Summer is the perfect time to get out of the house – whether you're planning on going away, taking an extra-long walk to a favourite picnic spot, or just spending the day in the garden. Whatever your plans are this summer, we're sure you'll want your canine companions with you. With that in mind, we've put together some helpful tips to remember when you're out and about with your dog.
"Not long" is too long ...
Nobody ever thinks it’s going to happen to them or their dog, yet every year many people still gamble with their dogs' lives, and every summer dogs still die an agonizing death in hot cars.
Even on an overcast day, with the window cracked open and a screen over the windshield, your car can get
dangerously hot in a matter of minutes. NEVER leave your dog in the car unattended.
This year, the RSPCA has teamed up with seven other animal welfare charities and the National Police
Chief’s Council to warn people of the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars. Together, they are actioning a campaign, urging supermarkets to ensure the welfare of animals on their premises – especially the car park.
Ticks are trouble
Summer is tick season, so be on the lookout for these blood-suckers on you and your pets, especially if you've been romping in long grass or woodlands. In particular, check around your dog's eyes, ears, legs and underside.
Ticks often carry disease, so should be removed as quickly as possible. They also need to be removed
properly to prevent any part of the tick remaining in your pet, and to avoid stress to the tick itself. A stressed tick can regurgitate its stomach contents, which could lead to infection in you or your pet – yuk!
Invest in a tick removal tool such as this one
, which you simply slide under the tick, twist, and lift gently.
The tick should let go of its own accord after a few twists.
Ticks aren't the only nasties that might be hitching a ride ... remember to keep your dog's flea and worming treatments up-to-date, too.
Wait for walkies
Wondering if it's too hot to go out with your dog? Put the back of your hand on the pavement, and wait. If the heat is too much for you to leave your hand there for thirty seconds, it's too hot for your dog's paws, and could result in pad burns, which can be very painful for your dog.
Avoid walking your dog at the hottest part of the day – try to stick to early mornings and late evenings
when the ground is cooler – which will also help to avoid heatstroke.
If you find yourself out for the whole day with your dog, stick to shaded areas, and walk on dirt paths or
grass. You should also ensure that you've got a good supply of clean, cool water for your dog, and something for them to drink from, to keep them hydrated.
Trust us on the suncream
Pets can get sunburnt just as easily as we can! Ask your vet about pet-safe suncream, particularly if your dog has light colouring. Pink noses and white ears are especially susceptible, so take care to keep them covered!
These tips are not just for dogs – they can, and should, be applied to all pets, from cats to guinea pigs! And while we're at it, it's not a bad idea to take this advice for yourself, either.
Most importantly, have a fun, safe summer with your pets!