Although autumn brings a whole lot of beauty, the colours, crispy mornings, warm jumpers and scarfs… there are however still a few things that can make the autumn time less enjoyable and perhaps, even stressful for our dogs. To name a few: harvest mites, fireworks, Halloween…
🍂 Harvest Mites
Harvest mites are tiny mites that live in dense vegetation and eat plants and other insects. However, in their six-legged larval stage, feed on warm blooded animals. And swarming as an infestation. They’re only a problem during this stage but can cause considerable discomfort to your dog as they attach to the skin. Harvest mites jump up and find the area of the body where the skin is the thinnest which is between the toes and on the belly. But also around the nose and on the ears as well as in the armpits. During this stage, and during late summer up to the first frost, the harvest mite LOVES your dogs as well as cats! They are not picky, they feed on any warm blooded animal.
What you should be looking out for…
Redness of the skin
Crusting on the skin
Orange dots and red ‘dust’ like particles on the skin
The itching is caused by the fluid that the harvest mite injects into the dog’s skin. It is actually a digestive enzyme that causes the skin to liquefy which then allows the mite to ingest the skin cells. Harvest mites will feed for 2 to 3 days before they drop off the dog.
If you suspect harvest mites on your dog, take him to the vet. Because the treatment of harvest mites in dogs requires medication to soothe the irritation and reduce any inflammation. In the meantime, you can give your dog a soothing bath and apply Vita Canis Skin Relief to reduce itching and irritation.
Harvest mites are a microscopic member of the same family as spiders and ticks – the arachnid family. Did you know that?And this family DOES NOT like Tick Off. Good for us and good for our dogs.
🍂 Conkers & acorns
We used to have a Horse Chestnut tree by our kennels. During autumn time I would frantically pick the fallen conkers making sure none of the dogs would eat them.
Even though serious cases of poisoning are rare, when ingested you can expect signs of drooling, retching, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.What’s even worse, in my opinion, is that they can also cause intestinal blockages. I went through that with Martha recently and it was a very stressful and worrying time. Dogs usually vomit any ingested conkers quickly but if not, treatment to control vomiting may be needed by your vet.
Exposure to acorns in dogs is common in the autumn and winter. The toxic ingredient is thought to be tannic acid which can cause damage to the liver and kidneys. Signs are vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and lethargy. Ingested acorns can also cause an intestinal blockage, just like conkers.
As autumn nears, the thought of fireworks starts to spring into peoples’ minds. Especially those whose dogs are frightened by the loud noises and the flying lights and bangs. You’re not alone as there are a lot of dogs that suffer from the fear of fireworks. I’m very lucky that none of mine are scared of the fireworks. They actually get very excited, jumping and barking, trying to catch the lights. In the past though, I had 3 dogs that were terrified of fireworks and it’s heart-breaking to watch them go through this experience. This fear can lead a dog to run away, hide, bark, howl, or even be destructive and more.
How can you help your dog?
Firstly to help your dog deal with this stressful situation you can create a safe zone at home. Secondly close windows and curtains and leave a TV or radio on. Thirdly you can also distract your dog with toys and games. Moreover aromatherapy can help to calm and balance the nervous system and restore peace. Over the years, two products from Vita Canis have proven to be very helpful when it comes to the fear of fireworks. The Calming Floral Spray and Comfort Blend both have natural calming and balancing qualities providing ultimate relaxation for stressed dogs.
🍂 Thanksgiving & Halloween
Even though we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in the UK I like the whole idea of it. Having family and friends around, sharing nice hearty food, and being grateful for all we have is something we should all make a priority.
How to help your dog dealing with the visitors?
Having people coming through the door can also be stressful for some dogs. First of all, if your dog isn’t easy going or doesn’t like too many people you can place him in a crate or in a separate room. Keep him away from the crowd and place a few drops of Comfort Blend on his/her blanket and give him some chews and toys. A soft bed will also help to make your dog feel safe and relaxed. Secondly if you’re planning a particularly big and loud family get together, you can even ask your neighbour, a dog walker, or pet sitter etc to look after your dog during the celebrations.
For some dogs, banging on the door, laughing kids, lots of noise and scary costumes can be terrifying and literally spooky. Some of these dogs come to us during the fireworks and Halloween season for boarding as we don’t have fireworks here and we can hardly hear them from the town. The added care with Comfort Blend, tuning forks or massage is always available for extra comfort.
🍂 Golden paste
It’s that time of the year when we have to pay a bit more attention to supporting ours and our dogs’ immune systems. Sneezing, coughing, colds and sore joints all start creeping into our lives round about now.
One thing you can share with your dog is turmeric – it’s like the sun in powder form☀️.
Do you know the benefits of turmeric?
Protects liver from toxins
Curcumin is the most researched component of turmeric, and it also has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. In addition it helps in the fight against cancer, diabetes, and gastrointestinal problems.
Make your own Golden Paste!
½ cup of organic turmeric powder – the organic one contains more curcumin
1 cup of filtered water
1 ½ teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
¼ of organic cold pressed coconut oil
How to make it:
Mix water and turmeric in a pan Also you may need more than 1 cup… maybe up to 1½ Then keep stirring on low heat for about 7- 10min until you achieve a dense paste Once you have the paste, add pepper and coconut oil and keep stirring until all the ingredients bond together. Then leave the mixture to cool down and place it in a jar with a tight lid and keep it refrigerated.
Make a fresh batch every 2 weeks.
| Most dogs don’t mind the taste. And you can also add it to their food.|
Small dogs: ¼ teaspoon per day
Medium: ½ teaspoon per day
Large: ¾ teaspoon per day
Giant: 1 teaspoon
You can even make cute treats out of the paste 👻