Dog owners urged to beware common danger found on most streets this autumn & deadly reason you should AVOID muddy walks English Headline

WITH piles of leaves to sniff and play in, cooler temperatures and muddy puddles galore, what dog doesn’t love autumn walkies?

But pet owners are being urged to watch out for potentially dangerous hazards lurking on pavements and in parks and woodland.

Dog owners are urged to beware autumnal hazards on walks


Dog owners are urged to beware autumnal hazards on walksCredit: Getty

Nutritionist Alison Frost warns seasonal plants, foliage and seeds can be toxic to pooches – and in rare cases, deadly.

Here Alison reveals the autumnal dangers all dog owners ought to be aware of.


Alison, lead nutritional advisor at ProDog, says: “Toxic ingredients like tannins, which are considered antinutrients, reduce the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients from food. 

“In dogs, tannins can cause digestive issues, pain, and damage vital organs. 

“As green acorns specifically contain high levels of tannins, they should be avoided.”


Collecting conkers is a nostalgic childhood pastime – and you could be doing dog owners a favour by picking them up off pavements.

Conkers can be toxic to dogs


Conkers can be toxic to dogsCredit: Getty

Alison says: “The seeds in conkers contain a toxin called aesculin, which can make your dog sick or give them an upset stomach. 

“Whilst conkers have a bitter taste that can deter dogs from eating them, don’t use them as a toy, making them attractive to your dog by kicking or throwing them.

“If eaten in larger amounts, aesculin can cause serious side-effects; in rare cases, they can even be deadly.”

She adds that conkers can result in choking, whilst easily blocking dogs’ intestines.

Wild mushrooms

Damp weather can cause fungus to sprout


Damp weather can cause fungus to sproutCredit: Getty

While some types of wild fungi are edible, it’s often difficult to tell which varieties are poisonous and which aren’t. 

Alison says: “If your dog eats an unknown fungus, it could make them unwell. 

“Some types may only cause mild stomach upset, whilst others can ignite more serious issues.

“These toxic effects can materialise in just minutes, take a few days, or, in some cases, present themselves weeks after consumption.”

If you think your dog has eaten wild mushrooms, Alison recommends calling your vet, taking a photo of the mushrooms and, if you can, take one with you to the vet for identification. 

She adds: “The worst wild mushroom type is the Death Cap, an unremarkable-looking woodland mushroom which is thought to be responsible for more poisonings than any other.”

Fallen fruits and berries

Some seeds, berries, pips, and fruit stones contain toxins that make your dog ill


Some seeds, berries, pips, and fruit stones contain toxins that make your dog illCredit: Getty

As temperatures begin to cool this autumn, lots of trees will start to drop their fruits and berries. 

Some seeds, berries, pips, and fruit stones contain toxins that make your dog ill. 

Alison says: “The most dangerous berry-bearing plants are Deadly Nightshade, with its shiny black berries, Cuckoo Pint – which produces spikes of orange-red berries – and mistletoe, all typically found in woodland areas.

“These fruits can make your dog unwell if they are eaten when mouldy, or after they’ve begun to ferment.”


A number of cultivated plants are toxic to dogs, including some that are grown to add a splash of autumn colour, such as amaryllis and hydrangeas. 

Autumn crocuses can also be dangerous if the bulbs are dug up and ingested.

Alison explains: “Many flowering bulbs are toxic to dogs; for example, daffodils and tulips are particularly hazardous. 

“If your dog shows any signs of poisoning after a walk, such as excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, shakiness, breathing problems, lethargy or seizures, contact your vet immediately.”

Alabama rot

Dogs can pick up Alabama Rot in muddy areas


Dogs can pick up Alabama Rot in muddy areasCredit: Getty

Although quite rare, Alabama Rot – cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) – is thought to be related to walking in muddy areas. 

The deadly, flesh-eating condition – sometimes referred to as the “black death” disease – causes problems with blood vessels in the skin and kidneys.

The disease is fatal in nine out of 10 cases, and dogs of any age, sex, or breed can fall victim.

It often first appears as unexplained marks, sores or ulcers, usually on a dog’s legs or paws. 

Alison says: “To prevent your dog from getting ill, experts recommend that you either keep them away from muddy areas or wash and dry them thoroughly after muddy or wet walks.”

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