Help your pets sail through autumn in West Sussex with these tips
September 21, 2023
As autumn approaches, Portland Vets recommends that East Grinstead pet owners should be concerned about several factors that can affect their pets’ health and wellbeing. Our pet-loving team have put together a list of the most common concerns to keep in mind.
Before we dig in…to combat seasonal changes and make sure your pet is in tip top condition before winter arrives, September/October is the ideal time to get your pet checked over by one our of friendly vets.
Book a pet health check
11 Autumn Concerns for your Pets
And what to do about them!
- Weather changes: Autumn in West Sussex can bring cooler temperatures, rain, and wind. Make sure your pets have a warm and dry place to rest, especially if they spend time outdoors. Consider providing cats with an outdoor shelter containing cosy blankets or beds to keep them comfortable. For outdoor small furries, start planning their winter indoor break.
- Falling leaves and plants: Besides strong autumn winds bringing down tree branches, some plants and trees shed leaves, seeds, or berries that can be toxic to pets if ingested. Be aware of any hazardous plants in your garden or nearby parks and prevent your pets from chewing or consuming them. Toxic berry varieties include:
- Deadly Nightshade – glossy black berries
- Bittersweet Nightshade – red when unripe and turn shiny black when mature
- European Spindle – bright pink or orange berries
- Mistletoe – white berries
- Antifreeze and chemicals: As the weather gets colder, people tend to use antifreeze in their vehicles. Our team of vets can’t stress this enough – antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, which is highly toxic to pets. Ensure that any chemicals or substances harmful to pets are securely stored out of their reach.
- Seasonal allergies: Just like humans, pets can suffer from seasonal allergies in the autumn. We recommend keeping an eye out for signs such as excessive scratching, licking, or sneezing. If you suspect your pet has allergies, make an appointment at Portland Vets for a diagnosis and treatment.
- Decreased daylight hours: With the days getting shorter, it may be more challenging to find time to walk or exercise your dog during daylight hours. Ensure your pets are visible and wear reflective gear if walking them in the dark to enhance their safety. Cats are particularly at higher risk of accidents on dark nights; try to get them to wear a reflective collar or encourage them indoors with earlier mealtimes.
- Wildlife encounters: Autumn in West Sussex is a time when some wild animals, like hedgehogs, may be preparing for hibernation or seeking food before winter. Keep an eye on your pets during outdoor activities to prevent any unwanted interactions with wildlife.
- Halloween hazards: During Halloween, be mindful of potential hazards such as chocolate, sweets, and decorations. Chocolate, in particular, is toxic to pets, and decorations may pose choking or ingestion risks. There’s also the risk of pets getting scared and bolting due to trick-or-treaters in costumes, so be sure to keep your pets indoors around Halloween night.
- Joint problems: Older pets or those with joint issues may experience increased discomfort in colder weather. Owners may consider providing their pets with extra padding or support to help alleviate any pain. It’s also wise to book your pet in for a pre-winter health check if they are having joint problems so our team can help them cope with the colder months ahead.
- Changes in routines: The back-to-school season and upcoming late summer/autumn holidays can disrupt your pet’s routine, leading to stress or anxiety. Try to maintain a consistent schedule for feeding, playtime, and exercise, even if they are being looked after by someone else.
- Grooming needs: Some pets may experience excessive shedding as they transition from summer to winter coats. Regular grooming can help manage shedding and keep their coat in good condition. If you are unsure how to groom your pet, book a nurse appointment at our Portland Road surgery and they will be happy to show you how.
- Behaviour: Always pay attention to your pet’s behaviour and health during autumn, and if you notice any unusual symptoms or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us for advice.
So, there you have it, eleven top tips from our vets to help you ensure your pet sails through autumn 2023 unscathed. Before the winter cold snap arrives though, make sure to bring your pet to see us for their pre-winter check-up.
You can book a check-up online, or call us on 01342 327799.
Book a pet health check now