We have talked recently about some important summer pet care tips for your dog, cat, or other small furry pet. But what about autumn?
March is here and in the southern hemisphere that means the arrival of autumn. The weather will gradually start to cool down; nights and mornings will become cool and crisp leading into what can be the most glorious days of the year. It can be easy to forget that pet care is just as important in autumn as it is in the harsher seasons.
So what do you need to remember when it comes to looking after Rover or Puss in autumn?
• Flea and Tick Control. Just because summer is over doesn’t mean the risk for fleas and ticks goes away. The only way to prevent flea outbreaks is to remain on top of your flea treatment regimen year round, including regularly checking your pet for fleas. Likewise, ticks may remain prevalent until later in autumn, so you need to be tick-aware.
• Easter Chocolate. Autumn is the season of Easter in Australia and this means chocolate. Chocolate can be fatal to dogs. At best, it is incredibly toxic and can cause extreme illness. Dogs don’t tend to know what’s good for them and will sample or gobble chocolate regardless. Keep it out of Rover’s reach and educate kids about not sharing their Easter treats with any dog.
• Arthritis and Joint Health. When the weather cools down, symptoms of joint pain and arthritis are exacerbated. Treatments take some time to work, so it’s much better to be on top of this and if your dog shows symptoms or is older, commence these (including joint supplements) when autumn begins. Talk to your vet about the need for this.
• Poisons. If you use rat or mouse poisons or traps in autumn, be very careful if you have a pet. These can be very harmful to dogs and cats and there are pest control methods that are less dangerous that you can use. Be aware that your neighbours could be using baits and the like; keep dogs fenced in and cats indoors.
• Fungus. Wetter conditions can lead to the growth of toadstools and other fungi in your garden or where you walk your dog. Most mushrooms are safe, but some are highly toxic. If you have any reason to suspect your dog or cat has munched on one, call your vet ASAP.
• Grapes. Autumn is grape season, and these are very harmful to dogs as they cause renal failure if eaten. Leash your dog for all walks and if you live near a vineyard or vines, avoid taking your dog there.
A healthy pet is a happy pet! Keep up your pet’s healthy diet and dog walking, as well as regular grooming, and pay attention to the points mentioned above. And don’t forget: autumn is leading into the season of cuddles – so enjoy!