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Autumn “Leaves”: Seasonal Dangers for Your Dog to Avoid

Dogs Walking Through Autumn Leaves
A Beautiful Autumnal Walk with Your Dog is Hard to Beat

Reds, golds and purples. The beautiful hues of Autumn leaves. Being enveloped by nature’s charm on your daily walk is just one more bonus of being a dog owner! There are however, changes to the season that can be extremely dangerous for dogs. When you’re out and about this Autumn, be sure your dog “leaves” these dangers well alone:

1. Conkers

Whilst they don’t particularly taste nice to dogs, most dogs enjoy a good chew, and conkers look like a fun toy. Poisonous if eaten in large quantities, or harmful if they get stuck in the intestines and cause a blockage, conker casings also pose a danger to delicate mouths and paws with their spiky casings.

If you discover your dog eating conkers, please contact your vet. Whilst extreme cases from ingested conkers are rare, your vet can make sure there’s no blockage. If following a walk, your dog is vomiting, having muscle spasms or tremors, or if you notice a reduction in faeces, we’d also suggest you contact your vet immediately.

2. Acorns

Acorns (and young oak leaves) can cause severe damage to the liver and kidneys in dogs. They contain a chemical called Gallotannin which causes tiredness, pain, vomiting and diarrhoea. Similar to conkers, if whole acorns are swallowed, they can also cause potentially fatal intestinal blockages.

Tip: Bring a ball or toy for a game of retrieve as you go along. Games keep your dog engaged and focused on you rather than what they can snuffle out for entertainment in the undergrowth.

3. Ticks and Fleas

As the central heating gets cranked up, so does the number of ticks and fleas. They love a good harvest, so be sure to check your dog’s fur during your weekly grooming session to ensure he or she “leaves” any unwelcome hibernators outside!

4. Rodenticides

The lowering of temperatures at this time of year encourages pesky rodents to seek warmer shelter. However, using rodenticides around the home and garden to eliminate an infestation could also prove fatal to your dog should they get to them or the treated rodents.

5. Anti-freeze

Colder temperatures bring frosty starts to the day. Unfortunately, the de-icer and screenwash we use to speed things up in the morning taste really good to dogs, but the consequences of dogs consuming them are just too horrible to think about.

Tip: Store harmful products out of paw’s reach and provide pacifying toys that will ensure your dog remains stimulated and amused. Feeding puzzles and activity balls, along with pigs ears and Nylabones, are just some toys that are sure to keep your dog out of mischief, and more importantly, safe.

It’s hard to keep a constant eye on what your dog finds whilst you’re walking in woods, parks and on busy city streets. But by regularly working with your dog to ensure they learn to obey the “Leave it” command, not only will you save your shoes and furniture but potentially also their life.

If in any doubt, we always recommend you call your vet.