Now that summer seems to be well and truly over for another year it’s time to look at some of the issues facing our beloved pets this autumn.
As temperatures start to drop and the dark wet nights draw in, central heatings go on so it’s extremely important to remember to continue (or even start) decent flea treatments as well as protection against lungworm transmitted by slugs and snails.
Both cat and dog fleas never fail to be such a major cause of irritation to both pets and their owners and, with our warm and toasty homes, these wingless insects (pictured) are now, literally, a pain in the backside all year-round.
Tiny orange harvest mites may also be seen on our pets around this time of year too – very seasonal parasites that are picked up from long grasses and tend to congregate on the ears, eyelids, feet and even underside of your pet’s abdomen.
Like fleas, these mites can cause intense itchiness in susceptible individuals at this time of year – resulting in itchy, crusty lesions developing on affected areas.
Now is also the perfect time to start planning for the upcoming firework season. Clever desensitization CD’s and valuable advice from vets and canine behaviourists can help cure your pets’ firework phobias and be effective in preparing your petrified pet for possibly the most traumatic time of his or her year.
Please don’t leave it till the last minute to organise sedatives if recommended by a professional, and of course, always keep pets indoors in the evenings to avoid firework injuries.
Many car owners will also be getting their vehicles ready for winter, so remember antifreeze – commonly used in car radiators – is extremely tasty to our inquisitive pets (especially cats) and more importantly extremely poisonous too, and even ingesting small amounts can result in irreversible fatal kidney damage.
And to all you tortoise-owners out there, please start thinking about ensuring that your pets are more-than-adequately prepared for hibernation if they need it, making an appointment with your vet for their health check including all-important weight and length measurements.
It’s so easy to forget how quickly our pets seem to gain years too so please don’t forget that older dogs and cats tend to feel their joints more in the cold weather, and make sure they have plenty of warm bedding.
Look for any changes in mobility or even lameness and get your vet to check them if they seem to be getting stiff or sore – there’s a whole range of safe treatments available that can make the forthcoming months a lot more bearable.
Finally it’s always a good idea to make sure your pet is microchipped (and details up-to-date) this time of year as well as purchasing practical fluorescent jackets for your dogs to help avoid them being involved in road accidents.
Have a safe autumn – you and your pets!