s paws and can cause burning and cracked pads.
Dogs may also lick their paws if the salt isn’t washed off causing inflammation to the mouth and digestive system.
Try to avoid salted roads and walkways where possible and wash your dog’s paws thoroughly after ever walk. Alternatively, you can apply a paw balm before you set off that will act as a barrier against the salt or use booties if your dog will tolerate them.
Fallen Fruits – Harvest time, eh? Fruit to be picked and made into jam, cakes, all sorts. But those ones that don’t get picked tend to fall to the ground and rot. Even if you don’t have a particularly “chewy” dog, fallen fruit might just be a little too tempting!
Mouldy food can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins which can be deadly for your dog if eaten, causing muscle tremors and convulsions. Fallen fruits that ferment become naturally alcoholic over time. Your dog could have a toxic reaction to this natural alcohol in the fruit and suffer sickness and diarrhoea.
If you have fruit trees in your garden, take a moment to pick up and throw away all the fruit blown onto the ground. Avoid areas in your neighbourhood where you know there are fruit trees and seek veterinary help if your dog becomes unwell.