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Autumn, the beautiful season with our companions

Autumn, the beautiful season with our companions

- Categories : Activities

© Martine Lavallée, BAA and animal health technician

The colorful season is almost here! This autumnal return encourages complicity with our four-legged friends, thanks to shimmering landscapes and pleasant temperatures. Mosquitoes, black flies and deer flies have disappeared, and a certain tranquillity reigns in the forest.

However, autumn brings with it a few inconveniences such as osteoarthritis, time changes, hunting season, moulting and fleas. Here's my advice for a peaceful autumn with your pet.

Fleas remember our pet

Contrary to popular belief, fleas are still very present and remember our pets when autumn arrives. Carried by our companions, they sometimes invade our homes to escape the cold. Shorter, cooler days prompt these parasites to protect themselves, instinctively seeking warmth in the shelter of our homes. Eggs laid on fabrics and in floor cracks hatch, multiplying these insects in our home. This is a critical reproduction phase that unfortunately begins in our home. This is why we recommend continuing to treat our pets and homes with pest control products, if necessary, until permanent snow has fallen.

Molting and hairballs

As the weather gets cooler, our dogs' and cats' undercoats are getting ready for winter. In anticipation of the cold, this will lead to greater shedding during the autumn. Even if moulting is a natural process, it's important to keep an eye on the amount of hair your pet sheds. Temperature and light influence the duration and abundance of shedding, depending on breed, location and lifestyle. You can, however, supplement your pet's hair loss with Shedding control to help control the amount of hair lost. 

When grooming, especially cats with their rough tongues, our pets ingest hairballs. Most of these are regurgitated, but in excess, they can clog the stomach and intestines. Daily combing and specific supplements such as Hairball Laxative Paste facilitate their natural expulsion. If vomiting continues or your pet appears constipated, consult a veterinarian.

Clock change

The time change, a phenomenon that particularly affects our more anxious pets, disrupts their peace and quiet, and is one of the elements that must not be neglected in order to avoid stress. 

Because our pets are routine, they don't necessarily adapt easily to the time change. Our cat or dog may show changes in behavior linked to changes in routine. For example, our pet may become confused, get up or vocalize during the night, be more grumpy, be agitated, ask for food when it's not time, and so on.

For a smooth transition, let's gradually adapt their routine by a few minutes a day in the week preceding the time change.

Poisonous forest plants

Despite the beautiful autumn landscapes, forests and gardens are teeming with plants and fruits, some of which may be toxic to our pets. It's essential to be on the lookout for these dangers on every walk to protect our companions.

Acorns and nuts are particularly important, as they can release toxic substances if ingested. Diarrhea, vomiting, kidney failure and neurological disorders can result. 

Pine nuts are not toxic, but can cause intestinal obstruction if swallowed. Some autumn tree leaves are also toxic. Knowing how to identify holly, yew and chestnut leaves is crucial.

Autumn also means mushrooms. While some are harmless, others, as with humans, are dangerous for our pets. When out and about, keep an eye out for poisonous and non-poisonous mushrooms, most of which are indigestible when eaten raw. 

If you have not seen your pet ingest toxic food, but you notice a change in behavior or certain abnormal symptoms, such as vomiting, dejection or diarrhea, call your veterinarian, who will be able to tell you if your pet is in danger, or contact the Poison Center.


For our older pets, autumn brings painful episodes. Indeed, the drop in temperature, humidity and variations in atmospheric pressure favor the reactivation of osteoarthritis in our aging companions.

Signs of joint pain can be as follows:

  • • The onset of lameness, particularly after a long period of rest or a nap
  • • Disinterest in playing or participating in physical activities
  • • Decreased appetite
  • • Discomfort when chewing
  • • Reduced mobility

Here are a few tips to soothe our pets during the autumn season:

• Warm up your dog before excessive exertion
• Insert a hot water bottle in the dog's resting place
• Install stairs near high surfaces to make it easier for our cat to reach them
• Opt for a diet that combines low-energy and cartilage precursors, including Omega 3-6-9, and collagen such as Articulations suprême
• Place their bed near a source of heat
• Protect your dog during outings by covering him up. 

If you notice any behavioral changes or signs of discomfort in your companion, consult your veterinarian, who will prescribe the appropriate treatments.

Hunting season

Another danger of autumn is the return of hunting season. During this season, it's imperative to be extra cautious on our forest excursions. To prevent any incidents, let's take advantage of the trails on our walks, respect the signs delimiting hunting zones, wear colorful or fluorescent clothing, and equip our animals with luminescent accessories to make them easy to spot from a distance.

Nevertheless, some animals are more sensitive to noise than others, which can cause them to flee after a shotgun blast. I recommend keeping your pet tethered to your side, or avoiding outings in the woods near hunting zones. The same applies to cats. If we live near a forest, let's keep them indoors to avoid any incident or anxiety for the animal.

With night falling earlier, let's plan our nocturnal outings by taking a headlamp for forest hikes. For urban outings, we can also equip our dog with a luminous collar or our cat with a phosphorescent harness to make them more visible to motorists.


Autumn brings its colors, but also its challenges, and we need to adapt our habits for the well-being of our animals. By remaining attentive to the vagaries of this beautiful season, we can make the transition to autumn a positive one, with a few preventive solutions. Happy autumn to all!

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