With the Autumn season comes conkers (seeds from horse chestnut trees)
which can be very harmful for dogs for two main reasons. Firstly, the large nuts could cause a blockage in your dog’s stomach. Secondly, they contain a chemical called aesculin which is found in all parts of the horse chestnut tree, including the leaves which is toxic to dogs.
If you think your dog has eaten or shallowed a conker, contact your vet straight away.
Who doesn’t love running through fallen leaves on a crisp autumn day? Enriched in the smells of the park, your dog will find it hard to not to stop for a sniff. However piles of wet, rotting leaves are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, fungus and mould to grow. This can lead to gastrointestinal issues if your dog ingests them. Your dog could consume the bacteria when they later lick themselves, so be sure to wash your dog down afterwards if they’ve been lolloping through leaf piles.
Wild mushrooms also love to grow beneath piles of damp leaves. While not all species of the fungi are toxic, it’s very difficult to identify and distinguish those that are. As a rule of thumb, keep your dog away from any and all wildly growing mushrooms.
This for of algae is really toxic and can kill dogs quickly if ingested. The algae blooms from late spring to early autumn and looks like a blue-green scum on the water. Dogs who love a dip are most at risk so if you're worried about the look of the water, don't let your dog go in for a swim or drink it.
When decorating your home and garden with autumnal plants, bear in mind that some plants are poisonous to dogs. Autumn flowering plants like Crocus, Chrysanthemums and Cyclamens can cause anything from vomiting and diarrhoea to seizures and death.
And of course we can't forget Halloween
Halloween can be a scary time of year for dogs. People dressed in costumes and unexpected knocks at the front door can be very confusing and even frightening to your dog.
On the week running up to Halloween try to walk your dog before it gets dark. If you get home after dark, think about fun ways to tire them out in the safety of your home including some training exercise and even some tasty food treats.
It’s inevitable that your doorbell will be going off more than normal on Halloween night, so plan ahead. Stick to your dog’s routine and pre-empt people knocking by preparing lots of things to keep your dog busy, quiet and happy.
Plus, remember not to leave sweets and chocolates where your dog can reach them as these can be toxic to dogs