Here's how to keep your pets safe and healthy during this season
Autumn is a spectacular month. The temperature is milder, and we get some glorious days of sunshine. It's the perfect time to head outside for some playtime or walks. Your dog will love it!
It's also quickly approaching the Easter long weekend – Friday 2nd to Monday 5th April.
And this year, we're all probably a bit more excited as we're free to celebrate with our friends and families.
If you've got kids, they'll not only be excited about the upcoming school holidays but the fact they can gather with all their cousins this year for the yearly chocolate hunt. Oh, the joys. Running crazily around the backyard with your basket, trying desperately to find the chocolate treats left by the 'Easter bunny'.
There's no doubt it's a great time of year.
But I encourage you to think about your beloved pets during this time. There are so many hidden dangers that can affect their well-being.
The top 4 dangers for pets during Autumn
1. Walking in the dark
If you get home a little later, you may find yourself walking your dog in the dark. Please be safe. You want to make sure that you're both visible to cars (you can buy some cool reflective collars or tags for your dog) and keep your dog on a leash along the road areas.
While vision may be limited at night, your dog's nose will be sniffing the ground to keep track of where you're going. Be cautious that your dog may find food rubbish that's been dropped (by birds, by bin trucks, by people) and have devoured it before you've even realised they picked something up. This is particularly dangerous if they've found a chicken bone or similar.
2. The critters are jumping
Don't forget to continue your flea treatments during Autumn. Many people back off the treatment, believing that fleas are only super active during the warmers months. The truth is, it's only when we get constant cold temperatures that fleas are killed off.
So, if you're dog is around other dogs, either in your house, neighbouring houses, or out walking, protect them from flea infestations, bites and the resulting allergies by keeping up your flea treatments.
3. Allergens galore
If you're an allergy sufferer, you'll know how bad it is to cop seasonal allergies. You'd be used to the sneezing, itching skin, watery eyes, runny noses and ear infections. The same allergies we suffer, our pets can too. They are around mold, pollens and dust mites, just like us.
Giving your dog a regular bath can rinse off allergens and soothe their skin. After they've played in the yard or had a walk, you can rinse their feet off before they come back inside. This will help their licking and itching of paws and stop them from walking allergens inside and onto their bedding.
4. It's sweater weather
As the weather gets colder, we start to dig out our woolly jumpers – for both us and our pets (if they're lucky enough to have a wardrobe, that is!). As you would with your own jumper, shake them out and give them a rinse off. You don't want any nasty spiders giving you a shocking bite or dust mites flaring up your allergies.
Also, if you've used mothballs, make sure these don't fall out of the sweaters for your pet to gobble up. They are highly toxic to dogs and can cause anaemia, vomiting, lethargy, and live or kidney damage.
The top 4 dangers for pets at Easter
1. Our food is super yummy but toxic to pets
Most of us indulge in yummy food over Easter – roasts, hot cross buns and chocolate.
Pets should never eat cooked bones as they splinter easily and can obstruct windpipes or cause internal tears
Sultanas and raisins are toxic to pets by causing significant damage to their kidneys which may be permanent
And everyone's heard that chocolate is toxic to pets (dogs, cats, horses and parrots!) as they can't metabolise the stimulants in the ingredients
Ensure everyone at your house knows not to feed your pets, no matter how cute they look with those puppy dog eyes.
2. Easter egg hunts
Easter egg hunts are so much fun for kids, and you should enjoy them. A few ways to keep your pets safe is:
Making sure all the eggs are hidden at levels your pets can't reach (or climb to)
Locking pets inside while you quickly hide the eggs before letting the kids loose
Creating a 'safe zone' for your egg hunt – a fenced-off section where pets can't enter
Once your eggs have been found, do a quick count to make sure none are missing. And then, as they are being devoured, make sure everyone knows to throw their wrappers in the bin. The foil packaging, scented with chocolate, will be quickly scoffed down by your dog, which may lead to choking.
3. Too many people
Many pets love company. Some can lap it up continually, but some may be more hesitant and only like the company in small doses. Snobby cats and older dogs are known for having enough interaction, especially with little kids!
If you see your pet starting to get anxious around so many people, create a safe space for them. This could be a quiet room with their bedding, water and a treat that's off-bounds to anyone else. Pets love sleeping, so disrupting their routine too much can cause anxiety.
4. Easter flowers
Flowers are often sent at Easter time to those we can't catch up with (distant relatives or friends). Although pretty, many Easter flowers are toxic to pets. Easter lilies, Day lilies, Tiger lilies and Stargazer lilies are the worst, with the stem, leaves, petals, stamens and pollen all poisonous to cats.
It's so bad in fact, that even if they brush against them and a bit of pollen falls on their coat that they groom off, this can be enough to cause harm. You'll find your cat lethargic and vomiting if they experience poisoning from lilies.
That's a lot to think about!
As you settle into Autumn and plan your Easter break, I'd love for you to keep this blog in mind to keep your pets safe. They love being involved in everything with you, so it's up to us to keep them happy and healthy at all times.
If you've got any further tips or tricks, please feel free to drop them in the comments below.