Autumn is my favourite season. I love the beautiful golden colours on the falling leaves and best of all usually the walking tracks aren't so popular. But, as with each season, autumn brings its own challenge for our animals.
Below are my top tips for autumn!
Beware of the fungi. I have started to be extra vigilant when I am out in the bush with Puppy A as fallen leaves are a perfect breeding ground for wild mushrooms. Puppy A is at that age where anything and everything goes into his mouth. Not all mushrooms are toxic but as a rule of thumb I keep both Puppy A and Willow away from wild mushrooms.
Rat poison and other rodenticides. This is the time of year when mice and rats tend to set up shop in the home. If you are putting out any poison or traps make sure that they are animal/children friendly. Always keep in mind too that the carcasses can also be dangerous. Safely dispose of any carcasses that may be around the house and always keep an eye out for carcasses when you are out and about!
Anti-freeze. In preparation for the winter months people tend to use anti-freeze in their cars. Anti-freeze is highly toxic and can be deadly to our animals. If you have this stored in your garage make sure it is out of your animals/children’s reach and if there are any leaks clean the spill up immediately.
If you do think that your dog or cat has ingested something toxic, check out the Wild Remedy blog on poisoning: https://www.wildremedy.co.nz/b...
Diet. Our animals tend to eat more around this time. With the cooler temperatures they utilise more energy to keep warm. Food generates heat so with those animals who are exercising more they need to eat more. Broth is a lovely addition to any animal’s diet, especially on those colder days. You can find the broth recipe I use here: https://www.wildremedy.co.nz/b...
Ticks. Just because it is cooler doesn’t mean the ticks have gone away! There are species of ticks that are active even in the winter months. Make sure to check your animals regularly for ticks. I also have a tick remedy available for purchase on-line: https://www.wildremedy.co.nz/s...
Coat changes. Now is the time to start regularly brushing your animals (yes this includes cats, rabbits, guinea pigs etc). The summer coat is making way for the winter coat so shedding is going to occur. Daily brushing not only removes any excess fur but it also reduces tangles and matting. Brushing also distributes natural oils in the fur and skin, keeping the coat nice and healthy.
Keeping warm. With the drop in temperatures you may find that your animal needs some additional protection such as blankets, coats/jackets). Older animals find it more challenging to regulate their body temperature so they will need some additional support over this time. Extra warm bedding at this time is a must especially for those animals that suffer from arthritis and sore joints.
Exercise! Yes, I know it can be cold, wet and miserable but our animals still need exercise! Lack of exercise and stimulation can lead to other problems such as; obesity and behavioural issues. If it is really nasty outside then have some fun inside. Play inside hide and seek or do some training with them. On those really nasty days I quite often make an indoor obstacle course for Willow; she has a blast! You may need to get creative but it is well worth it