Hooray. Longer lighter, evenings and hopefully some sunshine in the next few weeks accompanied by a flurry of happy spring flowers, trips out and away for the Easter break and some of the annoying extras to think about as spring rolls on.
You might not know that if ingested, many bulb spring flowers can be toxic to our pets. Bluebell season is just around the corner, these stunning plants that create a glorious display contain a toxin that can affect the heart, luckily, it’s unusual for dogs to eat enough to cause issues but within a few hours of eating, your dog may vomit, show signs of stomach pains or diarrhoea. Don’t wait for the symptoms, seek professional advice as soon as possible. Tulips: The toxins found in this plant cause irritation to the mouth and gastrointestinal tract and usually only result in drooling, vomiting and diarrhoea. Serious cases are rare, but effects could include heart problems and respiratory distress.
And now on to the travel element. All dogs in England must be fitted with a microchip by 8 weeks of age, it should also have a collar with an identity tag of some sort too, the rules are slightly different in Wales and Scotland. Don’t forget to update the microchip registration details if you welcome a new dog into your home or change address or phone number. You can be fined up to £500 if your dog isn’t chipped.
Rule 57 of the Highway Code states that you must “make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained” in the car. This is to protect you and other road users from distraction, you can’t have a dog wandering around in your car popping its head out the window or sitting on the driver’s lap at will. The guidance says the dog should either wear a harness that clips into the seatbelt, travel in a cage or be restricted behind a dog guard.
Remember if your dog travels on the front seat you’ll need to turn off the airbag.
There are lots of makes and types of harness and cage available, they don’t have to be expensive but do make sure they fit properly for safety and comfort and are easy to use.
For journeys logically make sure you’ve got water and a bowl for your dog perhaps avoid feeding them for up to 2 hours before you travel to avert travel sickness but make sure they have a drink available because dehydration can make them very poorly. Many dogs are stressed, noisy and annoying in the car it’s not their favourite place which makes it stressful for the driver and all the passengers too. Be kind, try a few short journeys before you embark on a long one, plan a location for a stop on the way where its safe for your dog to stretch their legs and have a comfort break. For dogs stressed or anxious by travelling we can recommend our natural Ace Canine Settlers product available in both capsules and liquid form. You can find out more at https://www.ace-canine.com/products/settlers
Easter eggs and Chocolate treats are the last comment for today. The message is no different to Christmas, COCOA & CHOCOLATE - NO.
The toxicity level of chocolate and cocoa will depend on just how much is consumed, how much your dog weighs and the kind of chocolate that has been ingested. The molecule in chocolate that is poisonous to dogs and cats Theobromine, is metabolised very slowly, this pushes the concentration to toxic levels within the pet’s body. Dark chocolate, cocoa, and those that are marketed with higher % coco levels will have more theobromine, while white chocolate and milk chocolate have lower levels.
call your vet as soon as possible if you know or suspect chocolate or coco has been consumed.
Small amounts of chocolate might lead to moderate stomach issues like vomiting or diarrhoea. Large amounts can produce hyperactivity, followed by trembling, arrhythmia, seizures, and that’s without taking the wrappers they’ve eaten in the process into consideration too.
Take your canine friend on an egg hunt but don't share the prizes.