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Paying attention during the spring and summer days

FINALLY, the dark days are behind us and spring is here like never before. Warmer temperatures and longer days. Two things that can please everyone, owners and pets alike. Yet those spring and summer days bring with them a few woes here and there. But a forewarned man is worth two. Read our tips on how to combat those ailments here.

#1: Beware of hogweed
Bear claw, what exactly is that! Hear me think to you already. Well, here is a type of plant that everyone has encountered on a walk through a forest. This plant can be recognized by their white inflorescences and large hairy bracts. The plant is often found along the water's edge or on the roadsides. And why exactly should you be wary of this? That's because the sap of a hogweed is poisonous and makes the skin very sensitive. Does your dog in contact with that juice? Then after 1 day he gets all kinds of red, itchy spots on his skin. Those spots can turn into blisters that look like real burns.

How do you deal with this?

Get your dog out of sunlight as soon as possible and rinse the exposed areas with lukewarm water. To be on the safe side, also contact your veterinarian. The healing process takes about 1 to 2 weeks on average.

Tip: If you see this plant growing in a dog walking area or a place where animals frequent, you can report it to the municipality to have the plant removed.

#2: Make sure your dog's vaccinations are up to date
Warm and humid weather is a dream scenario for parasites. Better to prevent than to fight, so make sure your pets are dewormed on time, protected from fleas, etc. It is critical that you always purchase these products from your veterinarian or pet store. Other stores have too little knowledge to give you enough information. 

#3: Together with the spring starts the 'tick-season'.
As soon as the temperature rises above 8 degrees, the tick is back there too. From March to October it is important to be extra vigilant for these nasty creatures. Nowadays, there are fortunately pills that you can administer to your dog every 3 months and which protect them against tick bites. Feel free to ask your veterinarian for information on this.

But whether you give medication or not, it is still a good idea to check your dog for ticks after every walk. On average, a tick only establishes itself after 24 hours. So check your dog after every walk, you will save yourself a lot of misery by catching the insects in time.

#4 Beware of blue-green algae
You may not have heard of it but that doesn't make it any less toxic. Blue-green algae are very small organisms that live in fresh and stagnant water and mainly surface during warm temperatures (from May to September). These blue-green algae secrete toxic substances that cause irritation and nausea. You or your dog can become infected by ingesting contaminated water. Dogs often get infected by licking their fur clean after swimming in contaminated water.

You can recognize such blue-green algae by their color, which varies from very light blue to green, turquoise and sometimes even reddish brown and they spread in floating "flakes" in the water. Often there is also a message from the municipality if blue-green algae is present somewhere in the water.

Are you or your dog infected with the blue-green algae? Then there may be symptoms of irritation to the eyes, skin, headache, nausea and fever for 5 days. It is best to contact your veterinarian if you see these symptoms in your dog.

#5: Don't let your dog run after insects
Does your dog or cat dare to chase a wasp already? If so, call them back to you quickly anyway. Because just about every animal is allergic to the chemicals in the sting of insects. This means that if they are stung by an insect, that place immediately begins to swell. If this happens near the face, it can lead to breathing problems (especially if stung in the throat or tongue). If you see swelling coming up, first see if you can see the sting & then go to the vet as soon as possible.#6: Help your dog get rid of his winter coat
Temperatures are rising so our winter coat may go back into the closet. This applies to us but also to our pets. As soon as the days get warmer, your pet will want to get rid of his winter coat as soon as possible. You can help your dogs with that, fortunately. Brush your dog daily, and then go over his coat with a wet cloth. This way you stimulate the 'shedding process' and prevent the dead hairs from sticking together. 

#7: Your pet can also suffer from hay fever, unfortunately....
During the period from March to October, many people suffer from hay fever. But this hay fever does not only occur in humans but also in animals. It only manifests itself differently in animals than in humans. Dogs do not sneeze or have a runny nose, they rather get an itch which they scratch. This in turn can lead to coat problems.

How do you recognize hay fever in your pet?

  • Itching around the face, mainly at the muzzle or ears
  • Itching on the sides, armpits or back
  • Recurring ear infection
  • Irritation to the eyes (swollen and red)
  • Irritation of the soles of the feet

What can you do about this?

Adjust your dog's diet to one that is going to support his skin and coat. Foods like Delcon Regular Plus - Rich in Fish can help with this. In addition, make sure that his coat stays clean and that no pollen or other dirt is left in his coat.

Also, discuss it with your veterinarian. A skin allergy test can be done to see what your dog is allergic to. That way, your vet can prescribe medication if necessary. 

#8: Take the heat into account

Did you know that dogs get really hot at 20°C? So don't go doing active things (like walking, running or cycling) with your dog at such temperatures, because there is a good chance your dog will overheat. Give him enough rest and shade during hot days. This is because a dog that is overheated has a much harder time getting rid of heat than humans. This can even lead to a fatal outcome in dogs.

And it is already shouted from the rooftops but still we find it so important to repeat again: NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG ALONE IN THE CAR IN WARM TEMPERATURES. The temperature in a car can easily rise to 50 to 60°C in 10 minutes and your dog will not survive that. Even leaving the window ajar or parking your car in the shade won't help!

So, with these tips you can fully enjoy (and be prepared for) the wonderful spring days together with your beloved pets.

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