Summer grooming for your pets

As we enjoy the warmer weather over the summer months, many of us take to wearing fewer clothes and stepping up our grooming routine as a result! It’s important to consider this for your pets too – maintaining their usual grooming and also considering how to best adapt and increase it for the season to help them stay healthy and comfortable.

Regular grooming can help dogs to stay cool over the summer, although as our furry friends’ bodies are designed to help them with this naturally they may in fact need less than you think. It’s easy to assume that shaving the coat of dogs with thick fur is a helpful way to reduce their body temperature; however, this is a common myth amongst owners, as most often this can actually have the opposite effect. Despite its appearance, dogs’ fur has its very own ‘climate-control’ properties which work to keep them cool in the heat, so unless your dog seems to be particularly struggling with a long coat then it’s best to leave it natural. Shaving shorthaired breeds means their skin will be more exposed to the sun and at risk of sunburn, so this is especially not advisable. The same applies for cats, who are generally good at keeping themselves cool by seeking out sheltered, shady areas, and so with little benefit to being shaved their coat should be left to work as a protective barrier against any direct sunlight.

When it comes to ensuring a healthy looking and feeling coat, frequent bathing and brushing or combing of your dog’s fur will have the most benefits for this. Regular brushing (daily if possible) helps to remove any remains of their winter coat, allowing the air to circulate properly down to their skin, and reducing any mats that can trap heat and moisture beneath them which becomes a source of discomfort. Grooming might not be their favourite activity, but bathing is also important in summer for a healthy coat, and it’s worth increasing the number of baths you give them to help with this, and wash flea dirt from their coats too. There are special pet-friendly shampoos available that contain ingredients which work to help repel fleas and ticks, and so are great to use during bath time especially in the summer. Brushing either side of bathing is good for maximising the benefits, plus it means a nice pampering session for your furry pal!

Finally, nails are another significant part of summer grooming for dogs. As they’re likely to spend even more time than normal outside playing and for walks, making sure their nails are properly trimmed and well-maintained will prevent them becoming too long and therefore reduce the chances of them catching or breaking. Be sure to check them more regularly than you do in winter, and keep up with regular trimming of the tips as doing this little and often can be less traumatic than removing large amounts infrequently. We all know it’s not the nicest activity for them (or us!), so try cutting your dog’s nails just after bathing when they’re slightly softer as this should make it easier and cause less discomfort. Don’t forget to give them lots of praise for good behaviour and some treats afterwards as a reward, and that way they won’t mind having it done more regularly over summer!

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Tips for keeping outdoor cats safe

With more dangers than ever posed by the outdoors for our feline friends, lots of owners are choosing to either minimise their time spent outside or avoid it altogether. Exploring is, however, an important part of a cat’s natural instincts, so if you do choose to allow them the freedom for this outside the home then there are steps you can take to help ensure their safety.

Absolute musts for outdoor cats include ensuring they have all the necessary up to date vaccinations, such as rabies, if they are encountering other animals, and also that they’re wearing a collar with an ID tag should they stray too far from home. It’s also advisable to make sure your cat is micro-chipped for extra safety should their collar come off.

One of the most common problems reported by owners of outdoor cats is other felines. The hunt for resources such as food is often the reason for intrusions into homes. Most owners feed their cats a couple of times each day, but cats are in fact best fed little and often throughout the day to prevent hunger. Trying to accommodate this as much as possible will help to prevent your cat from becoming an intruder into others’ homes, which can put them at more risk of fights. Why not try an automatic Pet Feeder as means of giving your pet frequent, portion controlled meals at regular intervals even when you’re not home? Our range provides some great solutions for busy owners! Another tip to help deter those cats searching for food is to move any bowls away from easily visible positions close to cat flaps.

Cat flaps are ideal for allowing your cat the freedom to come and go as they please, but they can also be a gateway for unwelcome felines! This can increase the chance of fighting infections, and you’ll find that cats are persistent and can be hard to discourage once this behaviour starts. Upgrading your cat flap to a more advanced option is a great way to prevent intruders and stray cats while still allowing yours the freedom they desire. Our Microchip Petporte Smart Flap® reads your cat’s microchip to allow entry to your home, without the need for a collar, so you can have peace of mind that it’s activating only by authorised cats. If you’re having problems with other cats in your garden, which is putting your feline in harm’s way, then a good solution is to enclose the area with a fence or equivalent system. That way, your cat will have a safe outside area to access, without you needing to worry about their safety. Make sure your garden is feline friendly too by providing areas of shade and shelter and only planting plants and flowers that are non-toxic and safe for cats.

There’s no reason you can’t give your cat freedom to enjoy the outdoors, and the opportunity to exercise their natural feline instincts that this brings, but taking measures to support this and using the various options available nowadays will help protect their safety when outside and give you peace of mind.

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Activities over the holidays and quality bonding time with your dog

Summer is the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with family and loved ones, and that includes your furbabies! It’s a great chance to enjoy experiences and create new memories together, all of which work to strengthen the bond and trust between you and your dog. What’s more, any physical activities will help keep them active and healthy over the summer months; so once the holidays start, grab your pooch and head outside!

Even your daily walks are more enjoyable when the weather is warmer and nights are lighter, so why not make the most of this by trying a new route or driving slightly further out to a more rural setting. Dogs love the opportunity to explore, so a new place and countryside surroundings in particular help to stimulate their senses for a more satisfying trip. It’s good to incorporate playtime into walks whenever possible, as an extra way to give your dog a good run around and help keep them engaged mentally too. Using interactive toys, a ball or Frisbee to play together means getting involved yourself, and this way your dog will positively position you as the source of their enjoyment – helping to keep you the best of friends!

With more time than usual over the summer holidays, training and teaching your dog a new trick is great for helping to improve communication and adding to their skills. Whether it’s jumping through a hoop, standing up, or just working on their fetch commands, training is always valuable time together that will benefit you both in the long term. Training is a partnership where both you and your dog are the students, so learning new skills strengthens your relationship and level of trust as you work together to achieve results. Using plenty of enthusiastic praise (and treats) throughout will help ensure successful training, and we all know how much dogs love to please their owners! Seeing your dog learn something new is also very rewarding for us too, and a great way to spend a few spare hours.

Most of our canine pals love any excuse to jump in at the first sign of water, and often at the least convenient times, so why not take them out on a trip especially to give them a chance to go swimming? As well as being enjoyable, swimming is great exercise to keep dogs fit and also cools them in hot weather. There are, however, certain things to consider for their safety such as their swimming ability, so make sure there are no currents or underwater obstructions which your dog may become entangled in. Due to the bacteria found in water, it’s also important to make sure your dog has an up to date Leptospira vaccination in particular – check with your vet if you’re unsure.

Make the most of your free time over the holidays this summer by dedicating some to enjoying activities with your dog, and not only is it good for your own health and wellbeing but you’ll be helping to make that special bond even closer.


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Filed under Dogs, Holiday, Pets