From long grass to spring flowers, slugs, alcohol and BBQ’s, there are plenty of dangers to watch out for this spring and summer. Here are 12 dangers dog owner should be aware of
Whilst we all warmly welcome the wonderful parts of spring and summer, from Easter to sunshine and blooming flowers – for dog owners this time of year isn’t all rainbows and rose.
In fact, there are some dangers that are highly hazardous to our beloved dogs.
‘There are lots of dangers that present themselves to dogs in spring and summer,’ says Caroline Spencer, ProDog Raw Behaviourist.
‘Unfortunately, there are plenty of year-round dangers for dogs also. For example, extreme weathers in any season are dangerous, be that hot sunshine, strong winds, or ice.
‘Frozen ponds are to be avoided, plants and foliage also present hazards throughout the year, with conkers for example being poisonous in the autumn.
extreme weathers in any season are dangerous, be that hot sunshine, strong winds, or ice
‘It’s important to stay vigilant when walking your dog; if you are experiencing extreme weather conditions, avoid going on walks where possible. More specifically, avoid walking your dog during severe temperature spikes and drops.
‘It’s also important that, as best you can, you prevent your dog from eating foliage (as it’s often difficult to tell which plants are toxic for dogs), research where you’re letting your dog swim ahead of time, keep them away from hazards like open fires, and prevent them from spending too much consecutive time in the sunshine.
‘If your dog has consumed something toxic, or you suspect they have, they will likely become lethargic and may show signs of vomiting, diarrhoea, confusion, panting, and/or licking of the lips. If you have any concerns always consult a vet as soon as possible’.
To enjoy the spring and summer months while making sure your canine companion is completely safe, here are 12 dangers every dog owner should be aware of…
Danger #1 Ticks
Ticks are particularly prevalent in areas that have tall grass and bracken where deer are present. Use natural tick prevention products, check your dogs for ticks after every walk, arm yourself with a tick remover, and always ask a vet if you’re unsure about how to remove one.
Danger #2 BBQ’s
Barbeque leftovers, including cooked bones, are choking hazards and can cause internal injuries. Meanwhile, fatty foods can be harmful to dogs with pancreatitis.
Charcoal soaked with lighter fluid, fire lighters, and kebab sticks are also dangerous. Supervise your dog at all times when they’re around a barbeque and steer them towards a safe place.
Danger #3 Firepits
Firepits are also hazardous for obvious reasons, so make sure you always have an eye on your dog and keep them away from open flames.
Danger #4 Alcohol
Alcohol is toxic for dogs so always keep it out of their reach, especially at outdoor summer parties where drinks might be left on low garden tables.
Danger #5 Blue-green algae
Blue-green algae is found in still and stagnant waters; it is extremely harmful to dogs and can be fatal. Monitor local alerts and look out for notices at lakes and ponds near you.
Also, always rinse your dog at home in clean water after swimming. Your bird bath needs to be cleaned out and replenished regularly too.
Danger #6 Water intoxication
Dogs consume large amounts of water when swimming with a toy in their mouths, so keep games of fetch on dry land; taking in too much water can be fatal.
Danger #7 Overheating in warmer weather
To help dogs stay cool in spring & summer, walk early in the morning and late in the evening when temperatures have dropped. Stick to shaded areas on longer walks and give your dog plenty of breaks in shaded areas so they can enjoy some enrichment time.
Be sure to have some fans in the home, keep your dog well-groomed so air can circulate through their fur, always have cool water available, dampen their coat (their body cools as the water evaporates in the breeze), and don’t let them lay in the sun for too long.
Hot dogs will pant and drool, be unsteady on their feet, and appear lethargic. These symptoms all worsen quickly with flat-nosed breeds. If your dog is showing signs of heat stroke, cool their feet and legs with cold water and give them a drink whilst calling your vet and arranging urgent transport.
Danger #8 Hot pavements
Hot pavements are harmful to dogs’ delicate paws. Always do the hot pavement test to see if it’s safe for them to be outside; place the back of your hand on the ground and if you can’t hold it there for 30 seconds, it’s too hot and their feet will blister.
Danger #9 Thunderstorms
Thunderstorms are a common occurrence in spring/summer due to warmer weather and humidity. Anti-static body wraps hugely help to alleviate dogs’ stress, whilst I would recommend staying at home with your dog, building a safe zone for them, giving them affection if that makes them feel more at ease, and offering positive distractions.
Danger #10 Summer plants
Some plants are poisonous for dogs in spring/summer, like rhododendron and yew berries. Seek vet assistance if your dog has eaten anything which you think might make them ill.
Danger #11 Grass seeds
Grass seeds can be harmful to dogs’ eyes and paws. Do not let your dog run in farmers’ fields of corn and barley. Long grass is also often home to these seeds so check your dog’s eyes, ears, and paws after very walk. If a seed is in their eye, contact a vet to have this removed.
Danger #12 Car travel
It can be dangerous for dogs to be in cars during warmer weather. Make sure you always have your air conditioning on, stop regularly, and ensure water is available in a non-spill bowl. Never leave your dog in the car, even with the windows down.