Advise this Autumn

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower

Hopefully everyone has enjoyed their summer, even with the present situation. Autumn is here, with her many richly coloured leaves, cooler days and longer nights. Here are a few things to keep in mind for you whippet. 

Keeping safe in the dark
Always wear reflective clothing to make yourself visible when walking near roads in the dark. And don't forget your pets! Fit your dog  with a reflective collar. 

Fireworks and bonfires during the festive season

Many animals find fireworks scary. It's estimated that 45 percent of dogs in the UK show signs of fear when they hear fireworks. It doesn't have to be that way though, so don't ignore the problem.


There are lots of simple things you can do to help your dog deal with fireworks. By preparing in advance before fireworks start your dog will be better able to cope with the noises.

Try some of these tricks to try and reduce the stress on your dog during fireworks:

  • Walk them during daylight hours to avoid times when fireworks are likely to be set off

  • Close windows and curtains to muffle the sound of fireworks

  • Put on some music or tv to mask the firework sounds

  • Create a quiet space where your dog can feel in control

  • Create some hiding places around your home



Conkers are the seeds of the horse chestnut tree, and of course, playing conkers used to be a very popular children’s game! When conkers fall from the tree, they are encased in a spiky green shell, which splits off to reveal the dark, shiny brown conkers themselves, which can often be found around the roots of trees in large quantities.

Whilst conkers are unlikely to prove appealing to your dog to eat, some dogs that like to carry toys around. 


However, if your dog eats conkers, this can lead to sickness and diarrhoea, and if ingested in large quantities, can prove toxic. Added to this, the fact that conkers are round and hard means that they can also potentially become lodged in the intestine and cause a blockage, so make sure that your dog doesn’t eat them!

Fermenting fruit

During the autumn, apple trees, plum trees and sloe bushes will drop their unpicked fruit, which over time will ferment on the ground into a natural alcoholic compound. If your dog eats such dropped fruit, they are likely to again suffer from sickness and diarrhoea, and also, may run the risk of having a toxic reaction to the natural alcohol produced by the fruit as part of its fermentation process.


Leaf mould

Leaf mould is the mulchy compost-like substance that large quantities of fallen leaves turn into as they rot, and this can be a valuable addition to the soil of your garden to help to provide nutrients for your spring plants!


Many dogs love to play in and around fallen leaves, often proving very entertaining as they zoom around and jump through piles of leaves, but take care to clean your dog off properly before they go back inside, as leaf mould contains bacteria and fungus that your dog can ingest, leading to stomach upsets.


If you drive, the onset of autumn will usually mean that you’ll spend some time getting your car prepared for winter, maybe changing over to winter tyres and topping up the antifreeze in your engine and windscreen wiper water to prevent it from freezing.


Remember that antifreeze is extremely toxic to dogs, and if ingested, will quickly lead to rapid onset poisoning that can often prove fatal. Antifreeze smells and tastes sweet as well, which is why dogs can be apt to try it, so keep it well out of the reach of your dog, and clean up any drips or spills straight away.

Harvest mites

Finally, harvest mites are tiny red mites that appear at the end of summer and the start of autumn in long grass and in forests, and which can easily be picked up by your dog when out walking.

Once the mites migrate onto your dog’s coat, they latch on to the skin and soon prove very irritating, ultimately leading to your dog scratching themselves to distraction to try to relieve the associated itching. Harvest mites and the associated itchiness that they cause can soon lead to your dog scratching themselves raw, leading to lesions appearing on the skin that are at risk of infection.

Check your dog over after every walk, and wash any mites off them promptly. The areas of the body that are most likely to be affected by harvest mites are the bare or more sparsely furred areas of the body, such as around the eyes, ears and nose, between the toes, and on the undercarriage.


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Demand for Puppies!

Dog breeders and the Kennel Club are seeing a high rise in demands for puppies. Whippet puppies alone are going over 200% their normal price. 

Remember there is a difference from a puppy to fully-grown dog. Do your research e.g. the behaviour of the breed and the breeder you are getting the puppy from make sure you see the mother and if you don't think it seems right don't purchase the puppy. 

Also think of your circumstances, they might be free at the moment to care for the puppy, but will they be in a couple of months or a years time? 

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All dog owners should be aware of the laws that govern dog ownership. Kennel Club Guide to UK Dog Law


How Crucial Was Your Dog to Your Happiness During Lockdown?

Lockdown was a difficult time for all of us, the uncertain times we still live through too. 

According to a new study, 8 in 10 dog owners said their pet was extremely important to their mental wellbeing during the UK’s lockdown and believe their dogs were largely happy, some did admit that their dog wasn’t his usual self as a result of being indoors for longer periods of time with the whole family.

Just remember if you are still isolating, keep to a route for your dog mental health as well as your's. It could be a good excuse to spend more time with your dog, perhaps learn a new trick. 

Just remember to keep in mind of your dog's well being. 



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