Arguably, autumn is one of the most exciting seasons. It’s when home owners can start changing into warmer clothes, drinking hot chocolate, and counting down to much-loved holidays such as Christmas. Despite being one of the nation’s favourite festivities, one household member might not be so thrilled about this time of year — your pet.
Autumn can be your pet’s worst nightmare. Most of the dangers on this list are entirely preventable, and awareness of them can minimise the stress and anxiety you might feel. This article outlines several ways to avoid this time of year turning into a horror story for you, your pet, and your family. Here’s how you can keep your pets safe:
Keep Track Of Your Pets
The festive season is a time to reconnect with old friends. Many of us do this by sending Christmas cards or popping over to an old friend’s house to say hello. You might do this, and you will likely have visitors coming over to you. Additionally, many celebrate this festive period with fireworks, sporadically over the autumn/winter months.
With all this constant opening and closing of the front door, ringing of the doorbell, and fireworks being let off, your pet might get overexcited or spooked and use this opportunity to bolt out into the night. Even the most well-adjusted pet might experience a behaviour change when suffering from anxiety and stress, so it is essential that you are well-prepared in case your pet does escape the safety of your house.
Although your pet will be microchipped, it is useless if they don’t have the correct identification details. They are more likely to be returned to you if they have the proper identification. Therefore, it is essential to ensure their microchip details are up-to-date and their collar has an ID tag, as these can be lifesavers for lost pets.
Additionally, you may want to familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of your dog insurance policy so that you know what you are covered for and what you’re not. Depending on your dog insurance provider, your policy might come with extras, like those from trusted dog insurance provider Purely Pets. These might include loss by straying, or advertising and reward for your pet should they bolt.
Consider visiting their website for more information about their dog insurance policies, read customer testimonials, or take advantage of their helpful online resources by following their blog. Get a free quote using their free-to-use quote generator, or contact a team member to find out how their services could keep your pet safe.
Watch Out For Fleas
Pet owners need to remain vigilant for fleas and ensure that their four-legged friend remains pest-free. Although fleas are typically associated with warmer months, veterinary professionals often consider autumn one of the worst times of the year for these pests.
Fleas generally thrive in climates of 23 degrees Celsius, which is the perfect temperature for keeping our homes cosy during the winter months. As we start cranking up the dials on our central heating systems, the more attractive they look to these blood-sucking pests, and the more likely they attach themselves to our beloved pets.
To prevent your home from becoming infested with these parasites, it is essential that you administer flea protection to your pet all year round. As well as keeping up with these treatments, you can take additional measures to prevent fleas from coming into your home, like washing your pet’s bed regularly, bathing or brushing pets often, checking for fleas routinely, and much more.
Ensure You're Seen When Going On Walks
Nobody likes walking in the dark, especially when the weather is cold, wet, and unpredictable. However, our pets need exercise, and they rely on us to get it. So even as the days get shorter and the nights longer, you will most likely have to walk your pet in these less-than-desirable conditions.
As well as being cold, the longer nights can cause other problems for pet owners and their four-legged companions, particularly visibility. Especially if you live in a rural neighbourhood, oncoming traffic may find it more challenging to see you and your pet on your evening walk due to the limited light.
Reduced visibility can lead to horrific accidents that could leave you and your pet seriously injured or worse. To minimise this risk, it is essential that you stay visible while walking your pet by wearing high-visibility or reflective clothing. For your four-legged companion, you can purchase similar articles of outerwear and even flashing lights to attach to their collar, which can help you identify them in your garden and elsewhere at night.
Keep Sweet Treats Away From Pets
Sweets can be harmful to pets’ sensitive stomachs and so can the wrappers used to keep them fresh, as they can easily be swallowed by an inquisitive pet and get lodged in their throat, which may require medical attention.
Not only can candy wrappers, sticks, and string cause difficulties for dogs, but most sweet treats contain additional sugars and sweeteners like xylitol which can be highly dangerous to pets, or, worst-case scenario, they could be covered with chocolate that contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs.
To avoid any ill effects on your pet, it is essential that you keep sweet treats away from their snuffling noses. Do this by storing any sweets in a hard-to-reach cupboard, asking your children to put wrappers in the bin straight away, throwing wrappers away in a container with a closing lid, and much more.
Store Anti-Freeze In A Safe Place
The antifreeze will start making a regular appearance in your car maintenance regime as the weather gets colder. However, car maintenance and a pet’s sweet tooth don’t bode well, since ethylene glycol tastes very sweet to pets, making them likely to ingest it if left unsupervised. Antifreeze can poison your dog and leave them vulnerable to kidney failure or even death if eaten.
Therefore, it is crucial that you store antifreeze well out of your pet’s reach or in an area of the house where they aren’t allowed to go. Additionally, while using the antifreeze, ensure that you double-check that none of the chemicals drop onto the floor, whether inside or outside, as your pet can be poisoned by walking through it and cleaning their paws afterwards.