It is important to try and keep all animals as cool as possible during hot weather.
Be mindful that pavements, artificial grass, asphalt, sand heats up which can cause burns to their paws.
An easy way to check the temperature of a pavement is by placing the back of your hand on the ground and keep it there for several seconds. If you cannot keep your hand there, it’s a sign that it’s too hot for dogs.
A DOG WILL NOT DIE FROM MISSING A WALK BUT WALKING COULD KILL THEM.
Signs of a heatstroke:
- Excessive panting,
- RED (not pink) gums,
- Increased heart rate,
- Being more vocal,
- Slow movements such as: unsteady on they feet, wobbling, staggering, collapsing, very slow walking.
SEEK VETERINARY ADVICE/TREATMENT IMMEDIATELY. DO NOT HESITANT. HEAT STROKE CAN BE FATAL.
Thick coated dogs, dogs with pre-existing and highly active working dogs can be at a higher risk of heat stoke.
Some options to help keep your dogs cooler are:
Wet and dampened dog t-shirts,
Dog boots to prevent burns from the pavement,
Raised/Elevated pet bed,
Dog pool but caution, be mindful of the sides warming up.
Floor fans and air condoning units. Provide shaded areas, dog tent, wet towels.
Frozen treats, dog lollies, frozen yogurt, lick mats.
Plenty of fresh water and you can add ice. If you are out and about carry portable/collapsable bowls are very handy!
ALWAYS run a hose or tap before aiming at your pets. Water could be sat in the hose and it may be hot! Run the water through until it goes cold. Dogs may also like water sprinklers, some find these very entertaining.
If you are traveling and have no air conditioning, keep the windows down to allow a breeze, provide fresh water in a non-spill bowl and have some towels ready which you can dampened.
NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG IN A VEHICLE.
Dogs can get sunburn – especially white short hair breeds.
All dogs can be protected by applying suncream to vulnerable areas such as ears, nose, belly, lips.
Heat stroke is not something to disregard, this can come on very suddenly.
Homes: Keep the house nice and cool, opening windows to create a breeze, keep blinds closed and curtains shut.
Hydration is a key part to keeping pets safe.
Change the times when you go out for a walk – early mornings and later at night (dawn and dusk).
Keep playtime to a minimum.
Grooming your pets regularly and keeping their coat matt-free will allow air flow to the skin.
Matts prevents this and not only do they pull on the skin (if they are quite close to the skin), this can cause the animal to get hot, which has the potential to lead to heat stroke.
Different grooming styles at different times of the year to suit the seasons & remember, if you shave your pets, apply suncream.
If you have a safe stream/river/lake etc get involved and jump in with ur dog!
Be aware of Blue Green Algae. It is fatal to our dogs. Rinse your dog off well with clean water and if in doubt or if your concerned, don’t hesitate contact your vets immediately.
For many, it is a lovely time of year. The skies erupt into beautiful colours and shapes, friends and family come together & funfairs come to ground.
Let’s not forget, It’s not always an enjoyable event for Some. People of any age for many reasons can have fears, anxiety linked with loud and sudden noises, we can help them by creating a relaxed, calm & safe space for them. Check in with people that are triggered by noises and just like your animals, let me know they are not alone.
We cannot medicate people during this season but we try and drown out the noise:
- Turning the volume up on the TV or radio,
- Close all the windows and doors,
- Draw the curtains or blinds,
- Move to a quieter space in the home,
- Create a den with pillows and blankets to act as a safe zone,
- If crate trained, place in the crate,
- Make the garden escape-proof,
- Walk them before or after the fireworks begin,
- Check all microchips are up to date,
- Keep cats indoors,
- Desensitise at a young age helps,
- CUDDLES, KISSES and REASURRANCE will help your fur baby to relax a little bit more.
REMEMBER FIREWORKS CAN BE FATAL.
Some signs of stress:
Pacing, Hiding, Cowering, Tail tucked under, Flat ears, Yawning more often, Incontinence, Panting.
Rabbits – Check on them frequently. Look out for signs of stress.
CHRISTMAS WITH FUR-BABIES
I am very lucky with my fur-babies. None of them pay much notice to anything.
Our dog Tarquin has never been interested in destroying the tree or pulling down the decorations.
Smudge our eldest cat, likes to drink the water from the tree base when our back is turned, so one eye is always keeping watch.
Duffy, our youngest cat likes to have a little nibble on the branches when no one is watching.
Our Lovebirds are about to have their first Christmas so only time will tell if they will make a temporary home in the Christmas tree! For know now though, they are safe within their cage.
Christmas is the season that is loved by many. Lots of lovely food, alcohol, games, laughter, pulling crackers (another one to look out for), old traditions etc. It is a time spent with family and friends, having people visiting or coming to staying but for some, Christmas can be lonely and cold so why not donate old, unused toys, blankets, pet clothing, lead, collars, sealed treats etc to charities, dog shelters, local vets. It’s also a great excuse for “out with the old and in with the new”.
Other ways to help: Reach out to your local charities see if you can volunteer your time, ask them if there is anything you can help with. If you are throwing away any old towels, see if your local charities/vets.shelters need them.
Christmas can become very hazardous with inquisitive fur-babies & there is a lot of lovely sparkly, hanging temptations! Wrapping paper, string, bowes, sellotape, Christmas tree, lights, tinsel, decorations, Christmas tree sweets, the list goes on but they are unaware of the dangers when these are ingested. It’s up to us to keep an eye on them and keep them safe.
Candles and fire are a serious hazard. Keep candles high and out of reach, better still replace them with battery operated candles. I have some and they look amazing! Are you aware some of the ingredients used in candle wax can also be a quite harmful to your pets. Paraffin wax, lead, Benzene and artificial can damage their central nervous system and trigger respiratory problems.
Roaring Fires, goes without saying – If you have any doubts, use a fire guard to protect your fur-babies and any little humans running around, don’t let them get to close and never leave them alone and unsupervised.
If at any time are you not comfortable leaving your pet at home alone during Christmas with all the temptations of tearing down the decorations and ripping open the presents, here are some simple things you can do:
Ensure all the doors are closed,
Use a gate,
Put presents away in a cupboard,
Take them with you,
Organise a pet sitter.
With the cost of living increasing at a rapid pace, not only are we trying to keep ourselves & the kids warm, we also need to think of the pets as well. Fur-babies can wear clothing indoors just be mindful of them getting too warm. Give them more blankets, put animal heat pads under bedding to keep the bed warm but they must be cover as they could cause harm. Move any beds away from draughty areas like doors and windows.
Walking your dog in cold/icy weather
You might not realise just how cold they can get – especially the smaller & medium size breeds, they are closer to the ground so get colder quicker or if they are a breed with thin coats.
Letting your dog’s coat grow longer can help to keep them warm.
Use nose and paw balm to prevent any cracking so you want their nose and paws to be crack-free.
Wash their paws and tummies (low to the ground breeds) after a walk to remove any grit and salt that has be collected from the walk sit can irritate their skin.
Buying them clothes and booties can help them against the cold.
You may want to consider Treat Training your pet first before heading straight out in a fresh pair to doggy boots! From personal experience with Tarquin, Tarquin would freeze on the spot and refuse to move but he soon got use to them. Get them use to wearing them indoors before taking them out, its just like breaking in a new pair of shoes for us.
Another vital piece of advise is buy reflective clothing, leads and harnesses etc this will help other dog owners, dogs, people, drivers see your dog on a dark or foggy afternoon/evening.
We are really spoilt for choice when it comes to our dogs for accessories and for myself and Tarquin its taken a lot of trial by error but we have found our favourites items.
Tarquin’s clothing wardrobe is: Equafleece or Hotterdogs, Danish Design coat with a fleece line, Mokcci Truelove dog boots, Julius K9 super-grip lead which I love because it does not slip at all.
Have you ever thought about a doggy rucksack? There are plenty out there. Not only do your fur babies look very cute in them (you will get a lot of adoring looks) they provide rest and reassurance for any and all fur babies. They come in handy if you are planning on days out to dog friendly places that will be very busy with people like christmas markets, towns, christmas shopping, national trust places etc but you will probably have to train them 1st. For smaller breeds a sling works just as well.
I once went to a Christmas market with Tarquin and we both got overwhelmed and I found myself carrying him most of the day & heading away from the market because he was being stepped on and pushed around. People saw the lead failed to see him so the only way I could protect him was by carrying him. It wasn’t a pleasant experience but we learnt from it.
With the walking time shortened there are plenty of ways to keep them busy. You can change the walking route & do some treat training with them when outside. Invest in long lasting chews. You can keep their minds busy with enrichment games. The list goes on & on, the internet is full with ideas on how to keep your fur babies busying and safe the colder months.
Again, do not leave your fur babies in the car even on cold days, do not let them walk or run on a frozen pond or lake. Check all equipment for damage like rips & rust.
Also remember antifreeze is very poisonous.