An increasing number of dogs may need pet medication for lungworm after the Royal Veterinary Collage warned that the potentially fatal disease is spreading.
Research by the college found that 36 per cent of vets reported at least one case of the disease in the last year.
Despite this, a recent survey commissioned for the Be Lungworm Aware campaign found that 84 per cent of owners said they could not identify the potential symptoms of lungworm.
Luke Gamble, vet surgeon and award winning TV spokesperson, said: "Once a problem seen only in isolated areas, lungworm is spreading at an alarming rate in the UK.
"While dog owners are becoming more aware of lungworm, there is still a real lack of understanding as to the warning signs associated with the condition and that monthly prevention is vital and easy to achieve."
To protect dogs from lungworm, owners can use a specific spot-on treatment from vets on a monthly basis. This treatment also helps to protect from more common parasites, such as fleas and intestinal worms.