Updated: Oct 30, 2020
Your pets are your family, so we know how important it is to you to keep them safe. Luckily in Spain and here on the Costa del Sol, we don’t have as many dangerous bugs as other countries do, however there are some nasty critters that you need to be aware of that can harm your precious pooch if you do not protect them from or are mindful of them.
Processionary Pine Caterpillars: One of the most nasty creatures that can cause serious damage and even kill dogs. Usually seen January to mid-April, these fuzzy-looking caterpillars are found amongst pine trees, marching nose to tail in a line, giving them their name. The caterpillars are covered in poisonous hairs with a toxin that is devastating for dogs who put their noses near them. If it does at first the dog will try to scratch its mouth, as if it wants to get something off its tongue with its claws whilst salivating profusely. At this point you need to get to a vet as soon as possible. If left the tongue, oesophagus and stomach swell up until eventually the dog can't breathe and dies. This is the deadliest of creatures for us dog lovers, so please at these times of the year avoid campo walks where there are pine trees. Instead head to the beach, doggy park or open fields.
Centipedes: Stings from a centipede aren’t dangerous to your furry friend, but they will cause pain and be an annoyance, so it’s best to avoid them.
Sand Flies: Found in wooded and gardened areas and not sand, these flies cause Leishmaniasis, which is rare in Spain, but deadly to dogs. The best way to keep your dog safe from sand flies is by acting proactively. A preventative collar or injection, which provides up to 95% security, is recommended for Spanish dogs. Keeping your dog inside during sunset and sunrise is also important, as sand flies are most active during this time.
Scorpions: Mostly found in the countryside, the Mediterranean Scorpion is not dangerous, but it is painful, so it is important to keep a wary eye for it if walking your dog in the outside of town. The European Black Scorpion has a non-lethal sting as well, but is found in the Northern regions of Spain and not along the Costa del Sol.
Spiders: Although dangerous to humans, Tarantulas, Brown Recluse, Black Widow, and Funnel Web spiders, found in varying degrees of rarity throughout Spain including the Costa del Sol, are not fatal to dogs. Everyday spiders seen across the Costa del Sol region are nothing to be concerned about for yourself or your pet.
Stinging Ants: Technically poisonous, the bite of a stinging ant is uncomfortably painful, but not dangerous.
Worms: Worms are one of the most common health problems for dogs. There are five types of worms that generally affect dogs – heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms and whipworms. To safe guard your dog against any type of worm, make sure you worm your dog every 3 months. Your vet should remind you of when your dog’s wormer is due.
Ticks, Fleas & Mosquitos: All are very prevalent in all of Spain, including the Costa del Sol (especially in grassy or wooded areas) so it is important to give your dog preventative treatment. There are many options including collars, tablets and pipettes and the amount requires varies according to your dog’s weight. Your vet will be able to advise of the best for of treatment for your dog. This should be done on a monthly basis.
Paws Doggy Daycare Facilities
At Paws Doggy Daycare in Estepona, just west of Marbella, is run by avid dog lover Daniel Lunt, our goal is to see your dog live the happiest and healthiest life possible. Our facilities are maintained to the highest of standards and we always have your dog at the forefront of everything we do. Some of our facilities include a full-sized swimming pool so your dog can beat the Costa del Sol heat year-round in an exciting and exercised-filled activity (plus multiple paddle pools for when doggo wants a more relaxed cool-down time!), indoor dog-centered hotel for our overnight guests (and day-only users who just need a little break from all the doggy fun!), training and grooming services, and a 3500 square meter fully-fenced orchard so there’s plenty of space in the sun and shade to run around, have fun, and socialize. We also take regular ‘Paw Pack’ walks through the countryside to enjoy nature, including the nearby river, a special treat that all our doggy visitors love!
A Healthy Dog is a Happy Dog
Your dog will have a great time visiting us, whether it be for an afternoon, overnight stay, or mini holiday while you’re away. And you can be sure that they will be not only be happy, but healthy. Trusting us with your best friend is something that we take very seriously. That’s why all our doggy daycare guests are fully supervised at all times, no matter if we are on site or on an excursion. Our team is trained and vigilant in the dangers that dogs face, including the creepy crawlies listed above, and the best way to avoid them –and treat them, should it be necessary. Our enrollment process, too, includes us knowing your dog’s full health history and appointed vetinary clinic, so we can offer the very best care in the unlikely event of there being a need, no matter what.
Visit our website or find us on Facebook or Instagram to see some of our happy (and healthy) guests and to learn more about Paws Doggy Daycare in Estepona (Marbella)!