Autumn and your petsNovember 3, 2021
Autumn is a great season, with plenty to enjoy – but it is always important to think about how this time of year can have an effect on your pet. Here are some things to consider as we head into those colder months.
It’s no secret that Bonfire Night can be a stressful time for pets, with the loud bangs in particular being quite scary for them. There is no quick fix for fear associated with loud noises, but you can do things to help prepare.
Pheromone plug-ins can help reduce anxiety and create a calmer environment in the home. Start using these in the weeks leading up to the main event to give them time to work. Have a chat with us if you would like more advice on how to use them.
Turning on the TV or radio is also a great idea to help drown out the loud bangs, and there are even CD’s available of firework noises that you can play quietly in the weeks leading up to bonfire night whilst your pet is experiencing nice things – chat to us to learn more about ‘desensitisation’ and how it can help your four-legged friend. And of course don’t forget to make sure all doors and windows are shut (and is your pet’s microchip up-to-date, should the worst happen and they do run and hide?).
Create a safe space for your pet to hide themselves away if they get too overwhelmed. Use extra blankets, toys and treats to create an environment they feel super comfortable in, or encourage them to spend time in their crate if they have one.
Take your dog out for a walk earlier in the day and, if possible, keep cats indoors.
In some cases, medication may be appropriate for pets that particularly struggle with noise sensitivity. If you think you and your pet need more help, please book in an appointment with us to discuss this further.
Long autumnal walks are one of the nicest things about this time of year. Make sure you give your pup’s paws a good clean afterwards, so they’re not tempted to lick off anything nasty and give themselves a stomach upset. Dirty puddles and stagnant water can also be a temptation, but remember these can also cause stomach upset if ingested, so make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water available during and after the walk.
Keep safe in the dark
As the early nights start rolling in, think about prepping your pet for spending more time in the dark and keeping them safe when you’re out and about. If you will be walking your dog in the early morning or evening, consider a flashing collar or tag. You can also buy reflective leads, collars and coats. And of course, make sure you can be seen too!
If possible, keep cats indoors at night, as there is a much higher risk of them being caught in a road traffic accident in darker months. Provide plenty of mental stimulation indoors to keep them happy and active – they won’t say no to some new toys and some dedicated playtime with their favourite human (you!)
It’s likely by now that your central heating has kicked in, which is not only lovely for us, but also for fleas who also thrive in a warm environment! Therefore, make sure you’re keeping on top of your animal’s parasite control. Have a chat with us if you would like more information on what products we recommend.
Don’t forget about rabbits and guinea pigs who may be living in outdoor enclosures. Make sure you’re still checking on them regularly, just consider taking a torch with you! With the turn in weather, particularly more rain and cold, make sure their enclosure is not leaky or draughty, or ideally if possible, consider bringing them indoors – even into a shed or car-free garage will be of benefit to them. Pad their bedding out, insulate their enclosure (something like a nice, thick blanket over their hutch can be really helpful – but leave a gap for air to circulate) and ensure they have plenty of food and water. Don’t forget – in colder snaps, their water bottle can freeze; you can wrap it in bubble wrap and check it regularly to ensure their water supply isn’t reduced.
On those frosty mornings, you may need to get out the antifreeze for your windscreen, or be topping up your car. It is vital to remember that it is extremely toxic if ingested. Despite having a sweet taste, it can cause gastrointestinal upset, neurological symptoms, kidney failure and can ultimately be fatal. Keep it safely stored away out of reach of pets and clean up any spillages immediately. Even a small amount licked off paws can be enough to cause serious illness so be very wary. If you are at all concerned that your pet has consumed any antifreeze, give us a call right away.
Autumn is such a lovely season to enjoy with our pets and there’s plenty we can do to make sure we’re doing everything we can to keep them happy, healthy and making the most of the season too! If you have any worries with your pet or would like to know more about anything we’ve mentioned in this blog, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team who are here, and happy to help!