There’s plenty of magic in the season of Autumn; the leaves are changing colour and there’s lots of festivities to enjoy. Yet, as with each season, there are things to be wary of when your cat or dog is out on adventures. At The Insurance Emporium, we care about the welfare of cats and dogs, that’s why we’ve asked our pet health expert for some advice on the dangers pet owners should look out for over Autumn.
On the road…
When there’s less daylight and colder weather, the traffic often gets heavier. Most road traffic accidents involving pets happen after dark, with younger animals most at risk. Unneutered pets are likely to roam – so you should consider getting your pet spayed or neutered! Car collisions commonly cause serious injuries in cats and dogs and, sadly, they’re often fatal. If you have cats, keep them in after dark and consider putting a reflective collar on them if they live near busy roads. With dogs, keep them under control and make sure they can be seen when walking in the dark; take a torch, wear reflective clothing and put an LED light or a reflective collar or harness on your dog. Check out our blog on safe dog walking at night for more advice on this.
It’s firework season!
As exciting as Bonfire Night is for us, fireworks can be very scary for pets and could cause stress-related problems. Dogs and cats often try to run away when they are spooked by loud bangs, which can lead to car accidents. Our recent infographic might help you keep pets calm when fireworks are going off. Aside from causing panic, there are other firework-related dangers for pet owners to look out for. Curious pets might sniff fireworks and dogs have been known to try to catch and play with them, which can lead to bad burns. Unlit fireworks can be potentially lethal to your pet because they contain heavy metals and toxic agents, such as potassium nitrate. What’s more, your pet could face trauma or burns if hit by a shell. Your best bet is to get all your pets indoors before dark and try not to leave them on their own.
Glowsticks are popular for parties in Autumn but they can be toxic for pets. They contain a chemical called dibutyl phthalate which can irritate your pet’s skin and eyes and, if they eat it, can cause them to froth at the mouth. If your pet has come into contact with this substance, you should contact your vet for advice. However, prevention is better than the cure, so it’s best to just take steps to keep glowsticks away from your pets; whether that’s hiding them somewhere cats and dogs won’t find them, or just not buying them at all!
Acorns and conkers
While you might have fond childhood memories of conker fights and you may enjoy watching squirrels bury acorns, it’s less fun if your pet eats either of these seeds! Conkers contain a toxin called aesculin, which can poison your dog if they eat them. Look out for such symptoms as abdominal pain, low grade neurological signs and vomiting and diarrhoea, which might contain blood. Conkers can also cause intestinal obstruction. Acorns contain tannic acid, which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, abdominal pain and lethargy if your dog eats them. It can also damage your dog’s liver and kidneys. If your pet eats acorns or conkers, it might be wise to get them to a vet as soon as you can!
Not mushroom for mistakes…
Just as eating wild mushrooms can be risky for you, the same applies to cats and dogs! Cats don’t tend to eat mushrooms but dogs might. How these fungi affect your pet depends on the type consumed. Symptoms range from weakness, vomiting and diarrhoea to seizures and cardiovascular symptoms. If your dog has eaten a mushroom, get them to a vet immediately. Try to take a sample of the fungi your dog has eaten with you and be sure to wear gloves when handling it, just in case! Different types of mushroom are common in varying parts in the country, so it’s worth doing your research to see if there are any potentially lethal mushrooms that you might encounter.
Knowing the risks your pet could face in Autumn goes a long way to avoiding any problems, so your furry friends can get on with enjoying their magical adventures! If you do think that your cat or dog has been affected by any of the things mentioned here, be sure to take them to the vet as soon as you can.
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