Dangers to Dogs – Four Areas of Concern (2023)

We have not included this article about the dangers to dogs to scare you – merely to inform readers who may not be fully aware of these areas of danger. Let’s go through them.

Dangers to Dogs – Winter Road Salt and Grit

Road salt and grit can be hazardous to dogs in the UK. When dogs walk on sidewalks or roads treated with road salt, the salt crystals can stick to their paws and cause irritation, cracking, and bleeding. Also, if dogs try to lick the salt off their paws, they may experience vomiting, diarrhoea, and dehydration due to the high salt concentration.

dangers to dogs

Ingesting road grit can also be dangerous to dogs because it contains sharp pieces of stones, glass, and other debris that can cause cuts and abrasions in the mouth and digestive tract. Furthermore, some types of grit may contain chemicals such as de-icing agents that can harm dogs if ingested in large amounts.

Therefore, it is always advisable to wipe your dog’s paws and body with a damp cloth when coming in from a walk in the winter and avoid leaving your pet unattended in areas where road salt has been applied. In case of any symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, or lethargy, seek advice from a veterinarian immediately.

Dangers to Dogs – SCI

Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI) is a newly identified ailment lacking a known origin. It affects dogs shortly after their stroll in the forest, and while it can be deadly, it is often not if identified early. It usually occurs between August and November, hence the name seasonal.

SCI has been observed in dogs of all ages, genders, and breeds, but it does not appear to affect other creatures like cats. Dogs typically become unwell within 24-72 hours after walking in the woods, with symptoms that primarily affect their digestive systems, such as vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, lethargy, loss of appetite, and muscle tremors. In addition, some dogs may have a raised body temperature.

Treatment concentrates on relieving the symptoms and usually involves administering intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and anti-sickness drugs. Most cases recover within a week of treatment, and while a small number of dogs may deteriorate and collapse, it is infrequent. According to data from the Animal Health Trust, in 2010, 20% of suspected SCI cases were fatal, but in 2012, less than 2% of reported cases resulted in death, indicating that veterinarians are becoming better at detecting and treating SCI.

What causes SCI remains unknown. The Animal Health Trust is conducting ongoing research, but no test to diagnose SCI exists. To date, research has eliminated man-made poisons, contaminated water sources, fungi, and natural flora as possible causes. Ectoparasites, particularly harvest mites, have been suggested as a trigger because they, too, are seasonal. While many dogs will pick up harvest mites while walking and not become ill, preventative treatment for mites in the form of a fipronil spray is a simple and safe solution. Consult your veterinarian if you wish to treat your dog.

Dangers to Dogs – Areas of the Country to Be Careful in

SCI has been reported throughout the country and can occur after a walk in any forest. Nottinghamshire (Sherwood Forest and Clumber Park), Lincolnshire, Norfolk (Thetford Forest and Sandringham), Suffolk (Rendlesham Forest), and the New Forest are some areas where there has been an increased density of cases reported in the past. When walking in these regions, you may notice informational signs in the woods warning about SCI, and we advise keeping a close eye on your dogs after trips to these locations. If your pet exhibits any suspicious symptoms, seek veterinary treatment as soon as possible.

dangers to dogs

Although SCI is rare, many other causes of vomiting, diarrhoea, and lethargy are easy to treat. If you have any concerns about your dog, don’t hesitate to contact your nearest veterinarian and inform them if you have been in an SCI risk area.

Dangers to Dogs – Attack by an Aggressive Dog

Here’s what to do if a loose dog approaches you on a walk with your dog.

If a loose dog approaches you while you are walking your dog, it’s important to stay calm and take the following steps:

  1. Keep your dog close to you: Bring your dog closer to you and keep them under control.
  2. Avoid direct eye contact: Avoid direct eye contact with the loose dog, as this can be perceived as a threat.
  3. Stay calm and quiet: Speak in a calm, soothing voice to your dog, and try to keep yourself calm and quiet as well.
  4. Stand still or move slowly: Stand still or move slowly away from the loose dog in a non-threatening manner.
  5. Use a distraction: If possible, try to distract the loose dog with a toy, a stick, or a treat, but do not approach the dog.
  6. Protect yourself: If the loose dog becomes aggressive, use an object to create a barrier between you and the dog, and try to put something between yourself and the dog.

If you are concerned about the loose dog’s behaviour or if it is aggressive, contact your local animal control or law enforcement agency for assistance.

Why is it so Bad to Feed a Dog With Chocolate?

Chocolate is extremely bad for dogs because it contains a substance called theobromine. Theobromine is toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, restlessness, heart palpitations, seizures, and in severe cases, even death. Different varieties of chocolate contain different levels of theobromine, with darker chocolate having more of it than milk chocolate or white chocolate. So it is important to keep chocolate out of a dog’s reach; if you suspect your dog has ingested it, you should contact a vet immediately.


Always wear proper footwear when walking your dog, especially in wooded or grassy areas. Ticks are parasites that can attach to humans and spread infections. One of the diseases transmitted by ticks is Lyme disease, a bacterial infection. Symptoms can include a rash, fever, and muscle and joint pain. It’s important to take precautions when outdoors by wearing protective clothing and using tick repellent. If a tick is found, it should be removed promptly and the area should be monitored for any signs of illness.

Need help with our dangers to dogs article? Contact Us, and we will be happy to assist you.

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