Preparing for Autumn with your pet

As autumn rolls around, many of us can be sad to say goodbye to summer with its long days, light nights and warm weather. And that goes for our pets as well, who notice and are impacted by the change in season too; so it’s a good idea to take steps to prepare them for autumn and observe any ways that they might be affected.

Seasonal Canine Illness
Autumn generally sees a rise in the number of cases of Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI) a mystery illness affecting dogs that can be fatal. In the period between August and November, SCI can affect dogs of any size, shape or sex and it causes them to become quite ill, very rapidly after being walked in woodland.

The cause of SCI is largely unknown and there are no known preventive measures. In terms of common warning signs to look out for, your dog will become sick, have diarrhoea and lethargy typically all within 72 hours of walking in woodland.

In recent years, there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of fatal cases of SCI. The Animal Health Trust reported that in 2010, 20% of cases reported to the AHT resulted in death but by 2012, less than two per cent of cases reported resulted in death. If you suspect your dog is showing signs of SCI then please contact your vet immediately, as they can usually recover within 7-10 days.

The use of topical sprays to ward off mites and bathing dogs after walks have been proven to have a positive impact.

Layer Up
As the weather gets cooler, we start to dig out the layers to wrap up against the elements and some owners may find they need to do the same for their pooch too! If your dog feels the cold then you may want to think about investing in a rain-proof coat for those evening walks. Likewise, be sure to wrap your dog up warm and rub them down with a towel after a walk if you do find yourselves caught out in the rain and wind. Bad weather can mean you sometimes don’t get out with your dog as much as usual, so help keep them fit and active by making up with some indoor exercise. Interactive play and toys, like our Busy Buddy range, are a great way to get them moving and release some of that energy to tire them out in the evenings.

Be Visible
This time of year means the days become shorter and evenings draw in, so it’s likely that many of us will be walking our dogs in the dark, whether early or later in the day. As it becomes darker, it’s important to take steps to ensure both your own and your pet’s safety such as wearing bright colours, and using something like a reflective or fluorescent collar, coat or lead to help make sure you’re visible to other people and drivers. Battery powered LED’s ensure can be incorporated into coats, collars and leads to enhance night-time visibility so that your dog will be easy to locate in the dark and will enable road users to see them too.

Although it spells the end of the warmer months (and holidays!), autumn is a great season in itself, and you can help your pet be prepared for the changes it brings to enjoy it together and keep them happy and healthy as winter approaches.

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