Just like any other time of the year, autumn comes with a few season-specific risks for dogs, but learning a little bit about things to watch out for at this time of year can help you to ensure that your canine companion stays safe.  The team here at Suffolk Dog Day HQ have pulled together a list of just a few of the hazards you really need to watch out for this season.

Conkers & Acorns: We all know dogs love to chew, and come these autumn months, conkers and acorns always seem to appeal – it must be something to do with their outter shell that must be so satisfying to crack!  Conker cases and conkers themselves can cause intestinal blockages.  And although acorns are smaller, they contain a toxic ingredient that is thought to be tannic acid, which could cause damage to the liver and kidneys. Signs can often include vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and lethargy.

Anti-Freeze: Strangely, the anti-freeze product that we put in our cars as the temperatures begin to drop, can be rather sweet tasting and very palatable.  A dog may just find this appealing.  But its consumption can come with consequences.  Even a relatively small quantity can cause serious kidney damage and be fatal.  The first signs of intoxication can be that your dog appears ‘drunk’.  If you know your dog has ingested anti-freeze, or its official name ‘ethylene glycol’ you should most definitely contact your vet immeadiately.

Chocolate: Around the festivities of autumn, there is often a lot more of our favourite sweet treat around the house!  Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine that is poisonous to dogs. The amount of theobromine levels can differ in each, with dark chocolate containing the highest.   This stimulant mainly affects the heart, central nervous system and kidneys.  Signs will occur from 4-24 hours following ingestion, so keep a very close eye on your dog if you are in the knowledge that they have consumed some, and always speak to your vet for their advice.

Mushrooms and Toadstools: Some mushrooms are highly toxic to dogs, as they can be to humans too.   But even fungi experts (mycologists) find it difficult to tell between them as there are so many! Keep an eye out for these in your garden, and perhaps look to remove them from the grass where possible.  Some can be so colourful and soft, it might be best to just remove (with gloves if you have them) in order to avoid temptation for your pooch!

Fermenting fruit: During the autumn, all our favourite fruit trees – from the apple to the pear, to the sloe and the plum – their left over crop falls to the ground which over time will ferment into a natural alcoholic compound. If your dog eats any of these, they are likely to again suffer from sickness and diarrhoea, and also, may run the risk of having a toxic reaction to the natural alcohol produced by the fruit as part of its fermentation process.  So as always, keep an ey

Fleas and Ticks: As we turn up the central heating in our homes, this brings with it the added issue of a greater risk of fleas and ticks living in the coats of your furry friend.  They love the warmth!  Make sure you use flea and tick control and check your pets coats often. If a tick is found make sure to use the correct tick removal kit, as this needs a special technique to ensure the entire part of the tick comes away from the skin.

**Always check with your vet if you are concerned about any of the above!  They will give you the best advice possible….**

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