As the temperature finally starts to increase and the days begin to stretch, hopefully you will find a new "spring in your step" and in your dogs step too !
The longer and brighter days mean time for longer walks and sniffs, time spent in the garden and general outside adventures and exploration. As dog owners we need to be conscious of some springtime dangers, particularly if you are a first time dog/puppy owner and your youngster still loves to dig and eat everything !
Many spring flowers and bulbs are toxic to dogs, including those found in our local parks.
Daffodil / Narcissus flowers, leaves and bulbs contain alkaloids which if eaten can cause vomiting or in extreme cases fits. The bulbs are the most toxic so beware of diggers accessing them, but even the water in the vase you may have your Daffs in can make your dog very ill.
Tulips / Hyacinths/ Amaryllis bulbs contain a toxin that irritates a dogs gastrointestinal tract , serious cases are rare, normally just vomiting and diarrhoea, but heart problems and difficulty breathing are also symptoms of Tulip poisoning.
Bluebell plants and bulbs contain scillarens' chemicals (similar to Foxglove) that reduce the heart rate, causing similar symptoms to above. Particularly prevalent in woodlands, make sure you keep an eye on what your dog is eating and digging up on your spring walks !
Like ourselves dogs can suffer from seasonal allergies - common ones include tree, grass and weed pollens , additionally warmer weather can cause an increase in parasites like ticks and fleas.
In dogs nearly all allergies are expressed via the skin. Irritated red skin, excessive licking, bald or thinning patches in the fur, itchy or smelly ears (often accompanied with head shaking) all can be indicators that your dog is suffering from allergies.
Regular bathing to remove pollen, dust and bacteria from the skin with a very mild shampoo like our Super Soothing Shampoo for Itchy Skin & Coats and regular use of a Topical Ear Cleaner from the "For All Dogkind" range should help, and also contains a natural flea and tick deterrent.
Additionally the lanolin in a sheepskin bed also is anti-bacterial and deters parasites, but that's in another blog you can read elsewhere on this site !
Finally Easter ....
holiday-time, the kids are off, picnics, Easter eggs, hot cross buns ...need I say more !
CHOCOLATE IS POISONOUS TO DOGS , a small amount will probably give your dog the dreaded V & D - however the higher the cocoa content in the chocolate, the more theobromine which can produce muscle tremors, seizures, internal bleeding or even a heart attack. This is serious please call or take your dog to the vet and make sure you tell them what type of chocolate and how much chocolate has been consumed even if they haven't yet shown symptoms, better to be safe.
Grapes and raisins are also toxic to dogs, but it is thought that the dried version of the fruit are more likely to cause severe symptoms. Both can lead to acute kidney failure or even be fatal. There is no clear link between size of dog and the amount eaten when determining the seriousness of grape poisoning so please consult a vet if you have any concerns that raisins / grapes have been ingested.
So in summary, keep your eyes on your pups - watch what they are eating when enjoying the great outdoors, and keep them safe this Spring !