Summer is the season for spending time outside, relaxing and
enjoying the sun. As with every season, summer poses risks to dogs
which owners should be aware of. If you are concerned about
your dog regarding any of the below, please seek veterinary
Heat and dehydration
Dogs are not as good at dealing with high temperatures as
humans, as they find it harder to cool down, so it is important to
see signs that your dog is too hot (for example, panting
excessively and lethargy) and take the necessary precautions to
avoid heatstroke. Make sure they have plenty of water and an area
of shade to cool down.
Barbeques are popular to have during the summer, but involve
quite a few risks to dogs. With food easily accessible, your dog
may use every opportunity to sneak a snack off your guests' plates
and off the floor. Establish boundaries to prevent your dog from
picking up BBQ food, and inform your guests not to feed your dog
inappropriate food that are hazardous to your dog (for example,
cooked bones). In addition, be aware of your dog getting too
close to the BBQ. Avoid leaving rubbish such as plastic wrappers
and kebab skewers where your dog can get to them.
Flowers and plants
Summer is the perfect time to get out of the house and relax in
your garden. Some plants and flowers can be toxic to dogs, and can
cause serious clinical effects. Click
here to see a list of the most common house and garden plants
that are poisonous to dogs.
Insect stings and bites
Along with the flowers in bloom, summer brings an abundance of
insects. The severity of an insect sting or bite depends on the
insect, the location of the sting/bite and whether your dog is
allergic. Typical signs include redness, pain and swelling.
Slug and snail pellets
Chemicals and fertilizers are the main garden dangers to dogs.
Slug and snail pellets that contain metaldehyde are one of the most
dangerous and common poisonings in dogs. Small amounts can cause
severe toxic effects so seek veterinary attention immediately if
your dog has ingested pellets. Signs include muscle spasms and
rigidity, tremors and convulsions, and incoordination.
Ant powders, baits and gels
These rarely cause significant poisoning as the active
ingredients are usually low in concentration. If ingested, you may
see salivation, constricted pupils, increased body temperature and
wobbliness. In severe cases, toxic effects include respiratory
depression, convulsions and could lead to a coma.
The Common toad and the Natterjack toad are native to Britain,
largely found in forest areas and wet locations. Poisoning occurs
when dogs lick or eat toads - exposure to toads is at its highest
between June and August when they are spawning. Signs include
vomiting, frothing and foaming at the mouth, hypersalivation,
shaking, oral pain and collapse.
The beach can hold a few dangers for your dog, so safety
precautions should be considered. Stop your dog from drinking sea
water as it could lead to salt poisoning; make sure you have fresh
water to keep them hydrated. Ensure your dog has a shady area to
cool down in and consider using sunscreen, especially if your dog
has pale or thin fur, and on vulnerable areas such as the nose and
ears. Running on sand uses more energy than on grass, so make sure
your dog doesn't overdo it and has plenty of rest. Wash the salt
and sand out of your dog's coat and paws, and check for any
Hot dogs in cars
Dogs should never be left in the car unattended, even on a
mildly warm day. Dogs can die this way even if the car has been
left in the shade and car windows are open. If you are travelling
in the car with your dog for a long period of time, make sure you
take the necessary precautions such as taking plenty of stops,
having lots of water and an appropriate shady space for your dog.
for more information.