He may have a preference for frozen dog food over tinned, but your canine companion would probably eat anything if it was put in front of him, including slugs.

The wet weather we've experienced this summer seems to have triggered an explosion in the slug population in this country, and it could pose serious risks for the health of our four-legged friends.

According to the Daily Mail, the pet charity PDSA claims growing numbers of animals are contracting lungworm by eating slugs that carry the larvae of the parasite.

It can not only cause dogs to feel lethargic and suffer breathing difficulties, coughing, vomiting and nose bleeds, but in some cases it can be fatal.

"The killer disease is on the rise because of the wet, humid conditions, which has seen an epidemic of slugs and snails," Sean Wensley, a senior veterinary surgeon at PDSA, told the newspaper.

"With reports of an increase in slugs and snails due to the recent wet weather, it is important for dog owners to be aware of the risks of lungworm, which dogs can catch if they eat an infected slug or snail."

He said that if you have any concerns about your pet's health and are worried he may have contracted lungworm, you should speak to your vet immediately.

But there are things you can do to prevent infection in the first place, aside from using slug pellets in your garden as these can be poisonous to dogs as well as cats.

First of all, regular worming can provide necessary protection against the disease, so make sure your dog is up to date with any treatment.

Secondly, keep an eye on your pet when he's out in the garden or the park. Mr Wensley said some dogs will eat slugs accidentally while playing with toys or drinking from puddles, but others consume them purposefully.

If your pet falls into the latter category, try to divert his attention away from the slimy creatures by focusing on other things.

Written by: Hannah