WITH summer behind us and the dark nights starting to creep in, autumn brings with it a few challenges and changes for pets and their owners.

As well as cooler weather, autumn also sees the start of the fireworks season and Halloween, which can both prove to be stressful for many pets.

Pet owners are being urged to be aware of the seasonal dangers to their pets so they can all continue to enjoy time outdoors and the colourful scenery that autumn creates.

Korina Stephens, RVN from nutravet says: “During autumn, it’s important for pet owners to keep an eye on their four-legged friends for any changes in behaviour or health.

"Halloween and fireworks are a common stress trigger for many pets, and a common reason for owners to visit their vet.

"Planning ahead and preparing in advance can help to reduce any anxiety for your pets.

"Keeping Halloween treats away from pets and ensuring they don’t eat things they shouldn’t on walks is important to reduce the chance of poorly tummies at this time.”

In order to help owners, nutravet, a company which manufactures natural animal healthcare products developed by vet, put together a number of tips for the change in seasons.

Despite the drop in temperature outside, it is still important to walk your dogs daily.

This will help to prevent any weight gain, as well as keeping their joints mobile and avoid stiffness. As the weather changes, you could reduce the length of their walks.

With seeds and leaves dropping during autumn months, some are poisonous to pets and can cause serious illness. Yew trees are poisonous and eating just a small amount can be serious.

The bark, leaves, flowers and conkers of Horse Chestnut Trees are also poisonous to pets. Conkers can also become a choking hazard or cause blockages.

As we start to turn the central heating on in our homes, this makes a more comfortable environment for pesky fleas. Keeping up with your pet’s flea treatment will help to prevent any unwanted house guests at this time of year.

Ticks are also still prominent in autumn, so be sure to check your pets regularly for ticks, especially after dog walks.

These are commonly used as decorations throughout autumn and Halloween. Although they are not poisonous, if consumed in large quantities, they could lead to your pet having a sensitive stomach.

This time of year can prove to be stressful for pets, due to Halloween and the fireworks season. During Halloween your pet may become stressed with strangers knocking on the door for trick or treat, as they may be unsure about the scary costumes.

Don’t force your pet to wear a Halloween costume if they seem anxious. Keep them secure in one room to prevent any stress from visitors and to stop them dashing out of the door due to fear.