• This Surrey Mummy

Summer Dangers That Could Prove Fatal For Your Four Legged Friend In Association With Vets Now

As part of my summer partnership with Vets Now, the UK’s leading provider of emergency veterinary care for small animals in the UK, Vets Now, which has emergency out-of-hours clinic in Guildford, Farnham, Reading and Staines in Surrey, the summer sees one of its busiest times when the weather warms up, with vets seeing a higher caseload of emergencies over the summer months.

With bright, sunny days luring people and their pets out into the great outdoors, the expert team of vets and nurses see more road traffic accidents, cat fights, dog bites, allergic reactions and cases of heat stroke. I spoke to Zara Kennedy, district vet for the Vets Now emergency clinics who kindly shared her top tips for all of us dog lovers to ensure our furry friends say safe and healthy this summer!

If you’d rather avoid a trip to one of Vets Now’s out-of-hours pet emergency clinics or 24/7 hospitals this summer then beware of these common dangers:

1. Hot Weather Danger

Exercising your dog too much or leaving them in the car, conservatory or an enclosed space after a sudden rise in temperature can lead to potentially fatal heat stroke. This actually happened to our first family dog Alfie one summer and he collapsed whilst out on a walk in the evening. He was admitted to the vets where he remained in an air conditioned room trying to re-regulate his temperature - we were lucky that we got him to the vet in time else it could have been a very different story!

How to avoid: Never walk your dog during the hottest parts of the day, and never leave them in a confined space for any length of time.

2. Plants and flowers Danger

Several flowers and plants that are popular in the summer are potentially toxic to dogs, including poppies, clematis, peony, foxglove, geranium, chrysanthemum, oleander and yew.

How to avoid: If you’re not sure whether your plants are safe, keep a close eye on your dog in the garden and around house plants.

3. Rat poison Danger

Rodenticide is designed to taste nice to rats but, unfortunately, dogs also like it for the same reason. Some types can cause severe internal bleeding as well as vomiting, fits and changes in body temperature.

How to avoid: If you have a serious vermin problem, opt for a pet-friendly option to get rid of it.

4. Barbecues Danger

In the summer, barbeque-related incidents — such as swallowing kebab skewers, eating cooked bones, food poisoning, and burn injuries — account for a surprisingly large number of admissions to Vets Now clinics. Buddy was once admitted to the vets due to swallowing a while corn on the cob!

How to avoid: Always keep raw and cooked barbeque food out of reach and make sure your dog is under supervision once the barbeque has been lit.

5. Compost and Cocoa Mulch

These are highly dangerous for our furry friends as these are often used to fertilise garden and these are both potentially lethal for dogs. Compost is full of highly toxic mould while cocoa mulch contains poisonous theobromine.

How to avoid: Make sure compost bins are kept well out of reach and only ever use cocoa mulch sparingly, if at all.

6. Weed killer

Many of the herbicides gardeners use to kill weeds and unwanted plants are dangerous if swallowed, licked or even brushed against.

How to avoid: Read the instructions carefully and don’t use if there’s a potential risk

7. Fish Hooks

Dogs are often tempted to swallow the shiny lure and tasty bait that’s attached to fish hooks. But these can cause nasty injuries if embedded in the mouth, stomach or paws.

How to avoid: Fish hooks are often discarded by inconsiderate fishermen so be on your guard in areas where fishing is popular.

Now as much as we think we can keep an eye on our pets the whole of the time we have to be realistic and sometimes things can happen but remember firstly do not panic. If you’re worried your dog is sick or injured, contact your vet as soon as possible, or find your nearest Vets Now pet emergency clinic or Vets Now 24/7 hospital.