Top Summer Dangers for Dogs Part One

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The sun is shining, and the birds are singing (well, it’s raining as I write this, but that’s the theory).  The Great British summer is something that nearly everyone enjoys.  It enables us to get out more with our dogs.  However, as with every season, summer brings its own dangers, including heatstroke, horrible flying and crawly thing, and dart-like grass seeds.   Then, of course, water brings dangers such as drowning and blue-green algae and maybe some you haven’t thought of, such as Toads seawater and fishing hooks.

We hope you enjoy our Top summer Dangers series and if you have any feedback, please contact me.

Heatstroke – a BIG summer danger for dogs

Heatstroke is probably No1 of the summer dangers as vets see hundreds of dogs suffering from heatstroke every year due to how sensitive dogs are to heat and don’t sweat in the same way humans do.

While dogs can get heatstroke if walked in the midday sun, one of the biggest causes is leaving dogs in hot cars as the temperature rises very, very quickly, even in the shade,


Not only does Heat Stroke cause the dog to suffer. It can cause a series of internal damage to organs and be life-threatening.

Grass seeds

Grass seeds are like little darts and can cause a dog many problems and discomfort, especially If they get into the ear canal or up the nose.

Some dogs (like y Roxy) can be sensitive to grass seeds or pollen dust and suffer skin problems.  If a dog does suffer from allergies, then look carefully for any of the offending objects and remove the

If a dog gets grass seed in the ear, nose or eye, then it is important that you consult your vet as soon as possible  Further info on grass seeds can be read in our article here; alternatively, read about a dog with grass seed up their nose.


With climate change, it now means ticks are on the increase and getting far more common, which means they can be found most of the year. Ticks are nasty creatures, and biting their victim can spread disease, including Lyme Disease, to our dogs.

Using effective tick repellent and other control methods is the key to preventing any disease from spreading.  I would also advise keeping a tick removing tool when out on dog walks and remove any you see fast and efficiently.

Find out more about ticks in dogs here.

Algae poisoning

Blue-green algae can be found in lakes, streams, and seas and is a fairly common summer danger for dogs.  It is a poisonous alga to dogs and a cause of death., If a dog drinks or swims in the water, it can inject affected water and, within 15 minutes, can suffer from rapid and often fatal algae poisoning. Read more about how to prevent blue-green algae poisoning in dogs.

Barbecue and picnic scraps

BBQs and panics are extremely popular in summer. After all, what is  better than having a couple of friends around with a few drinks in the garden and the chance for the man of the house to show off his BBQ skills

Alas, our four-legged friends have a great ability to smell out food (over 300 million receptors in the nose and 40 ties better at processing compared to the human that has about 6 million). Once they have sniffed them out, they will try and raid the leftovers without a shadow of a doubt.  It is important to make sure that both you and your friends dispose of leftovers carefully, especially bones as if they are hewed, and splinter in the stomach can cause puncture wounds, amongst other things.  Please place them in strong rubbish bags ad put them straight in the bin so that annuals (including foxes) cannot get them.

As well as food scraps and bones, BBQs (and picnics) bring other dangers to dogs, such as alcohol glass, wooden skewers, or metal grills.

If your dog swallows foreign objects or shows any signs of discomfort or abdominal pain, then please get in touch with your vet straight away.

Wasps, ants and other insect bites

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Like humans’ dogs can get very itchy and start biting and scratching and make themself sore from wasps, ants and mosquitoes.  Fortunately, they rarely make the dog ill/  However, as with humans, some dogs (and other animals) can be very sensitive or have some kind of reaction to insects, especially wasps/  The other danger to look out for is the number of bites or stings.  After even more bites or stings, the chances are more poison is injected and the greater the risk of a more severe reaction. Some signs of a severe reaction, also known as an anaphylactic shock, include: Inflation of the stung/bitten area, hives, itching, panting, vomiting and diarrhoea are further signs of an allergic reaction and can be fatal.  If your dog shows any of these signs or collapses, then please seek prompt veterinary advice.

Should you be unlucky and your dog is stung, apply a cold compress by holding a cold, wet cloth or ice cubes wrapped in a damp cloth against the skin to reduce the welling.  If it is a wasp sting, then a vinegar solution will also help, and milk helps with many insect bites.

Please note if it is a multiple sting injury or on the nose or near the mouth, then contact the vet for immediate advice.

Read Part Two of our Top Summer  Dangers for Dogs and our Spring guide

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