The nights have already started drawing in with shorter and cooler days, meaning autumn is well and truly on its way. Here are some tips to keep your pets safe with the new season upon us.
Autumn is unfortunately a busy time for parasites! Fleas are still very much a problem, so it’s important to keep up-to-date with anti-parasitic treatments. As well as fleas, autumn is the peak time for ticks (this summer was particularly bad for them). Ticks live in long grass and woodland areas, which we have plenty of around here, and attach themselves to passing pets. Grooming your dog after a walk enables you to remove them before they attach.
At the same time you should check for grass seeds stuck in your dog’s coat or feet which can otherwise penetrate the skin and work their way in causing pain and infection.
Harvest mites are another problem seen in the later summer and early autumn months. The mites live in long grass and swarm onto passing pets. They typically congregate on the face, ears and feet. They will appear as bright orange dots and are usually a cause of great irritation to your pets.
Other risks closer to home in the garden include fallen fruits, acorns and conkers these can cause severe digestive upsets. Slugs and snails can also pose a problem, so these are best removed before your pet spies them and decides to feast on them!
Autumn aches it’s worth bearing in mind that cooler weather may unmask arthritic disease and joint stiffness, so it’s an idea to keep an eye on your pet’s mobility. It’s also the time that pets can gain a few extra pounds, so be aware that you may need to reduce food intake accordingly with fewer walks etc.
If you are concerned about any of these issues or with the general well-being of your pet moving into the autumn months, contact your vet.
Chris Devlin BVSc MRCVS is a Vet and Partner at Hillside Veterinary Centre in Corfe Mullen. w: www.hillsidevets.co.uk.