AUTUMN is here, and it brings so much joy to my mind. The pack and I can play hide & seek in the fallen leaves, the beaches are finally open for us again and away are these masses of hoomans, there are more lazy evenings at home with the fireplace and movie time and our pawrents are just more cozy. Yet Autumn also brings some ‘dangers’ us doggies must be aware of.
Here are my top tips on things to be careful with in the golden ‘cuddle’ season.
Woooof you all, your Cooka.
Autumn – be aware!
You know – these funny looking little things that always seem to carry a big umbrella? Us doggies love sticking our noses into these strange beings and my mommy even likes to collect and eat them (bust just some she always tells us – as some others can be very dangerous!) Mushrooms – are also called fungi and flourish in the moist soils of autumn and nibbling on some of them can be even lethal for us doggies. To be on the safe side, make sure you keep your nose away from any mushrooms – not even those that are considered safe, as even our pawrents can sometimes mistake a species. And be especially careful when playing fetch in the woods, as a stick or toy can land in a pile of leaves, where you could accidentally pick up a mushroom while digging for the toy hidden in the pile. My best advise – any need for nibbles on your forrest walk, ask your hooman for a treat. (preferably from my bakery)
These little vicious parasites can still be active in temperatures as low as 7 °C. If you and your pack live in the countryside or close to woods, water or fields – then make sure to be protected against these hungry blood-suckers. There are tick preventatives like collars or tablets available at the Vet – but in case your hoomans don’t want to use them, as they also can have side-effects in some doggies – then make sure to get a very good examination after every nature walk. If any ticks are found on your body, ask your pawrent to remove it immediately, as time is of essence. Check our recent post on how to remove ticks correctly here.
Cold and damp
Autumn is the time that the weather changes and it is getting cold and damp. This especially effects older dogs and those with less undercoat. (meaning any dog breed with less fluff will more easy feel cold) Coldness and dampness can affect the joints and cause pain which easily takes the fun out of an autumnal walk. In such cases, it might be an option to look for suitable clothing, something to protect from the colder temperatures. These cloth should fit well and keep you warm, without feeling tight or disrupting your movement. If you are still uncomfortable, then ask your hooman to keep the walkies shorter. And promise – no lengthy lying down nor sitting on the cold forest floor!
As Summer slowly says goodby the days start getting shorter and it gets dark more early. If you are used to go on evening walks with your pawrents in Summer, when there is plenty of light even at later hours – chances are that it’s now rather dark on these walks even at earlier hours. I suggest to wear a reflective collar or tag, or ask your hooman to invest in a reflective leash or harness. These are such simple solutions, yet they can help prevent accidents. If you have long fur or you are rather fluffy, maybe a vest is a better idea, to be more visible. Oh and since we are talking of being visible – get a vest for that hooman too.
And now the good…
Autumn – so why do we doggies love this time of the year so much?
My mommy loves Autumn because of the golden colours in nature and a reason to sip more hot chocolate in the afternoons. Me and the pack love it, as our hoomans are home more often and then we all snuggle up on the sofa, watching silly movies while we steal some of dad’s popcorn.
We asked some paw-friends why they love Autumn and here are the top five:
Something happens to those hoomans when it gets cold and dark – they are in search for more snuggles and that means – sofa – here we come. If in Summer we got a lot of NO-NO – when Autumn arrives our pawrents seem eager to put us next to them on the sofa or even on the bed. Some friends say that it’s to keep warm, but hey – whatever the reason – we love it. There is just noting like curling up in that giant basket these hoomans call bed. And just in case your hooman is resisting the ‘snuggle urge’ – you could remind them that cuddling with furry kids or even sleeping together is regenerative, reduces stress and improves the quality of sleep!
Those little muddy puddles…
In Autumn there are more rainy days, and in some countries – like the one where my ancestors come from – Germany – actually even a lot of rainy days. Ok, I know – who likes to get wet really – but rain has a pawsitive side as in mud and puddles. Oh, how I love to play and roll in these wet beds of wholesome goodness. If only my mommy would understand that a good mud-roll is just like a spa – you know – a doggy spa. And it’s free! The only bad part – every-time we enjoy a good muddy roll our pawrents immediately put us under the shower to rinse of all the healing goodness…I just hope that one day our hoomans will understand that not all that stinks is bad…
The balmy temperatures
Autumn has just the pawfect temperature. Not too hot and not too cold – at least here in Portugal. That means walkies are much more joyful than in the blazing heat. Of course, when it gets too cold and damp it’s also no fun, but we live in a subtropical climate (yes, I googled this) – which means the temperature is balmy throughout Autumn. As much as we doggies love Summer, sometimes the heat can be unbearable and all we want to do is stay indoors to keep cool…
Finally these tourist masses have gone…
We live in a very small village and close to the sea, but in Summer time we stay away from both, as it gets too crowded. Actually we are not even allowed on most beaches in Summer and the village is so packed with hoomans and full of distracting scents , sounds and noises that we never feel relaxed when going on a walk. Autumn brings back the calm and there is nothing like morning runs on the beach where our paw-prints are the first signs on the virgin beaches…
5. Playing hide & seek
If you are anything like us, then you love hiding in a pile of fallen leaves and watch your mommy all excited, snapping away taking endless photos… We might look good with all these crimson and golden leafs around us – but we also love the crunchy sounds these dried up foliage makes when we jump on it. It’s kind of like a mountain of cookies, just sadly – not yummy at all…