What to look out for in Autumn with your dog
Some people prefer Autumn to any other season, it’s still fairly light (til the clocks go back) and warm, the leaves are falling and it’s a perfect time for country walks with your dog and cosy fires in country pubs. But there are a few things around at this time of the year that not everyone is aware of. This week we have the lowdown on how to keep you need to be aware of to make sure that your dog gets the most out of the season.
Black dog Photo by Jane Koplimäe on Pexels
As the leaves fall, so do fruits, nuts and seeds. Many dogs like to eat apples as a snack and might have a munch on a windfall apple or pick it up and ask you to throw it. Unfortunately at this time of year these apples are likely to be inhabited by dozy wasps and other insects so make sure you keep the on a lead if you’re walking near any apple trees or orchards and take care if you have fruit trees in your garden too.
On top of the risk of being stung by a wasp, fermented or rotten fruit could give your dog a bit of a dodgy tummy too so make sure they can't get their paws on any windfalls.
Puppy with a leaf Photo by Josh Hild on Pexels
Acorns and Conkers
You may also feel acorns and conkers crunching underfoot in the park or countryside at this time of year and your dog may be tempted to pick them up and give them a chew like a stick.
Unfortunately, acorns contain something called tannic acid that is toxic to dogs. It can make them sick or give them an upset tummy. If they eat acorns regularly the tannins could cause kidney and liver failure. So take care if you have a tree close by that they may return to. Acorns are not easy for your dog to digest if swallowed whole and could also block your pup’s stomach, causing further complications.
Conkers contain a toxin called aesculin, which – like acorns - can also make your dog sick or give them a tummy upset. Conkers taste bitter so this should put most dogs off from swallowing them, but if eaten in large amounts they can be very toxic and even deadly. As they are quite big and hard, conkers could also cause your dog to choke or block their gut too.
If you have children who have collected acorns or conkers and brought them indoors, make sure that your dog does not have access to them as they may be tempted to give them a chew if they smell woody.
King Charles Spaniel Photo by Mark Plötz on Pexels
Toadstools, mushroom and fungi abound at this time of year – and we seem to have a real bumper crop this autumn after such a long, dry summer. It’s not always easy to tell if fungi is poisonous or not and some dogs may eat first and ask questions later, so if you are in an area where mushrooms or toadstools are growing, pop your dog on the lead and keep and eye on them to make sure they don’t eat any.
If your dog eats fungus it could make them unwell. Some fungi are absolutely fine and some may only cause a mild stomach upset, but others can be seriously toxic. The effects could come on in minutes – or take days or weeks to appear, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry and pop them on a lead.
If your dog eats some fungus and you’re not sure if it is toxic or not, take them to the vets immediately. Call ahead to let them know you’re on your way and bring a piece of the fungus or take a photo to give the vet a better idea of what they are dealing with.
Basset Photo by Luca Finardi on Pexels
Whilst many of us enjoy the autumn, some of us may also be looking forward to the spring and planting spring flowering bulbs. Daffodil, crocus and tulip bulbs can also be harmful to dogs so if your pooch is helping you in the garden like Monty Don’s dogs on Gardener’s World, make sure they don’t sidle off with any of your bulbs, Puppies especially like to chew anything they can get their paws on, so make sure you don’t leave any bulbs lying about whilst your planting them.
Stay safe on dark nights
As the nights draw in and the evenings become darker you might want to consider making your dog more visible. A flashing LED collar, or high-vis jacket will increase their chances of being seen when you’re having an early morning or evening stroll - and while you’re at it, put on something reflective yourself! Check that your dog’s microchip details are up to date and that they have a collar with a name tag and your phone number on it in case they get lost in the dark.
What’s your favourite thing about autumn with your dog? As always, let us know in the comments section below!
Main autumnal dog photo by Zen Chung on Pexels