Pet care advice for Autumn

Autumn is the season for fireworks, changing leaves and cooler weather. Here’s our vets’ advice to help make the season a calmer, healthier time for your pet:

Fear of fireworks

Lots of pets are anxious and frightened of fireworks – all those loud bangs can be scary. Luckily, with the right care, you can keep your pet calm and help them cope:

  • Socialising your puppy or kitten early in their life will help them cope with strange noises, like fireworks, as they grow up. Read our vets' advice on socialising your puppy or socialising your kitten
  •  If your adult pet is frightened of fireworks, you can help them prepare for bonfire night by gradually getting them used to the strange sounds and loud bangs they'll hear. You can use a special noises and sounds CD to help teach your pet that these noises aren't something to be frightened of. 
  • Set up a safe space for your pet to hide out in on bonfire night. Dogs like cosy dens and cats feel safer high up on a stable shelf or on top of a cupboard. 

Read lots more advice from our vets about how to prepare your pet for bonfire night and what to do to keep them safe on the day itself


Poisonous plants and other autumn hazards

There are lots of hidden hazards around our homes and gardens that can cause problems for curious paws. Here are a few things to be aware of in Autumn:

  • Conkers and acorns: These are toxic to dogs. Poisoning cases are rare but they can also cause stomach problems, vomiting and intestinal blockages if they're eaten. 
  • Blue-green algae: This algae is really toxic and can kill pets quickly if they eat it. The algae blooms from late spring to early autumn and looks like a blue-green scum on the water. Dogs who love a dip are most at risk so if you're worried about the look of the water, don't let your dog go in for a swim or drink it.
  • Antifreeze: Autumn brings colder weather with it and you might start using antifreeze to defrost your car. This is really toxic to pets but can be very tempting, especially to cats, because it has a sweet taste. Mop up any spills carefully when you top up your car. 
  • Bonfires: Unlit bonfires can be a really tempting place to curl up on a cold night, especially for small animals like hedgehogs. Always check your bonfire for any unexpected visitors before you light it. 

Take a look at our list of other poisons and hazards to be aware of


Time for flea treatments

We recommend that regular flea treatment should be part of your pet's healthcare. This will help stop your pet from picking up fleas and suffering from an itchy infestation. 

As well as treating your pet, it's a good idea to treat your home regularly to get rid of any flea eggs that might be ready to hatch. As cold weather draws in and we put the heating back on for another year, flea eggs can be 'woken up' by central heating. You might want to consider treating your house and your pets to stop any potential infestations in their tracks. 

You can read more about finding the right flea treatment here