It’s almost autumn – which means roaring fires, long walks and pretty leaves on the trees. Kathleen Pohl, a veterinary surgeon from Zetland Vets in Bristol and My Family Vets, shares some advice on keeping your dog safe during the autumn…
Autumn is an exciting time of year but just like the rest of the seasons, it does pose certain risks to our dogs!
As you wave goodbye to the blistering heat and say hello to the wind and rain, here are 5 things you can do to keep your dog safe and well…
Protect against fleas
Fleas will naturally be drawn inside once the weather outside gets colder and your house gets warmer. If left unchecked, they’ll breed and lay their eggs in no time, leading to an infestation.
As you turn up the heating this autumn, don’t forget to keep your dog up to date with their parasite prevention treatment. This will keep them protected and stop them from bringing fleas into the house.
Keep elderly dogs nice and warm
Of course, you want your dog to stay warm and cosy no matter how old they are – but it’s especially important for elderly dogs, or dogs with arthritis.
At home, make sure your pooch has plenty of warm bedding. Keep their bed away from draughts, ideally somewhere that’s dry and well insulated.
Consider treating your dog to a warm winter coat to wear when they’re out walking. Also, when you get back, wash and dry their paws thoroughly so they’re comfortable and warm.
Be seen at night time
As the nights get shorter, you may have no choice but to walk your dog in the dark. You can keep track of where your dog is – and avoid accidents with drivers, cyclists and other walkers – by getting them an item of high-visibility clothing.
A jacket would work well, or you could try a light-up collar?
When walking in the dark, it’s also a good idea to keep your pooch on the lead. At least until you reach an area where there’s plenty of light.
Keep your dog at a healthy weight
Walking in the dark, in the cold and on the lead… your dog’s walks are naturally going to be shorter at this time of year.
To keep your dog at a healthy weight, reduce the amount of treats you give them. Feed them a healthy diet and stick to the recommended portion guidelines (your dog’s food should include these on the packaging).
You can also keep your dog nice and slim by playing indoor games with them. A good-spirited game of tug of war will burn off plenty of calories!
Watch out for antifreeze and grit from the roads
Once we see frosty mornings, we’ll get grit on the roads and people using antifreeze to de-ice their cars. Both of these products are toxic to dogs, and can cause vomiting, depression and seizures.
If you use antifreeze, make sure you store it somewhere your dog can’t reach and if you spill any, clean it up immediately.
On frosty mornings where there’s lots of antifreeze and road grit lying around outside, think about keeping your dog on the lead until you reach a safer area.