With Autumn at the doorstep, dog owners can stop worrying about the dangers that come with warm and hot weather, such as heat strokes, toxic blue-green algae and skin allergies flaring up. However, this time of the year isn’t without dangers you should be aware of while walking your dog.


Eating parts of certain plants can be enough to make your pet sick, and even prove fatal in extreme cases. Dogs explore everything with their mouth, so it would be wise to pay extra attention if your dog wanders close to any of the following:

  • Acorns; with their tannic acid content, they’re toxic for your dog’s liver and kidneys – especially if unripe.
  • Every part of Yew trees, from leaves to bark, is extremely toxic. Ingesting even a small amount can have dire consequences.
  • Every part of the Horse Chestnut is toxic as well. The plant’s conkers are especially dangerous, as they can cause blockage if ingested in addition to their toxicity.
  • The autumn crocus is toxic to pets, and can be especially dangerous as it’s very often cultivated as an ornamental plant. If your dog has free run of your garden, it’s worth making sure there are no autumn crocuses in it.

If your dog shows any sign of poisoning – which may include shaking, vomiting, excessive drooling and diarrhoea – contact your vet right away.

If unsure on whether your pet may have ingested a toxic substance, you can also call the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) on 02073 055 055. The service, available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, costs £30 and will put owners in contact with a VPIS specialist, who’ll be able to advise whether or not their pet requires a visit to the vet. If the pet does require treatment, any additional call for advice from you and your vet will be free of charge.

Image by PDSA.


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