As Autumn rolls around, our usual dog walking routes can start to look a little different, with piles of leaves and fallen nuts covering pathways.

Letting your dog fully enjoy this environment can be very tempting, but a dog expert is warning that this could lead to some health issues.

Dog expert, Johanna Buitelaar-Warden has warned of the dangers of sniffing leaves and eating conkers.

The founder of Lords and Labradors explains why dog owners should keep a close eye on their pets in the Autumn, and the potential health implications of not following this advice.

Why you shouldn’t let your dog roll in piles of fallen leaves

Piles of leaves can develop bacteria and mould. If your dog ingests these them this can lead to stomach upsets.

You should also be careful of big piles of leaves as they can conceal sharp sticks or hidden broken glass which could lead to cuts in their paws and other areas.

Another potential issue is ticks – if your dog does roll in leaves, then you should thoroughly check their fur when you get home.

Why you shouldn’t walk your dog in densely wooded areas

Harvest mites are tiny, bright orange mites that live in soil. They are common in woodland and grassy areas and are most active between July-November. Harvest mites will attach to, and feed from any animal that they encounter, including dogs.

If your dog picks up a harvest mite infestation, they will become itchy and uncomfortable. Some dogs are extremely sensitive to harvest mite saliva and can develop really itchy, red, inflamed skin where they’ve been bitten. Infestations are most common in-between toes, on the feet, legs, armpits, genitals, tummy, and can occasionally affect the ears too.

Why you shouldn’t allow your dog to eat conkers or acorns

Exposure to acorns in dogs is common in the autumn and winter. But they contain a toxic ingredient called tannic acid, which can cause damage to the liver and kidneys. Signs that your dog has ingested an acorn with tannic acid include vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and being especially tired.

Ingested acorns can also cause an intestinal blockage. While serious cases of poisoning are rare, drooling, retching, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain are quite common. The conkers’ shell and conkers themselves can also cause intestinal blockages.

Why you shouldn’t let your dog eat wild mushrooms

Some mushrooms are highly toxic to dogs but even fungi experts (known as mycologists) find it difficult to tell between them. The best bet is to ensure you keep all of them well out of your dog’s reach.