Autumn Pet Care Tips
This article is written by Pet Circle veterinarian,
Autumn is here! The hot and stormy Summer weather is finally subsiding and making way for cooler, dryer days. It's the perfect weather for taking your dog on longer walks among the autumn leaves, or snuggling your kitty without breaking into a sweat!
While this season partly relieves us from Summer pet risks such as ticks and heatstroke, there are many risks that exist year round - and even some that are worse in Autumn. To help keep your pet healthy, safe, and paw-some all Autumn long, I've put together this complete guide to Autumn Pet Care.
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Just because Summer is over doesn't mean that fleas and ticks disappear. In fact, unprecedented weather conditions over the past few years have altered the patterns and lifecycles of seasonal parasites, meaning that they may be prevalent much later in the year than they would have been previously. The only way to prevent flea infestations is to keep on top of your flea treatment schedule year round, and continue to use a reliable, modern product like one of the products recommended below.
Similarly, ticks may be less of a risk at this time of year than in Spring and Summer but unfortunately do remain prevalent until later in autumn, particularly in many areas such as the East Coast of Australia. Because of this, it's important to continue using a reliable tick preventative and checking your pet for ticks every day.
Top Flea & Tick Preventatives for Autumn
For dogs only. A monthly chew which protects against fleas, ticks, intestinal worms and heartworm. Sister product to Nexgard, which is a flea and tick treatment only.
For dogs only. A monthly chewable tablet that protects against fleas, ticks, heartworm, and intestinal worms. Sister product to Credelio, which is a flea and tick treatment only.
For cats only. Monthly protection for your cat against fleas, ticks, heartworm, intestinal worms and ear mites in one easy spot on treatment.
For cats only. Sister product to Bravecto. Monthly protection against fleas, ticks, heartworm, intestinal worms and ear mites in one easy spot on treatment.
Along with Autumn time comes Easter! A time to enjoy a mega long weekend, fresh hot cross buns, and more chocolate than we intend to eat. But as harmless as Easter treats may be for us (except for your waistline!), the same can't be said for our pets. Some Easter treats can pose a risk to our dogs and cats and may even be fatal.
Chocolate is poisonous to dogs and cats because it contains the chemicals methylxanthines, in particular, theobromine and caffeine. Unlike humans, cats and dogs are unable to metabolise these compounds and therefore become sensitive to the effects. The darker the chocolate, the higher the toxicity.
Be sure to keep your tasty chocolate eggs and bunnies well out of reach for your pets - and be extra careful with any easter egg hunts, taking care to collect any from your garden that weren't found.
Hot Cross Buns
The risk of toxicity from hot cross buns comes from the consumption of sultanas and raisins. Often found in traditional hot cross buns, ingestion of grapes and their dehydrated versions can cause irreversible kidney failure in cats and dogs. The exact mechanism of this is unknown, so it is impossible to calculate a universal toxic dose. For this reason, if your pet consumes any grapes, sultanas, or raisins it is recommended to see a veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian may induce vomiting to decrease the toxic effects, but hospitalisation, intravenous fluids and support care may be required to help protect your pets kidneys.
Easter Lilies (Lilium longiflorum) are a traditional symbol during the Easter holiday period as they represent purity and innocence. Easter lilies are often given as gifts around Easter, either as potted plants or in flower arrangements.
As with all lily species, Easter lilies are highly toxic to cats, with the consumption of any part of the plant, including the leaves, stem, flower, pollen or even the water from a vase, resulting in fatal kidney failure. If you have a cat at home, it is best to avoid lilies completely, but if your cat does come into contact with a lily flower they should see a veterinarian immediately!
Lilies are very common in flower arrangements, so if you are giving a gift to a friend with cats, ensure it does not contain any lilies.
Top Easter Treats for Pets
Just because they can't eat delicious chocolate or sultana-stuffed buns doesn't mean your pet can't enjoy a treat at Easter! There are many pet-friendly treat options available that are safe for our dogs and cats - including many made with pet-safe carob instead of cacao.
Autumnal Fashion for Pets
Our range of AFL Team T-Shirts not only let your pup show their team colours, but are a great option for a light, breezy shirt in Autumn.
It's not quite winter, but the nights can still get pretty cold in Autumn - particularly in southern parts of the country like Melbourne, Adelaide, or Hobart. If your area is particularly cold, you might like to invest in some warm jumpers for your pet. Or perhaps a seasonal shirt made from cotton will add a little extra comfort without overheating your furbaby!
Read more about our entire range of fabulous pet coats in our article 6 Must-Haves for Your Dog's Wardrobe.
Top Autumn Clothes for Pets:
Autumn Fitness: Stay Active
For most parts of Australia, Autumn brings a cool relief from the stinking hot temperatures that put our pets at risk of heatstroke. While many dog owners choose to walk their pets in the evening during the hotter months, Autumn allows a little more flexibility to get out and about while the sun is still shining.
For cats, (or on days that you really can't bear taking your dog outside in the cold!) an indoor daily playtime session is essential. Keep a range of fun toys on hand and alternate between fetch, teasers, and chase toys to keep things fun and fresh.
If the weather is still a little hot to take your dog out during the sunniest time of day, why not check out some glow-in-the-dark toys, or an LED light-up collar, lead, or dog tag? These luminescent products will keep your pet glowing and visible, no matter how dark the conditions.
Read more about our entire range of glowing fitness products in our article 5 Must-Have Night Walk Products.
Top Autumn Fitness Products for dogs:
Top Autumn Fitness Products for cats:
Autumn Grooming Tips
Many pet owners choose to let their pet's fur grow longer for extra insulation in the cooler months. A long coat is no problem, provided that it is well-maintained and groomed. Long fur can become matted if brushing isn't maintained, which can lead to skin irritations and discomfort.
To help avoid skin irritations at knots, there are a number of easy things you can do at home.
2. Moisturise. If your pet gets dry or itchy skin, go for moisturising shampoos and conditioners to help keep them comfortable. Oatmeal conditioners such as Aloveen are incredibly soothing, and are a must-have if your pet suffers from dry skin.
3. Clean Ears. When your pet's coat gets longer or thicker, the hair around the ears can trap dirt and prevent airflow and lead to ear infections. This is particularly an issue in dogs with floppy ears (such as Cocker Spaniels), narrow ear canals (such as pugs), or ear canals filled with fur (such as poodles.) Keep their ears clear of fur and use a veterinary ear cleaner such as Epiotic once per week.
Top Winter Skin and Grooming Products: