Autumn is a fantastic time to be a dog owner. The weather is not too hot and not too cold, making it great for getting out and about with your dog.
However, Autumn like other seasons comes with its own specific risks.
Conkers, Acorns, Mushrooms & Fruit
Conkers come encased in a spiky green shell which splits open to reveal a dark brown conker. The conker is like a little ball and dogs will be keen to pick these up and carry them around. However, they are round and hard and if eaten could get lodged in the intestine and cause a blockage. It can also lead to sickness and diarrhoea and if eaten in large quantities, can become toxic.
Acorns can be toxic to dogs if ingested. They contain tannins which can cause diarrhoea and vomiting. Also if eaten, they could cause an abdominal obstruction or a chocking hazard.
Mushrooms - Autumn is the peak season for many wild mushrooms and other fungi. Most will not cause your dog any problems, however, a few are dangerous to both humans and dogs so please steer your dog away from them.
Fermenting Fruit - If you do not pick the fruit off your trees, in the Autumn fruit trees will drop any unpicked fruit. The fruit will start to ferment, changing the sugar in the fruit into alcohol. The core of an apple and the pips can be dangerous to your dog. Be aware of plum, damson, cherry and other fruit trees which contain stones. Once again, if eaten, these could cause a blockage.
Our dogs still need exercise in the Autumn and Winter months. For most, the final walk of the day is done in the dark. We need to keep ourselves and our dogs safe.
Invest in a reflective jacket for you.
For your dog, consider purchasing a reflective lead or a flashing light that can be attached to the collar.
Keep your dog on the lead. Dogs can easily become frightened by strange wildlife noises, passing joggers or vehicles.
Carry a torch, this will help you see your dogs faeces and allow you to clean it up and dispose of it correctly.
Antifreeze & Gritted Roads
Antifreeze - Most people use antifreeze in their car to prevent the car from freezing. Please make sure you clean any spillages up and store containers out of the reach of your dog.
Antifreeze is sweet and so very appealing to your dog. Prevent your dog from drinking from puddles on a road walk as they could have been contaminated with antifreeze. Unfortunately, antifreeze poisoning is often fatal.
Rock salt is usually a mixture of salt (sodium chloride) and grit. It is used to prevent road, pavements and paths around peoples' homes from becoming icy. This can cause irritation to your dogs paws or burning of the pads. To prevent your dog from becoming unwell, always rinse and wipe their paws when you come home from a walk.