Looking After Your Pet This Autumn
Autumn Pet Care with Pet’s Purest
As we change seasons again it's important to be aware of how the arrival of autumn may adjust the needs of our pets and how we can keep them safe, happy and healthy as the colder days roll in.
Conkers & Acorns
When heading out on walks with your canine friend be aware of fallen conkers and acorns. While most of us see these fallen seeds as a welcome sign of Autumn's arrival, they can be deadly to our pets. Acorns and conkers are both poisonous to dogs, causing vomiting, an upset stomach and even collapse. Depending on the size of the dog, they can also cause a pose a risk of gastrointestinal blockage and require surgical removal.
If you’re concerned your pet may have ingested conkers or acorns it is important to contact your vet as soon as possible for advice and treatment as necessary.
Another hazard of Autumn, most car owners will start to reach for anti-freeze as the threat of frost draws in. An essential for many motorists, this handy liquid can be deadly to our pets.
While antifreeze is poisonous to dogs, cases of anti-freeze poisoning are most commonly seen in cats as the ethylene glycol used in anti-freeze is highly appealing to them. The liquid can easily spill from cars and onto the pavement or road where it can contaminate puddles of water that cats later drink from. The liquid can also be transferred onto their coat and ingested while they groom themselves.
While it’s hard to control what your cat may be doing outside it’s important to make other motorists aware of the dangers this product poses to pets and to be mindful when using the product, clean up any spillages, dispose of the product safely and keep it stored somewhere safe and secure out of the reach of any pets.
Symptoms of anti-free poisoning usually develop within 30 minutes of ingestion and can include vomiting, being sleepy or lethargic, walking in a drunk-like state and seizures. If your pet develops any of these symptoms or you’re concerned your pet may have been in contact with anti-freeze it is important to contact your vet as soon as possible, the earlier treatment is started the better the chance of survival.
The amount of exercise we do can sometimes reduce over autumn and winter, the same goes for our pets! As days get shorter and the weather becomes more unappealing, we may start to cut dog walks short or our feline friends may be more reluctant to head outside away from cosy warm radiators.
It’s important to be aware of how our pets exercise may be changing seasonally and make dietary adjustments to accommodate those changes to avoid any unnecessary weight gain that can be detrimental to our pets long term health. Using scales, either at home, in your local pet shop or at your veterinary practice, be sure to regularly check the weight of your pet and speak to a professional if you’re worried about your pet's weight.
If the darker days don’t get you down and you do still want to head out on dark walks with your four-legged friend be sure to dress yourself and your pet appropriately. There are lots of products on the market designed to keep you and Fido safe, from light-up collars to high vis jackets, dog walkers can be easily missed in low light conditions so it is important to use the correct equipment to keep you and your dog visible during those early mornings and late evenings.
Rabbits and guinea pigs
If you have a smaller four-legged friend like a rabbit or guinea pig it may be time to consider moving them to an indoor cage or a more sheltered area like a shed or garage, also be sure to offer them plenty of bedding to burrow in and help to keep them warm as the weather changes.
As firework season rolls around again we know it will be something a lot of pet owners are worried about, we’ll be posting a blog at the start of October with all of our top tips and products to help you and your furry friends through the celebrations.
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So as we say goodbye to Summer and hello to Autumn are you excited for cosy nights in or sad to say farewell to warm adventures and wanderings? We hope our top tips will help you and your pet stay safe whether you’re an autumn lover or hater!
Written by Beth Walker RVN