Conkers, antifreeze and acorns – Autumn pet care

Conkers and acorns – Horse chestnut trees contain a chemical called aesculin that can be highly poisonous to dogs if chewed or ingested, the nut may also cause a blockage in your pet’s stomach. Conkers can also be mildly poisonous for other animals including horses. If you suspect your pet has ingested a chestnut or acorn, contact your vet for advice.

Fallen leaves– we know the temptations to jump through the fallen leaves in autumn but did you know if the leaves have been there for some time they can cause your dogs some illness. The moist dark conditions in these piles become a breeding ground for potentially harmful microorganisms. If eaten these can cause stomach problems and lead to vomiting or diarrhoea. You can prevent this by clearing leaves from your garden and discouraging eating leaves from old piles when out on walks.

Antifreeze – As the cold weather sets and the autumn leaves begin to fall your car may need more frequent top ups of antifreeze, this can be extremely deadly for a range of pets. Although for humans it seems very unappealing for some pets its sweet, palatable taste can be very tempting, contact your vet immediately if you suspect your pet has had access to antifreeze.

Is that a cat under your bonnet? Stray cats or pets out in the cold temperature may use your car for warmth, always check under the bonnet or honk your horn before starting it to prevent them from harm.

Fleas and ticks – As the central heating starts to come on and the climate begins to change, fleas and ticks can be a problem for pets. Suitable prevention treatments and regular checking should be enough to keep your pet happy at this time of year.

Let’s go indoors? – where possible pets kept outside should be moved indoors or to a more sheltered area, additional bedding, food intake and attention to water temperatures will also be appreciated by your pet at this time of year. To prevent your water bottles freezing, provided your pet can’t reach, wrap the bottle in bubble wrap.

Walking on the dark side? For early morning or late evening walks you may find dim conditions or even darkness. Something as simple as a flashing collar can really help improve your pet’s visibility this will also help your dog be seen, when out on roads or in dark parks. You could Ideally go walking with a friend or family member and stay well lit or use visibility clothing. In case of emergencies always ensure that your mobile phone is charged before heading out. For cats ensure they don’t go out later on in the as temperatures may drop below freezing.