How To Care For Your Pet in The Summer Months

Most of us look forward to the summer months, when the weather brightens and we get to spend more time outdoors. Warmer weather can be extremely pleasant; however, there are times when it can get very hot and when you may need a little extra protection for yourself and family members, especially children and your pets. Here are a few important things to bear in mind when you’re gearing up for summer fun with your four-legged friend.

Most of us look forward to the summer months, when the weather brightens and we get to spend more time outdoors. Warmer weather can be extremely pleasant; however, there are times when it can get very hot and when you may need a little extra protection for yourself and family members, especially children and your pets. Here are a few important things to bear in mind when you’re gearing up for summer fun with your four-legged friend.Pest control

Just as you may use a combined sunscreen and insect repellent to stay safe, so summer is the time when fleas and ticks breed quickly, and you need to make sure you protect your dog in a similar way. Your pets may well carry pests into the house, so ensure you use reliable treatments for fleas, mites and ticks, and keep your pet healthy by administering dog worming tablets. There are different products available depending on the size of your dog or puppy, and vets generally recommend a dose every three to six months.

Overheating

During a warm spell, keep a close eye on your dog when out walking, and take along a doggy water bottle in case of overheating. Watch out for indoor temperatures as well, as rooms with a lot of windows may become hot and uncomfortable for pets. It you are travelling or transporting your dog by car, make sure you have a suitable carrier with which the dog is familiar, and plenty of food and drink if the journey is a long one. Never leave your dog alone in a car on a hot day, even if a window is partially open.

Comfort

It is common sense not to take dogs for a walk or energetic exercise during the hottest part of the day, and always make sure your pet has access to some shade. You might like to try placing a small, shallow paddling pool in a shady corner and encouraging your pet to make the most of it. While it’s tempting to relieve longer-haired dogs of some of the weight from their coats, do proceed with caution as many dogs are protected from sunburn by their thick coats. Generally, dogs shed a lot of hair in summer anyway, leaving them with a lighter coat. It’s more important to make sure your dog is groomed regularly – bathing and brushing help air to circulate and will keep your pet cooler.

You may find that it’s worth investing in a small fan to help keep your rooms cool during the hotter summer months. Dogs will often gravitate towards cooling air if they are overly warm, so a strategic position near where they eat or sleep is a useful idea.

Finally, be sure to provide some summer treats with a cooling effect – you can even get doggy ice cream that is dairy free and safe, usually made from vegetable and fruit puree. Your dog will really enjoy the treats, and they’ll help it keep cool.

Top Tips for Transporting your Pet

Traveling with your pet can be extremely stressful but sometimes they must be moved from place A to place B and we simply have no choice but to transport them… so we get into a car and drive… but what to do if for example you can’t drive? Well believe me or not, you can get a special “pet taxi” via Shiply.

The idea is rather simple, if you have to transport your pet and you can’t do it yourself, you book yourself a comfortable and licensed pet taxi service, which will be suitable to the type and size of your pet… mouse, rabbit, cat, dog, horse… they transport them all. Wish I knew about this service before we spent almost 2 full days in the car driving to and back from Scotland to pick Bunk up.

Traveling with your pet can be extremely stressful but sometimes they must be moved from place A to place B and we simply have no choice but to transport them… so we get into a car and drive… but what to do if for example you can’t drive? Well believe me or not, you can get a special “pet taxi” via Shiply.Traveling can put a lot of stress on your pet so make sure you follow the tips below which will help you minimise any discomfort a long travel session can cause to your pet.

Prepare a suitable carrier like a dog crate, cat box or a harness; ideally something your pet is familiar with and has used in the past.

Prepare your pet… walk them (if applicable) and make sure they did their business, also don’t feed them too close to the trip.

Prepare food and water, which might be needed in the case of a longer trip.

Make your pet comfortable by providing them with a favourite blanket or chew toy, anything goes so long as your pet loves it.

Remember about any meds, both travel sickness pills (if needed) and any regular medication your pet is taking.

Complete all documentation including passport or a vet booklet which will have records of vaccinations and your pet identity.

Stay calm! I am sure you are super stressed but passing your stress onto your pet isn’t going to help anyone, so stay very calm and project positive thoughts… your pet is going for a trip and it is going to be fine 🙂

And finally… Make sure there is someone on the other end to meet and collect your pet and make a fuss of them so they know they are still loved and cared for.

Have you ever had the need to use a pet taxi service?

What do you think about the idea of it?

* This is a collaborative post 

#BuzzMyPets – How influential is your pet?

Nominate your four-legged best friends using the hashtag #buzzmypets and find out how influential they are!

A new algorithm has been created which calculates how influential your dog or cat is through their mieows or woofs!

The research is getting along well, but now they need beta testers to verify the effectiveness of this new technology, which will be soon showed to the world… only cats and dogs are admitted at this time!

Nominate your cat or dog by posting their pictures on your Twitter or Instagram profile using the hashtag #buzzmypets

I’m nominating Bunk to be a beta taster!

Nominate your four-legged best friends using the hashtag #buzzmypets and find out how influential they are! A new algorithm has been created which calculates how influential your dog or cat is through their mieows or woofs! The research is getting along well, but now they need BETA testers to verify the effectiveness of this new technology which will be soon showed to the world… only cats and dogs are admitted at this time!

How about you?

Dog Care – How to Treat a Hot Spot

Acute moist dermatitis or pyotraumatic dermatitis, commonly known as hot spots are usually red, itchy and oozing skin infections which can emerge at anytime and anywhere on your dogs’ body. Until Bunk, I had never experienced or seen this type of skin condition but during the last few years we became kind of self-taught experts on hot spots, its causes and treatments so today I would like to share my knowledge with you.

Acute moist dermatitis or pyotraumatic dermatitis, commonly known as hot spots are usually red, itchy and oozing skin infections which can emerge at anytime and anywhere on your dogs’ body. Until Bunk, I had never experienced or seen this type of skin condition but during the last few years we became kind of self-taught experts on hot spots, its causes and treatments so today I would like to share my knowledge with you.

My first experience with hot spots was an extremely expensive learning process. It started with Bunk having a “bubu” on his head. Well, we all get scratched at some point so I decided to deal with it myself… I was cleaning it, drying and doing all I should do (or so I thought) but cutting a long story short, a week later we ended up at the vet, and after a few long hours of procedures which included the sedating of the dog, lots of cleaning and scraping of the wound, we were finally presented with a half bald Bunk, no actual answers as to the cause of his malady and for the pleasure a £500 vet bill (no, at this time, we didn’t have dog insurance, so we just had to pay it… lesson learnt). This expensive mistake led me to seeking knowledge of the main root causes and at the same time what home treatments are there for hot spots.

When you read about hot spots on the net a lot of articles state that poor grooming is one of the reasons for it… well it might be so but most of the time Bunk is very well groomed and he still has them. The other reason offered are fleas, ticks, mites etc… again, my dog has never had any of these, yet he does have hot spots… the point I am trying to make is that hot spots can come and go and if you have a dog prone to them, it really isn’t necessarily your fault, it is just the way it is. It took me a long time to understand this, as for weeks or even months I was blaming myself for Bunks skin infections.

There is no underlying reason for Bunks hot spot as we know of. I know that some food types make it worse so now he is on a gluten free raw diet, which seems to be helping. I know that wet weather condition can make it worse so we do our best to keep him as dry as possible especially after each walk in the rain. I know that dry skin isn’t helping so he is fed coconut and fish oils on a daily basis, which helps with preventing them but also helps speed up the healing process once we have an outbreak.

Any dog can develop a hot spot, for a number of reasons, so it’s important to know how to deal with them once you encounter them.

How to treat a hot spot?

With hot spots time is of the essence. They can grow very fast, so once you spot it, it needs immediate attention… really I mean immediate as in right then at that moment, not later, after dinner or in the morning… trust me when it comes to hot spots time isn’t on your side.

Step 1 – Clip the hair over the top of it and all around it. This will allow you to monitor if the hot spot is growing but most of all it will allow you to move to step 2 easily. Yes, I know your dog may end up looking awkward and unsightly and this isn’t always an ideal solution but think about it this way: what would you prefer: a healthy dog or a pretty dog?

Step 2 – Clean the area with something anti-allergic. I personally use “grey soap”, it’s a type of soap with a much higher content of carboxylic acids, glycerol, citric acid, sodium chloride and no added dies or perfumes. It doesn’t cause irritations and it has drying properties. When you have cleaned the area completely then pat it dry with kitchen towel and move to the next step.

Step 3 – Disinfect the wound. You can use shop bought sprays or simply make one. If I run out of disinfectant I mix 1 part of Listerine (the original orangey one) with 4 parts of water and add a few drops of oil (almond one works for me). Mixed in a spray bottle it works perfectly and it does the job as it should.

Step 4 – Apply a topical help. Well, now this is a difficult one as self-treating hot spots can be tricky and it all will depend on how big it is, how advanced it is and where is it on their body. The type of things which work for us include: raw manuka honey, raw aloe, comfrey ointment and Gold Bond powder. They all speed up the healing process and gold bond is perfect for helping the wound dry out.

Step 5 – Keep your dog away from the wound. This is even trickier that picking what to use on the wound itself but once you tune your ear to the sound your dog makes when he or she is scratching, biting or licking you will be able to quickly act on it and stop them… or you can try one of those collars as used by the vet that looks like a lamp shade around their neck (we struggled to find one that would fit a Newfoundland and when we finally did, turns out Bunk hates them and besides that it became very obvious very quickly that he is way too big to be running around the house in one).

These are my steps for home treating a hot spot. They work for us but we have had years of practise…. You can treat them at home but I would recommend a vet visit if you are new to hot spots and you dog has never had one before as he/she might have an underlying cause for them. It’s important to seek professional help if you are in doubt after all vets are there to help us care for our pets.

Have you ever experienced a hot spot problem?

Do you have some different method for treating them?

*This is a collaborative post.