Enjoying my favourite season – Autumn

  • As the days get cooler and days shorter, your dog will be invigorated and ready for fun and exercise
  • Improve the bond you have with your dog and take longer walks and enjoy the exercise
  • Your dog will love discovering new places with lots of new smells and senses

I love nothing more than to get outside in the fresh air, and dog walking certainly allows me to enjoy this activity often. There is very little to compare with a brisk walk in the autumn sunshine, to see the leaves turning subtly to a crisp, golden colour and observing the fabulous, evening sunsets. The autumn season is time to wrap up warmly in your winter boots and layers of knitted woollies to embrace the misty, crisp mornings. The only downside that I can think of, is the loss of daylight hours, which means that I’m often dog walking in the dark in places such as Dollis Brook and Glev

belands

An autumn walk with your dog

During October, the walkways are usually quite dry, not too muddy, and it’s probably still warm enough for your pet to enjoy his favourite water sports in the ponds and streams. The wind quite often brings down pine cones and branches that your dog will love to discover, not to mention the crispy leaves for foraging and sniffing amongst.

Later in the season, of course we expect strong winds and gales, and heavier rain which will remove the last of the leaves. This is the time to bring out your dog’s rainwear and your own hat and gloves.

There are a few precautions you need to consider when taking your dog walks during the autumn months, to make sure that both your dog and you remain safe.

  • Use a glow-in-the-dark vest or collar for your dog to make sure he’s visible to other walkers and motorists.
  • Reflective bands on your arms and dog lead make you both fully visible
  • Invest in a small torch that will fit in your pocket – very handy for illuminating pathways and potholes
  • Walk towards oncoming traffic – this allows not only you to see traffic coming towards you, but for motorists to spot you easily
  • Carry a mobile phone that’s fully charged – you can call for help if needed
  • Keep your dog on a tighter lead when walking in the dark
  • When walking around fields stocked with livestock, ensure that your dog is on a lead at all times

Horse Chestnut or Conker poisoning

If you’re walking in wooded areas, be aware that these conkers that school children sometimes collect, are dangerous if eaten by your pet. They contain aesculin, a poison that is also found in the leaves of the horse chestnut tree. A dog would normally need to consume several conkers to suffer from severe poisoning, but look out for the symptoms of reduced appetite, muscle tremors, increased thirst, drooling, vomiting and diarrhoea. Seek medical attention as soon as possible as he may have an intestinal blockage.

Fallen fruit

During this season, many sloe bushes, plum and apples trees will lose their ripe, unpicked fruits which fall to the ground. They will begin to ferment producing a compound that is a natural alcohol. Your dog sniffling through fallen leaves whilst out on the dog walk  may discover and eat these dropped fruits and suffer a toxic reaction, causing an upset stomach.

Harvest mites

These irritating, tiny, red harvest mites can very easily be picked up by your dog when strolling through wooded areas and long grass. After a walk, check areas of your dog around his nose, ears and eyes, his underbelly and between his toes. Wash these mites off, before they begin to irritate your dog’s skin, causing him to scratch incessantly.

It’s vitally important that your dog remains active throughout every season, not only for his well-being and mental aspects, but also for many physical benefits too. An average sized dog requires a minimum of 60 minutes exercise each day, and autumn time is a fantastic time to go dog walking and exploring with your pet.