6 life-threatening risks facing your dog in the summer – and how to prevent them

You've probably noticed that the UK is basking in another heatwave, but with the glorious hot weather and sunshine come a few concerns.

This is especially true where our four-legged, furry friends are concerned.

Dogs are incredibly vulnerable to the heat, largely owing to their inability to sweat, meaning they can't cool down as easily as humans.

Taking them out in this weather not only poses heat stroke and burns risks, but also less well-known dangers lurking when the temperatures drop enough for us to venture out safely with them.

Here's a run-down of all the risks to be aware of when taking your dog for a walk in the summer, crafted by Canagan, and which includes expert advice from their Veterinary Expert, Henry Dove, on how to deal with them.


1. Sunburn

Yes, our canine chums can get sunburn too!

Pale coloured dogs are more vulnerable to sunburn, particularly on their nose and ears, and if they are not well protected could lead to skin cancer.

You can apply a non-toxic waterproof human sunblock or a specifically designed pet sunscreen.

2. Poisons in our gardens and on rural walks

Before purchasing any pellets or domestic pesticides for your flower beds and lawns, read the labels carefully to make sure they are safe for your pet.

By going pesticide and poison free (if you can), the hedgehogs and bees will thank you for it!

When you return home from your ramble, it is wise to give your dog a good rinse.

If you are concerned your dog may have ingested any toxic outdoor chemicals, look for signs of lethargy, diorrea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort or joint stiffness and seek immediate advice from your vet if any of these are apparent in your pet.

3. Water-related dangers

Remember to be wary of tides at the beach and the currents in the river before you let your dog dive in.

Drinking too much salt water, or waters filled with multiple species of algae, could very well make your dog sick so take plenty of fresh water in order to keep them hydrated and are not inclined to drink from their surroundings.

Henry Dove, also warns of other hazards related to water:

"In warmer summer months toxins can build up in fresh/stagnant water that can cause serious health concerns for both you and your pet.

"One of these organisms is blue-green algae, not all are toxic, but it is impossible to determine which is. These bacteria can build up in fresh water over dry summer months and form a film on the surface, giving the water a blue green appearance.

"The toxins have various different effects on the body. Including vomiting, diarrhoea, respiratory disease, seizures and even death.

"If the blue-green algae are seen in the water, then please prevent your dog from swimming and drinking the affected water. If they do contact your vet immediately and rinse your dog off with fresh water.

"Remember that this is rare but something to be aware of when your dog is enjoying a summer swim."

4. Ticks and fleas

Warm weather is synonymous with peak flea and tick season so keeping your dog protected is more important than ever at this time of year.

Fleas don't only just affect your dog, but they can take over the entire home. Spot treatments are most popular, but tablets and repellent collars are also available from pet stores and at your vet’s surgery.

Dogs are often exposed to ticks when walking through grassy areas and woodland.

They are a particularly dangerous parasite that carry diseases. In the worst-case untreated ticks can lead to Lyme’s disease.

To safeguard your dog, it is recommended that you regularly use a preventative tick treatment.

If you do happen to find a tick on your pet, use a tick hook to carefully remove the entire creature (including mouthparts and legs) so nothing is left under the skin. Should the tick be in a sensitive area, seek assistance from your vet for the removal.

5. Burned paws

Dogs' paw pads are sensitive and so can easily burn on hot pavements.

As a general rule, if it is too hot for your hand, then it is too hot for them to walk on. Try holding your hand on the floor surface for a minimum of seven seconds to absolutely make sure before you head out together.

Signs of burnt paw pads can include:

  • Limping or refusal to walk

  • Pads appear darker in colour

  • Blisters or redness of the pads

  • There are parts of the paw pad missing

  • Most importantly of all at this time of year is to never leave your dog in a car – not even for a moment!

6. Heat stroke

Unlike humans, dogs barely sweat through their skin and so they rely on panting and releasing body heat through their paw pads and noses to regulate their body temperature and keep cool.

This means dogs can succumb to heatstroke very quickly. Symptoms of heatstroke in dogs can include:

  • Glazed, glassy eyes

  • Excessive dribbling

  • Vomiting

  • Lack of coordination

  • Collapsing

Source: Read Full Article