Summer's Arrival: The Dangers for Dogs
As the spring is in full swing and the hedgerows are bursting into life with flowers and buds and the promise of fruits in the autumn, we are all getting into gear for the summer that is about to be bestowed upon us.
Summer should be a time when you and your dogs can make full use of the British countryside, undertaking high-spirited hikes, tremendous trips and exploring some bountiful beaches. However, alongside all of this fabulous freedom and nature nurturing, comes a few dangers that can affect our canine companions, that we should be aware of and take measures to avoid so as to not spoil our enjoyment of the warmer weather and our time with our furry friends.
In today’s post, we will be highlighting some of the dangers to your dogs that the onset of summer can bring, how to avoid these potentially summer-spoiling issues and recommending a few of the wonderful products on our shelf that can give you and your dog stress-free time in the warmer weather.
Summer Risks for Dogs
Although we would always encourage you to get out with your dogs as much as you can when the weather starts to warm, there are some things we think we should all be aware of beforehand.
As with us humans, dogs can suffer from the dreaded hayfever too. The symptoms of hayfever in our furry friends are a little different, however, mostly manifesting as itchy skin, ears and noses. Hayfever in dogs is easily treated but should always be done under the guidance of your vet. Watch out for these symptoms in your dogs during and after walks and get in touch with your vet if you think it is an allergic reaction to pollen.
In the UK we are blessed only to have one variety of poisonous snake and one which only has a mild venom that is unlikely to cause harm to humans, however, that does not mean that we shouldn't be aware and wary of them, as our precious pooches can be affected a great deal more by their poison. The adder won’t tend to bite unless it is disturbed, dog’s, unfortunately, are much more prone to this as they explore the undergrowth on a walk. Most commonly found in the South and South-West of England, adders are around 50cm long and have a brown zig-zag pattern along their backs. If you think your dog has been bitten it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible, it is advised to carry your dog after a bite to avoid more venom circulating around their system.
Although present all year round, one of the most common summer afflictions, the tick, is most likely to be active during the summer months. Ticks are small parasites that feed on the blood of your precious pooches and carry a whole host of diseases, including the debilitating Lyme disease, making it of paramount importance to try and prevent bites and if bitten to remove them as soon as possible.
The easiest way of removing ticks is with tick removal tools, which are relatively inexpensive and available from most online veterinary services. Alternatively, it is possible to remove them yourself by hand and there is a handy how-to guide from the RSPCA available at the link below.
At Natural Cornish Pet we have a superb selection of tick repellants, bite relief ointments and soothing shampoos so you can help prevent ticks and soothe your dog's irritation if they are unlucky enough to get bitten.
Another summer issue we can encounter as dog owners is the risk of heatstroke in our furry friends. Heatstroke is a serious ailment that is caused by excessive internal temperature and the inability of your dog to cool itself down. The most common symptom of heatstroke is excessive panting, but other symptoms include; drooling and foaming at the mouth, shaking, bright red gum colour, vomiting, and seizures.
Heatstroke can easily be prevented by making sure your dog is not walked at particularly hot times of day and always has access to water and shade. It is also beneficial to keep your dog at a healthy weight as overweight dogs are much more likely to suffer from heatstroke.
If your dog shows any signs of heatstroke, contact your vet immediately and keep your dog calm and cool by giving them cool water, sitting them on a damp towel and making sure they are out of the sun in a place with plenty of air flowing around them. For more advice and a deeper dive into heatstroke in dogs, check out this article from the PDSA at the link below.