Vet sends dog owners urgent warning about their pets ahead of Easter

The Yorkshire Vet: Owner’s ‘nightmare’ after dog attacked

British dog owners have received an urgent warning ahead of the 2023 Easter holidays. Experts have warned that the additional opportunities for parties and outings will bring a host of potential stressors and risks for the UK’s canines. According to one top vet, owners will need to remain extra vigilant when their dogs are around children.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Doctor Linda Simon, a veterinary surgeon at Pooch & Mutt vets, said April is a potentially dangerous month for dogs.

Chocolate is toxic to dogs, meaning Easter eggs are a deadly risk, she said, while roast dinners are highly unhealthy for the animals and shouldn’t be shared.

Britons must also ensure that their dogs don’t endanger others, Dr Simon warned, adding they should never be left alone with children.

The vet said that people should be aware of their pets’ instincts as they spend more time around youngsters.

Dr Simon told the Echo that a dogs’ instincts may “kick in at any time” and recommended that people “never” leave them along with children.

She said: “Even if you think your dog is good with children, there is still cause to remain vigilant when they are together, even more so around high-energy holidays such as Easter.”

Hyperactive children are potentially triggering for dogs, the vet warned, with many hopped up on sugar thanks to an abundance of sweet treats.

She warned that children may “get a little bit hyper” and pester dogs at a family gathering as a “new form of entertainment”.

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Regardless of whether their “pestering” is affectionate or not, such as “smothering [dogs] with kisses”, Dr Simon warned that dogs can “only withstand so much before they react”.

She concluded: “So, to avoid unnecessary situations, it is a good idea to keep an eye on how your children interact with your dog.”

The warning comes following an increased number of dog attacks in the UK in recent years.

A BBC investigation conducted earlier this month found that the number of attacks in England and Wales has risen by more than a third since 2018.

Journalists discovered that, five years ago, there were 16,394 cases of out-of-control dogs recorded by police in the two home nations across 43 police forces.

But the number has markedly risen since the pandemic, from 17,375 in 2020 to 21,918 in 2022.

The overall increase in the number of attacks is approximately 34 percent, according to the data, while the number of dogs in the UK has only increased by 15 percent.

Police have partly attributed the increase to work by specialist officers, with forces now focussing on the apparent rise in attacks.

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