Caring for your pet in the summer

by PDSA | 27 August #Lifestyle

The summer is a wonderful time for our pets – from lazing in the garden, to summer holidays, there’s plenty to enjoy! However, while we’re busy having fun, there’s some important things to consider to keep our beloved pets safe – here’s our vets’ advice.

Safe BBQs

BBQs are one of the most delicious parts of summer, and the smell is irresistible – especially for our pets! However, a BBQ can come with lots of hazards for four-legged friends, so it’s important to do all we can to keep them safe. Here’s our tips!

  • Skip the scraps! Eating barbecue scraps can upset your pet’s stomach – and undercooked or fatty food can make them sick!
  • Watch your leftovers: Keep leftovers and alcohol away from prying paws. Pets may also be tempted to raid the bin, which means they could eat something dangerous such as a corn on the cobb, bone or skewer! Dogs are commonly affected by eating things they shouldn’t, but cats, wildlife and other pets can also be tempted to investigate leftovers once the party is over, so make sure everything is taken away before you head inside for the night.
  • Be aware of fuel: Always remember to keep fuel out of reach – if ingested it can be fatal for your pet! It’s also important to keep your pet away from flames and glowing embers, as they could cause severe burns.

 

Garden safety

We all love to spend time in the garden in the summer months, and it’s especially loved by our four-legged friends. However, our gardens can contain hidden dangers for curious paws – some that you may not have thought about! It’s important to make sure your garden is pet friendly, to keep your furry friends safe.

Here’s some risks to be aware of:

  • Pesticides: You should avoid pesticides wherever you can – however, if they are absolutely necessary, make sure to use a pet-friendly alternative.
  • Poisonous plants: There are lots of plants that are toxic to our four-legged friends, so it’s important to avoid any of these in areas your pets can access. These include daffodils, lilies, foxgloves and yew. Remember to check our list of poisonous plants before planting anything new!
  • Cocoa shell mulch: Cocoa shell mulch, often used in soil, is highly poisonous to pets, as it contains high levels of theobromine – also found in chocolate. Avoid it altogether, or remember to keep pets away from areas it’s been used!

 

Road trips and holidays

Taking your pet on your summer holiday is glorious – from exploring new places to long summer walks along the beach. There are, however, many things to consider, from safe travel, to pet friendly accommodation:

  • Travel safely: Always make sure your pet is safely secured in your car when traveling on the road, using a pet carrier, harness, or crate. If your doggy is on a harness, don’t let them lean out of the window, as their eyes or nose could be injured by debris/small stones kicked up from the road. Pets have also been known to fall out, or be injured by passing vehicles, so be extra careful. It’s also crucial to remember to never leave your pet in a hot car, as  it can be fatal!
  • Plan your stops: If you’re going on a long journey, your pet will need regular breaks to keep them comfortable. It’s best to plan these ahead of time so you can find somewhere pet friendly to stop, let your pet stretch their legs, go to the toilet and have a drink.
  • Check travel regulations: If you’re thinking of traveling abroad with your pet, you’ll need to check the latest travel regulations. You can find the most up to date information on government websites for the countries you’re traveling to and from. We’d recommend talking to your vet as far in advance as possible, to check your pet has everything they need to travel – for some countries, your vet will need to give vaccinations, or start the travel process, at least seven months before you leave.
  • Find pet friendly accommodation: If you’re planning on taking your pet on holiday with you, it’s important to find pet friendly accommodation. From a holiday cottage to a hotel or campsite, there are plenty of options to suit any style of break. Remember to check which pets – and how many – are allowed, and make sure you check whether there are any additional fees for bringing your pet before booking.

 

Holiday care and boarding

Going on your summer holidays is an exciting time, but when it comes to leaving your beloved four-legged friend at home, it can also be worrying. Finding the right holiday care for your pet can give you a peace of mind that your pet is happy, safe and well looked after – here’s our top tips.

Find the right care for your pet

There are so many options for holiday care for your pet, from kennels and catteries, to pet sitters, friends, and neighbours – it can hard to know which might be best!

The right option for your pet will be individual to them – some prefer to stay in their own home, while others might enjoy their own holiday break at a kennels, or with a friend. If you’re not sure what will work best, you could ask a friend to pet sit for you at home and then take your pet to their house for a day to test out both options!

Have a trial ahead of your holiday

Once you’ve decided on the right holiday care option for your pet, it’s important to find someone who you’re happy will be able to take care of your pet. This is easy if it’s someone you already know well, but if it’s someone who’s taking your pet for the first time, think about a meet and greet ahead of time so you can get to know them, and they can get to know your four-legged friend. Not only will this be beneficial to your lovely pet, it’ll also be less worrisome for you!

Book in advance

Holiday care will often get booked up over the busy summer and festive periods, so try to give as much notice as possible. Even if your friend or neighbour is taking care of your pet, it’s important to let them know about any planned dates so they can make sure they’re available!

 

Days out

Days out are the perfect way to spend time with your furry best friend in the summer, however there’s some things to consider before you go!

  • A day at the beach: The beach can be a wonderful place for dogs to exercise and have fun, but it is important for owners to know how to avoid possible seaside dangers. By keeping your dog safe from hazards such as strong tides and coastal wildlife, you can have a fun day with the whole family – including your pooch!
  • Be water aware: Lots of dogs love swimming and it's a great way for them to cool down in the summer heat. However, it's important to pick the right swimming spot and know how to keep both you and your dog safe.
  • Walks in the country: Heading out for a walk in the countryside on a long, summers day can be a great way to have fun and stay fit with your dog. However, it’s important to keep the walk dog friendly by planning your route carefully, making sure you have everything your dog needs for the day, and following the countryside code.
  • Festivals and events: With more and more events and festivals becoming dog friendly, we all hope that our dogs will enjoy the crowds and entertainment as much as we do. That may not always be the case, so there’s a few things you’ll need to consider to make sure they also have the best possible festival experience!

Read our information about summertime hazards that could affect your pet.

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