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Top 5 Autumn dangers for pets

German shepherd and cat in the forest in Autumn advice © Shutterstock

Each season has its own little inconvenience and for pets too. As Autumn has already kicked in, fall season comes with great dangers for our furry friends. Here's how to enjoy this colourful season with your pet without fear!

By Emilie Heyl

Evenings are colder, and days are shorter: that's it, warm and sunny days are now behind us! Nature is slowly preparing for its annual nap, during which we will have the chance to warm ourselves inside with a nice cup of tea, cuddle up in our blankets with our animals by our side.

Although this all sounds very nice, we must take care of our furry friends and protect them against certain risks which accompany the fall season. Here are 5 Autumn dangers you must pay attention to in order to preserve your dog or cat. It’s important you look after your pal to make sure it is happy and healthy.

Staff and cat in Autumn leaves
Autumn in a beautiful season but can also be dangerous for our pets©Shutterstock

Parasites, one of the main dangers this Autumn for dogs and cats

Just like spring, fall is a breeding season for ticks. And unfortunately these unwanted ticks and fleas won’t leave our animals alone. They love heat so obviously they would be more than happy to snuggle up in your pet’s fur where it’s nice and warm. So, as soon as we turn the heating on, the larvae, dropped on the floors, in carpets, curtains and other tissues will hatch.

You wouldn’t want to battle against an army of fleas or ticks right? Then you should treat your dog or cat against these parasites and its environment.

Hairballs can be dangerous for your cat

Autumn is also the moulting season for cats, who lose their summer coat and get their winter fur back. However, when they groom themselves, cats swallow hair and eventually hairballs will form in their stomachs. These balls of hair may cause vomiting and gastric inflammation.

That's why it's super important to brush your cat all year round, and even more so during fall and spring, when their coat changes in order to adapt to the weather.

"There are also nutritional supplements in the form of an oral paste to give your cat, 2 to 3 days a week during moulting.This paste has the advantage of being yummy: cats love it! It will help your cat to get rid of the hair it swallowed and will protect the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines" informs Dr. Laurence de Meester - de Courcy, veterinarian, and author of the blog Vet and the City.

She adds: "I want to point out the misconception that giving your cat milk to drink will not remove the hair present in his stomach (on the contrary, the milk may even cause serious digestive disorders!) and catnip helps him vomit the ingested hair but will not protect his stomach".

Cat hairball
Watch out for hairballs
©Shutterstock

Ringworms: watch out for this skin fungus in dogs and cats

This disease is not directly related to Autumn, but is in most cases contracted in summer while your pet is outside. It’s in Autumn that ringworm awaken.

Unfortunately, there are no preventive treatments. So be on the lookout for the first symptoms. If you notice an area without hair on the nose, the edge of the ears or somewhere on your animal’s body, this could mean your dog or cat is infected.

80% of Persian cats carry this fungus that causes ringworm. Fortunately, there are very effective treatments (ointments, lotions and tablets) to treat it.

Arthritis emphasized in Autumn 

As temperatures are getting low and humidity is rising, just like humans, it awakens pain in animals too. In particular those who suffer from arthritis, a disease which affects 1 dog out of 5.

If arthritis cannot be cured, the pain it causes can be relieved. Do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian if you have doubts your animal is suffering from arthritis: difficulty to climb, going up stairs with pain, limping, looking sad….

Cavalier King Charles looking sad
1 out of 5 dogs suffer from arthritis
©Shutterstock

"There are chondroprotective agents to treat arthritis in dogs, as well as natural injections which are like anti-inflammatories based on fatty acids and you can go to your vet’ regularly to get these injections done.”

“In case your animal has a very painful crisis, they can take an anti-inflammatory pill which will relieve its pain but this option should be used occasionally.”

“Whatever happens, respect your vet’s prescription and never give your animal any anti-inflammatory if they weren’t prescribed! A lot of them are dangerous and very toxic for our pets!" Explains Laurence de Meester - de Courcy.

Dogs and cats don’t see as much

The decrease in light changes the density of the lens, and the sight of our four-legged companions can be altered. It is an indirect danger for our dogs and cats and we can forget about it if we are not warned. Be careful when going out for a walk or when your cat is exploring your garden when it gets dark.

"You will notice that your pet is suffering from cataracts if his eyes seem to be "veiled" with a white or bluish film.Your companion will also gradually be more hesitant when walking, especially when brightness is low. If this is the case, do not hesitate to see your vet’ because they will find a solution!" Says Laurence de Meester - de Courcy.