Nose games with your dog part 4

Do dogs get sunburn?
Just like people, dogs tend overdo it on the first good day in the spring or summer, and spend a bit more time under the sun than is wise. Any time a dog spends more time in the sun than he’s used to, especially dogs with pink or light-coloured noses, he’s liable to get a sunburn. Some dogs with short or pale hair can get it everywhere! Repeated exposure over the years can also result in skin cancer. Make sure your dog has access to shade if he’s outside all day, and consider keeping him inside in the middle of the day at the beginning of the sunburn season. Sunscreen works just as well for dogs as it does for people, but most dogs will lick it off their noses. The same goes for post-exposure ointments or lotions. If your dog has a very bad burn that blisters or bleeds, you should call your vet for advice

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Nose games with your dog part 3

Do dogs get colds?

Dogs do get upper respiratory infections, coughs, sinus infections, runny noses, and all the things we associate with “colds” in people. However, while the common cold in a human doesn’t usually warrant treatment (other than rest and chicken noodle soup), most respiratory infections in dogs are more severe. Distemper is a serious illness in dogs that can cause a runny nose and neurological symptoms, but vaccination prevents infection in most dogs. Kennel cough is a milder and more common disease in dogs in group situations – social or travelling dogs are often vaccinated for this as well. Other respiratory illnesses, such as fungal infections picked up by hunting dogs in the woods, are hard to prevent and can become very serious if left untreated. Any dog with unusual discharge from the nose (anything that is not thin and clear), or with a persistent cough or sneeze, should take a trip to the vet

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Dangerous Dogs Towards People

Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 makes it a criminal offence if a person reasonably believes a dog will injure them or an assistance dog. If there’s an actual injury it will be regarded as an aggravated offence.

  • The maximum penalty for an aggravated offence is 5 years prison if a person is injured (14 years if the victim dies), unlimited find and unlimited compensation.
  • **As to the dog, in a aggravated case there is a presumption that it shall be destroyed unled it can be proven that it wouldn’t be a danger to public safety. The Court must have regard to:-
  • The temperament of the dog including its past behaviour, and
  • Whether the owner or keeper is a fit and proper person to have charge of the dog.

The owner may have a defence:-

  • If the incident took place in the home and the victim was a trespasser, or
  • If someone else had charge of the dog at the time who they believed was ‘fit and proper’ to look after the dog (albeit proceedings could also be taken against the person in charge) or,
  • if there was nothing, more than minimal, that the owner did or failed to do which led to the incident.

As an alternative to a prosecution, if the was a minor incident or there was a degree or provocation to which the dog responded, a prosecutor may conclude the case with a warning letter or Acceptable Behaviour Contract (or possibly by issuing a Complaint under Section 2 of the Dogs Act 1871).

The victim may be able to pursue a separate civil claim for damages if it can be shown that the keeper was negligent, or if the aggressor dog had dangerous characteristics which the owner knew about.