Now that the summer holidays are here, you will be wanting to have family fun and days out with your dog. To make sure it is as stress free as possible, here are some tips to make sure it is safe for your furry friend.
Check the weather forecast. Dogs don’t cope as well in direct sun so does your destination have adequate shade? You don’t want to travel all the way to find out it is unsuitable – dogs cannot be left safely in a hot car.
In new environments, your dog may be overexcited, or overwhelmed. Make sure there is space between you and others, and have your dog on a harness and long line, and use a tether as recall may not be as good in new places. Not everyone around you may appreciate your dog running over to say hello to them.
On a day out, routines disappear and your dog is likely going to miss their siesta. Be prepared for a more grumpy dog (and young kids) at the end of the day!
Take with you a suitable mat, water and bowl, chews and snacks, and some toys for your dog. They will get bored if you just want to sunbathe.
Picnics…a good reason to keep your dog on their lead so they don’t steal anyone else’s food. Keep your food in lidded containers, so they cannot sneak extra snacks that may be toxic to them. You don’t want any emergency vet trips ruining your day.
Water games are fun, but dogs can suffer intoxication if they ingest too much water. Limit how often they grab a ball in water, and keep them off the end of hosepipes and sprinklers. Swimming is tiring, and currents in sea and rivers are hidden dangers. Supervise your dog in water at all times, keep hold of that long line and guide them in if they are tiring fast.
Involve your dog in suitable games. Sprinting for frisbees looks like fun but dogs can easily overheat from exertion, and the jumping can play havoc on their joints. Limit active games, and go exploring instead. Drop treats for them to find, teach them dog parkour – over and under or paws on various obstacles.
Finally, clear up after yourself – dog and human mess!
Enjoy your days out, and have lots of safe fun.
Jo Sellers of Pippin Pets Dog Training is an Accredited Dog Trainer and Separation Anxiety Specialist, more info can be found at www.pippinpetsdogtraining.co.uk