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Keeping your dog safe in Autumn

Latest News Tags: Autumn Care


Despite the wind and rain that Autumn brings, the crunch of leaves underfoot and the smell of bonfires in the air can make Autumn time one of the most pleasurable periods of the year for dog owners.

However, with darker nights, and a change in conditions, it’s important to be aware of how to keep your dog safe during this period and stop them from becoming ill. Here are some tips and important facts to remember.

Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI)

A hot topic for dog owners at this time of year is seasonal canine illness (SCI). SCI is a mysterious and rare illness of which there is no known cause. And while the number of cases has dropped significantly in the last decade, it’s still important for dog owners to be aware of the symptoms and the action they may need to take. The warning signs of SCI in dogs are vomiting, diarrhoea and tiredness within 72 hours of visiting a woodland area. If you spot any of these symptoms in your dog then you should seek advice from your vet as soon as you can.


Conkers are a lot of fun for children but they can be harmful to our pets. Dogs that consume conkers can become very ill and suffer from vomiting, abdominal pains, intestinal blockages, and diarrhoea. Keep an eye on your dog, and try to avoid any areas where you suspect conkers will be lying around.


As the nights become darker, it’s important that you’re able to safely walk your dog and avoid any hazards for both you and your pet. Be sure to wear clothes that are visible in the dark, consider hi-vis clothing or strips, and a head torch for any parks or pathways that might be particularly shadowy.


Darker nights can feel like a scarier time than normal to be walking your dog. Try and stick to well-lit areas, and populated, and consider bringing a friend along for your dog walk or walking with a fellow dog owner. Alternatively, avoid headphones so that you can be aware of your surroundings, and keep your mobile phone in your belongings in case you have an accident or need assistance.


The conditions of autumn months make for fertile ground for mushrooms and other types of fungi to sprout up. While not every type of mushroom will be poisonous, it is better to be safe than sorry, and so you should keep a close eye on your dog to stop them from eating anything they shouldn’t.


With autumn beginning, fireworks night is just around the corner. Many dog owners rightfully dread fireworks night and the impact that it has on their pets. Dogs have very sensitive ears, and the noise of fireworks can be hugely distressing for them. To make the 5th November less stressful for your dog, you should walk them before it gets dark, close curtains and windows to help muffle the sound, put the TV or some music on, and create a comforting environment for them where they can feel safe and in control.


Although there are dangers out there to be aware of during this time of year, this shouldn’t stop you from getting out and about with your dog and keeping up their regular walking routine. Dogs need consistent exercise, and a lack of stimulation can lead to behavioural problems. Wrap up warm, be aware, and try to enjoy the unique environment that autumn brings.

Through training and expert advice, WitsEnd can help you to get the very best out of your pet. If you need help with making introductions or socialising your new dog, get in touch with our team on 0116 244 2455, or email [email protected]

Dr Shahad Mohammed
Veterinary Physiotherapist
National Association of Veterinary Physiotherapists
Dr Shahad Mohammed