Keeping animals happy and healthy

Autumn can bring potential dangers to animals 

Autumn is a beautiful season which brings with it an array of rich and glorious colours as well as cool and crisp air. An exciting time of year, however, it is also a time where dangers can be lurking so we must do all we can to protect our furry friends and keep them happy and healthy.

They need extra protection during the colder months, especially during the Halloween and firework season, when they can become very stressed.

As the temperatures drop and nights draw in please think about the animals and do all you can to keep them safe and protected.

Halloween

Halloween can be fun for many people but can be scary for animals. Always keep those sweet treats away from your animals. If you are worried that your companion may have eaten something toxic call your vet immediately for advice.

Watch out for those pumpkins because they can cause an upset stomach. As we fill our homes with decorations, they too can be dangerous especially if they chew them, so keep paws away.

During the celebrations, people will often knock on doors and make noise, which can sometimes cause them distress. It is advisable to let them stay in a quiet and safe place in the house away from any noises.

Firework season

If you are organising an event this year, please be vigilant and let people nearby know about it well in advance so they can plan their safety and their animal companions.

Bonfires are dangerous places especially for wildlife and farm animals, loud noises will often scare them and can cause injury. Be aware that many wildlife may be nesting, hiding or even living inside the bonfire. Always check for hedgehogs beneath leaves and logs as they love to hide in piles of leaves and logs.

They need to feel safe and secure during these noisy festive holidays. Loud bands and whistles can cause pain in their ears as animals have very sensitive hearing.

So ensure you do all you can to help them by keeping them inside when fireworks are likely to go off, never take them to a firework display. Sadly, some pets can get injured if debris from a firework hits them. Take dogs out for early walks then keep them indoors until the next day.

The noise can distress pets so consider having the TV on or radio to help dampen the noise outside. Keep curtains, windows and doors closed.

You may want to talk to your vet about pheromone diffusers, which release calming chemicals and can be a good option for stressed pets, especially dogs.

Health and wellbeing

Our animal friends need looking after all year round especially during the autumn months, so keep a close eye and monitor your companion’s health.

The change of season can bring on health issues like possible skin conditions, breathing issues among others. If you notice any changes always seek veterinary advice.

Fleas and ticks can increase during this time, therefore ensure that they are up to date on all their vaccinations, treatment and health checks.

Outdoors

Think carefully about their environment, if your animal lives outside, consider where they are located and plan to put them in a warmer place like a shed. Rabbits who live in an outdoor hutch, for example, need a safe and warm place to live. Avoid using any hot water bottles or electric blankets, instead use spare blankets, extra bedding, and insulation as well as adequate ventilation to keep them as comfortable as possible.

Freezing temperatures – cars

Screen wash and anti-freeze can be fatal to animals, therefore always keep them away from them. Always check under your bonnet and car before starting the engine because they have a tendency to curl up underneath these.

Dogs

Our canine friends need regular exercise, even during the colder months. Avoid boredom and behaviour problems by ensuring they get enough activity and mental stimulation.

Always keep both you and your animal protected, consider reflective clothing/leads. Always carry a mobile phone and choose routes which are safe and there are street lights and people.

Stationary

Keep items that are potentially dangerous out of your animals reach, like glue sticks, pencils, and markers.

Outdoor Dangers

Mushrooms can be toxic because they are difficult to distinguish from nontoxic ones, it’s best to avoid them completely as well as the areas they grow.

Watch out for snakes as they prepare for hibernation, they can bite so avoid them and where they are likely to be found.

Additional information

If you notice any unusual changes or are worried about anything to do with your companion, always seek advice from your vet.

For more information about protecting animals during the colder months please click here 

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