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Dog poisoning risk is more than doubled over the Easter holiday

As Easter approaches, pet owners are being warned about the increased risk of chocolate poisoning in dogs. According to data collated by Agria Pet Insurance and released by The Kennel Club, incidents of chocolate poisoning in dogs more than double in April, with a 123 percent increase compared to any other time of the year except December.

The popular sugary treat contains a chemical called theobromine, which can be toxic to dogs, causing symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and in extreme cases, death. With people hiding chocolate eggs in their gardens for Easter egg hunts or leaving them within sniffing distance of a curious dog, it’s important for pet owners to take extra precautions during this holiday.

“A dog’s acute sense of smell means they can sniff out even the best hidden treats, as these worrying statistics show, so it’s vitally important that owners remain vigilant,” warns Bill Lambert, dog health expert at The Kennel Club.

“Of course, a lot of families are facing uncertainty and stress owing to the cost-of-living crisis and may not be able to cope with any additional or unexpected veterinary costs. Not only can chocolate poisoning be extremely expensive, it is also incredibly upsetting for dogs and their owners.”

The Kennel Club urges pet owners to keep a careful eye on their pets during the celebrations, ensuring that chocolate treats are kept well out of their reach. If you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate, it’s important to seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.

As a responsible pet owner, it’s essential to understand the potential risks associated with chocolate and ensure that your furry friend is kept safe and healthy during the Easter period.

But chocolate isn’t the only thing that can harm your pets during this season. some traditional holiday treats and seasonal hazards can be toxic to their furry friends. While chocolate is often cited as a hazard for pets during Easter, Hot Cross buns and Simnel cakes can also contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs.

According to a recent article from the Daily Mail, dried fruits commonly found in Hot Cross buns, such as raisins, sultanas, and currants, can cause dogs to feel unwell even in small amounts. Nutmeg, which is often used in these baked goods, contains myristicin that can cause stomach issues in dogs. In high amounts, myristicin can lead to a range of serious symptoms, including increased heart rate, disorientation, abdominal pain, hallucinations, and seizures.

Many spring flowers, including daffodils, lilies, tulips, hyacinths, and bluebells, can also be harmful to dogs, particularly their bulbs which contain toxic alkaloids and glycosides. According to veterinarians, symptoms of plant poisoning to look out for include drooling, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased heart and respiratory rates.

Pet owners are advised to keep any potentially toxic plants out of reach of their dogs and sprayed with a pet repellent. In addition to flowers, bulb vegetables like onions and garlic can cause nasty stomach upsets in dogs and should not be fed to them.

As the weather starts to warm up, ticks become more common, particularly in woodland and grassy areas. These small insects can transmit dangerous diseases to pets if left attached to their skin. Pet owners should regularly check their dogs’ fur and skin for ticks and remove them quickly using tweezers or a tick remover.

Bee and wasp stings are also a risk for pets, which can cause the skin to swell up and become irritated. If your dog is stung, they may start to bite or hold up the affected area. While most stings go away on their own, some pets can suffer an allergic reaction that can be fatal. 

If you notice your pet displaying symptoms such as vomiting, rapid breathing, collapse, weakness, pale gums, excessive swelling, or if they were stung on the mouth or throat, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Finally, some dogs can develop seasonal allergies to pollen, grass, and trees, which can cause their skin to itch. These flare-ups are more common at this time of year when we spend longer periods outside with our pets. 

If you notice your dog itching or developing a sore spot, it is important to get in touch with your veterinarian to develop a treatment plan. Initially, you can press a cool pack or flannel onto their skin to soothe it, and make sure to clear any dust or pollen from around their eyes with damp cotton wool.

As the Easter holiday approaches, pet owners should be vigilant and take steps to keep their furry friends safe from potential hazards. By being aware of the risks and taking proactive measures, we can all enjoy the season with our pets safely.

Common allergies found in dogs 

Dogs are one of the most beloved animals on the planet, but just like humans, they can suffer from allergies. Allergies in dogs can be triggered by a wide range of factors, including food, pollen, dust mites, and even certain types of fabrics. In this article, we will discuss some of the common allergens that dogs can be allergic to and how you can help your furry friend manage their allergies.

Food Allergies

Food allergies in dogs are quite common, and they can be triggered by proteins, carbohydrates, or even additives that are commonly found in commercial dog food. Symptoms of a food allergy in dogs can include itching, gastrointestinal issues, and skin problems. If you suspect that your dog has a food allergy, it is essential to consult with a veterinarian. They can help you identify the offending allergen and recommend a suitable diet for your pet.

Pollen and Dust Mites

Just like humans, dogs can be allergic to pollen and dust mites. These allergens can cause itching, sneezing, and respiratory problems in dogs. Pollen allergies are most common during the spring and summer months when plants are in full bloom. Dust mites, on the other hand, are more common indoors and can be found in carpets, bedding, and other fabrics. Regular cleaning and air filtration can help reduce the number of pollen and dust mites in your home, which can help your dog breathe easier.

Mold and Fungi

Mold and fungi are common allergens that can cause respiratory problems in dogs. They can be found in damp or humid environments, such as basements, bathrooms, and kitchens. Symptoms of mold or fungal allergies can include coughing, sneezing, and difficulty breathing. If you suspect that your dog has a mold or fungal allergy, it is important to have your home inspected for mold and take steps to reduce the humidity in your home.

Fabrics and Materials

Some dogs can be allergic to certain fabrics or materials, such as wool or synthetic fibers. Symptoms of a fabric allergy in dogs can include itching, skin irritation, and hair loss. If you suspect that your dog has a fabric allergy, try switching to a different type of bedding or clothing. You can also try using hypoallergenic detergents and fabric softeners to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction.

In summary, dogs can be allergic to a wide range of factors, including food, pollen, dust mites, mold, and fabrics. If you suspect that your dog has an allergy, it is important to consult with a veterinarian. They can help you identify the offending allergen and recommend appropriate treatment, which may include dietary changes, medication, or other interventions. With the right care and management, your dog can lead a happy, healthy life, even with allergies.


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