With plenty of sunshine on the way it's time to prepare, not only for our children's sake but for our furry friends too - the pets! The warmer weather can affect them considerably but my 5 tips should help to ensure your dog stays healthy and happy all summer long.
Now is the ideal time to take your four legged chum for a trim at the groomer's. Their coats can be thick and heavy so reducing the fur will not only keep them cooler but make them look smarter too. Make sure they are up to date with their vaccinations and provide flea prevention drops or pills, as they, along with ticks and mosquitoes, are far more prevalent in the warmer months.
If you're heading out, even for a short time, it's better to leave your dog at home where there is access to fresh fluids and shade. Don't leave them in the car where temperatures can rocket as this can cause heatstroke which can be fatal. Parking in shaded areas or leaving the window open isn't sufficient - temperatures within vehicles can be 20 degrees hotter, if not more, than it is outside in direct sunlight which is very unsafe for your hounds. Also avoid keeping them in conservatories and if they are left in the garden get them a kennel for shelter from the sun.
If your pets are spending more time in the garden it's a wise idea to keep a look out for poisonous plants and pop any tools or equipment away in the garage or shed when possible. If you're enjoying a BBQ or simply dining alfresco with family, those sausages can look a little too tempting so always make sure pets are supervised to prevent injuries or burns. It might be worth getting a pet paddling pool so they can keep cool while playing.
Try to avoid the midday sun if you can and walk your dog first thing in the morning or later in the evening when it's cooler for them. Hot flooring can badly damage their pads so try to keep away from paths and stick to grass areas if you're able to. When you return, make sure you check their ears, eyes and paws for grass seeds and insects.
Ensure water is topped up continuously and if you're out for the day invest in a dispenser so that they have a constant supply that won't run out. You may find that your dog is off their food at this time of the year but just like humans the warmer weather can reduce appetite and there is usually nothing to worry about.
If you're looking at taking your poochie on holiday this summer you might want to give this dog quiz a go to see which destination is best suited to your pet. There is some great dog-friendly accommodation available. According to our results Spartan would love another trip to Cornwall and that sounds perfect to me!
Prepare for summer:
What tips would you add to the list?