Spring is finally here, and pet owners across the USA cannot wait to spend some time outside with their beloved pooches. While being outdoors after being cooped up inside all winter is nothing short of blissful, the warmer weather also means there are more insects out and about to contend with. Apart from being a downright nuisance, there are a number of insects that can actually pose a considerable danger to dogs. While some dogs may not experience any noticeable discomfort, a close encounter with any of the following insects can lead to a painful bite or sting, as well as a severe allergic reaction.
Spider bites can be very serious
When the colder weather starts to subside, you will more than likely start seeing an increasing number of spiders in your home and garden. Although there are many spiders that can cause a mild, localized reaction in dogs, there are two, in particular, that need to be avoided at all costs. Brown recluses and black widows are the two most venomous spiders in the USA. A bite from either of these can cause severe neuromuscular damage and, unfortunately, death if swift treatment is not received. Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to spider bites, so keep your dog as far away from areas where spiders are known to live in your garden, and rid your home of the eight-legged critters as often as possible.
Dogs can be allergic to bees
Like humans, dogs can either experience very little discomfort from a bee sting or be highly allergic to it. With so many bees buzzing around in spring, it might be in your dog’s best interest to keep them out of the garden during the time of the day when bees are most active. In most parts of the world, this is during the early afternoon, with activity being at its lowest during the early morning and at dusk. If your dog does get stung by a bee despite your best effort to keep them safe, it is best to take then to the vet just to make sure no allergic reaction ensues. This is particularly important if it is the first time your dog has been stung.
Ants aren’t as harmless as they may seem
Although ants have a reputation for being the most industrious of all insects, they can pose a danger to your dog. Dogs are naturally curious, and may be tempted to dig at an anthill should they come across one. This can result in the dog getting bitten multiple times in a very short period of time. These bites can cause hives, which can rapidly spread over the entire body. Both normal ants and fire ants can cause an allergic reaction, with the latter typically producing a more severe localized reaction. Keep an eye out for ant hills or any large groups of ants, and keep your dogs away from them to the best of your ability.
Although not all insects pose a danger to dogs, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Where possible, keep your dog away from any insects that may cause them pain and discomfort, regardless of how small the risk may be.
Article by: Jane Anderson, a freelance writer, editor and dog owner.