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Paws against ponds

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#pawsagainstponds Campaign

During April, Froglife is running the #pawsagainstponds campaign! Britain is a nation of dog lovers, there are over 12 million in the UK and here in Stinchcombe we love our furry friends, many residents dog owners. However, dogs swimming in ponds can have negative impacts on wildlife. Froglife wants to focus on reducing this and raising awareness of the issue.

Keeping dogs out of Ponds

Keeping dogs out of ponds used by amphibians for breeding is important for three reasons:

  • Dogs swimming and paddling in ponds can stir up sediment, blocking out valuable sunlight for aquatic plants and spawn/tadpole development.
  • Trampling spawn, tadpoles and froglets/toadlets
  • Spot-on flea treatments can have a devastating impact on aquatic ecosystems. If dogs go into ponds shortly after treatment, the powerful pesticides can kill the insect life within the pond. You can find further information on the British Veterinary Association’s webpage here. 

There can also be negative impacts on dogs including:

  • Illness and risk of death from blue-green algae. Please read the British Veterinary Association’s article on the subject (with advice on what you can do to prevent your dog from becoming ill) here
  • Injuries from hidden hazards below the water
  • Infections from existing cuts and injuries or ones sustained whilst in the water  

If you see a pond that is well planted and appears to be a designated wildlife habitat, try to keep your dogs away or even better, on a lead, particularly in spring when amphibians will be breeding and in the summer when young amphibians will be leaving their ponds for terrestrial habitats.

Ashlea Mawby at Froglife

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