Autumn Dog Walks: How to Keep Safe this Season

As the leaves start to turn beautiful colours and the temperatures cool, it can only mean one thing – autumn is here! There’s lots to love about this season, but there are also a few things to be wary of when walking your dog. As the nights draw in and autumnal wildlife begins to thrive, there are a few things that could pose a risk to your pup. Here are our top tips on how to keep your pet safe on your autumn dog walks.

Stay Visible

Ideally, your autumn dog walks should take place during daylight hours. However, we know this is not always possible, especially as the days get shorter. If you are walking your dog after dark, make sure they (and you!) are fully visible.

Reflective collars and harnesses are a great way to make sure your dog can be easily seen. You can also attach a safety light to your dog. This dog safety light from PetFace flashes for even better visibility.

It’s also a good idea for you to wear reflective gear yourself. This will help drivers and cyclists to see you as well as your dog, reducing the chances of accidents.

Hazards Underfoot

Not only do we have darker evenings to contend with in the autumn, but there’s also a lot more foliage on the ground. Both these conditions can mean that potential hazards are more difficult to spot. Fallen leaves may cover up rocks, glass and other dangers that you’d normally notice right away in the summer.

It’s therefore important to be cautious when walking over areas covered with leaves. Avoid big piles of leaves, and try to stick to paths and routes that you know.

Keep Warm

As the temperatures drop, it’s important to keep our four-legged friends toasty warm on their walks. A quilted dog coat is a great way to retain heat on walks.

You should also be mindful that in wet weather, dogs will feel the cold more. You can pop a dog raincoat on them to keep the worst of the rain off. If your dog does get wet, particularly if they go for a splash or swim, be sure to dry them off thoroughly when you get home. This MicroFibre Drying Robe from PetFace is a great way to do that.

Watch Out for Wildlife

In the autumn, there is increased wildlife activity from creatures such as squirrels and hedgehogs. Make sure your pet doesn’t dart off to chase them! Ensure your dog has good recall and always exercise caution before letting them off the lead.

You may also come across more slugs and snails on your autumn dog walks. It’s very important that your pet doesn’t eat them. Infected slugs and snails can transmit lungworm when ingested by your dog. Ensure that your dog is up to date with all their worming treatments too.

Avoid Conkers and Acorns

These familiar sights during the autumn months can actually post a risk to your pet. Conkers can pose a choking hazard if your dog tries to eat them. They also contain a neurotoxin called aesculin, making conkers poisonous to dogs. They can make your dog very ill if ingested.

Acorns are poisonous to dogs too. They contain tannins, a type of chemical which can cause serious stomach upset and diarrhoea. They could also cause a blockage in your dog’s intestines.

Autumn dog walks safety guide
Save our handy graphic to remember the key points!

Wrapping Up

Autumn dog walks are great fun, with plenty of exciting new smells for your dog to enjoy. Just make sure to keep your dog visible with a special autumn dog harness, complete with reflective elements or a light. Watch out for any hazards lurking beneath the leaves, stay warm, and keep an eye out for tempting squirrels! With these things in mind, you’re sure to have some wonderful walks with your pooch this autumn.