Don't let your dog fall into danger this autumn

Autumn Dog in His Coat

If you’re a dog owner, autumn is one of the best times of the year. Long walks crunching through the leaves, enjoying the colours and snuggling up in your big jumper in front of the fire, are all fabulous things to look forward to, but there can also be dangers to watch out for. Here are just a few to make sure that your pooch stays safe this season.

Conkers
Conkers evoke memories of childhood and heading to your local park to collect a big bag of shiny ones. However they can be bad for your dog. Whereas serious cases of poisoning are rare, ingestion can cause marked gastro-intestinal signs such as drooling, retching, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. The conker case and conkers themselves also present a risk by causing an intestinal blockage. Dogs usually vomit any ingested conkers quickly and treatment to control vomiting may be needed.

Acorns
Exposure to acorns in dogs is common in the autumn and winter months. The toxic ingredient in acorns is thought to be tannic acid, which can cause damage to the liver and kidneys. Signs include vomiting, diarrhoea (with or without blood), abdominal pain, and lethargy. Ingested acorns can also cause an intestinal blockage. If this happens we recommend you seek veterinary advice.

Shorter days
As the autumn days get shorter (and chillier!) it is important that exercise isn’t neglected. Dogs with limited activity can put on weight around this time and the lack of stimulation can also create behavioural problems. It’s easy to get home and slump in front of the TV with your warm slippers and a cup of hot chocolate and avoid going out into the cold dark night but like the rest of us, dogs still need their exercise.

Cold
If your dog likes to swim be careful of the water temperature dropping around this time of year. It can happen more suddenly than expected with surprise cold snaps. Keep your pooch warm by remembering to take a towel to dry them off if they go for a dip and be mindful of the temperature of the water. Sadly if it is too cold it may be best to wait until the weather warms up a bit and find another way to have fun and exercise.

Obviously there are different things to be careful of in any season and the most important thing is that you make the most of it. Autumn can be very special time of year and the memories that you carve out will last a lifetime.  Head to the Pet Health Network for more tips on protecting your pooch throughout autumn. Do you have any tips for keeping your dog safe in Autumn? Share them with us on Facebook and Twitter

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