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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Travelling with your dog

Our dogs are a big part of the family, so when summer and the holiday season comes around, it’s only natural that we want to include them in any trips so they don’t miss out on quality time with the family. It can be hard for owners to leave their furry friend behind and there are many advantages of bringing pets along on holiday. But it’s important to consider what this entails and to make sure that you think of any necessary steps to take in advance.

If you’ll be driving for any long journeys as part of your trip, then think about taking steps to make your dog as comfortable as possible during travel (everyone will thank you for it!). Taking toys to entertain them, bedding or a blanket for comfort, and treats and plenty of water for stops will help keep them happy and content. Be sure to take regular breaks to let your dog have a quick controlled run around, toilet break and also a small snack because feeding large meals during the journey itself isn’t advisable.

Whether you’re off to somewhere more exotic, or simply taking a ‘staycation’, there are certain things that always apply when travelling with your pet. These include packing the following essentials to make the trip as hassle-free as possible for both you and your pet:

  • Collar or ID tag – with all of your contact details, including your holiday address, plus a microchip with up to date details held in the database.
  • Food – enough for their normal daily amount plus extra and some treats.
  • Water and food bowls, including an extra outdoor water bowl for any day trips or long walks.
  • Lead – plus a spare in case it should get misplaced.
  • Poo bags – to act just as you would at home when it comes to your dog’s waste.
  • Bed and bedding/blankets – familiar items help your dog settle in a new place.
  • Dog shampoo and brush – to keep up their usual grooming routine and for some extra tlc!
  • Toys – bring a variety to keep them active and engaged, useful for play time and the journey too.

If you like to jet to further afield over the summer then, thanks to the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), people are allowed to both enter and take their dogs out of the UK to most countries in Europe without quarantine requirements, as long as they meet certain conditions. It is possible to travel to other countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, but there will be a plethora of pre-travel tests that your pet may have to undergo. If you’re planning on taking your dog abroad then you’ll need to make sure they have the following to comply with the scheme: a microchip, a rabies vaccination (ensuring they’re microchipped first or the vaccination won’t be valid), a pet passport or official third country veterinary certificate, and proof of tapeworm treatment. You can get a pet passport from any Government approved vet, and while you’re there it’s worth arranging a general health check for your dog to make sure they are their fittest self for all the holiday activities!

Plan wisely for any travel with furry family members, researching your destination and accommodation, and making a checklist of everything they might need while you’re away and it’ll help prevent any issues during the trip – leaving you more time to relax and enjoy the break.

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Filed under Dogs, Holiday, Pets