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Seasonal Dog Health: Late Summer

There are several minor health issues dogs may face during summer and early autumn. Here, DASS looks at the most common issues that dog owners should be aware of.

While gardening, be careful of using any slug pellets, weed deterrents or other chemicals. Always check the label warnings or consult your vet if you have any doubts. Some garden deterrents such as slug pellets can be poisonous to dogs or small animals so always use with caution or try finding a safer way to get rid of garden pests.

If your dog is unfortunate to suffer from allergies, these can flare up in the summer. This can include allergies from fleas and mites, grass, pollen and food. It can particularly affect their eyes, making them red, itchy and sore. Consult your vet if you notice your pooch itching its face or rubbing against furniture frequently.

Berry bugs and other harvest mites are very common in late summer to autumn and can cause some discomfort for your dog. They are tiny little red larvae that puncture the skin and suck blood from the animal or human and these bites can be very itchy. Spots on dogs can be treated with warm salty water and should go away after a couple of weeks, more if the spot was particularly nasty. Dogs are often targeted by these mites in the groin area, between the toes and on their stomachs where they are warmest. The mites thrive in grasses and cornfields. You can avoid them by staying away from grasses, or you can brush an oil treatment through your dog’s coat. A drop of citronella, lavender and peppermint essential oils in water will help repel the mites, but other options are available. There are also shampoos and other products available, consult your vet if you have any questions.

Of course, there is also the common tick to look out for. Check your dog’s body for these little dark blood-sucking bugs after every walk, especially if they have been on grass. Remove ticks as soon as possible. They can look like small lumps in the skin, with their legs visible. Do not pull them out as the tick’s head may remain attached to the skin and cause an infection. Use a tick remover by twisting the tick in a firm hold, you should feel the tick let go of the skin. Dispose of it and clean the area. Again, consult your vet if you are unsure of how to remove a tick.

Grass seeds are another issue in the summer with potential to cause trouble for dogs. These seeds can get stuck in dogs’ ears, eyes, armpits and toes and can sometimes get under the skin and cause issues in the body such as infections. Consult your vet if you suspect one has got into an open wound or other area. Take the time to remove any grass seeds after walking your dog.

Regular body checks after walks can help avoid many little problems the season brings.


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