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PDSA summer safety blog

PDSA summer safety blog PDSA summer safety blog
Posted 19 June, 2018

by PDSA Vet Oliva Anderson-Nathan

With summer well underway, hopefully you’ll have some exciting plans for holidays or daytrips out! When I was younger, we used to bring our dogs on family holidays in the UK. Now, I hate leaving my cat when we go away, but absence makes the heart grow fonder. Whether your pets are coming with you or staying at home, here’s my advice on making sure they stay safe and happy over the summer months.

Holidaying with pets

Taking our dogs with us on holiday within the UK is now more popular than ever, and many holiday homes and hotels are happy to host our four-legged friends too. Before travelling with your dog:

  • Introduce them to being around the car and gradually build up from short rides if they’re not already used to travelling longer distances in the car.
  • Make sure you have a secure pet carrier or seatbelt for your pet while they’re travelling – I’d always recommend one that’s crash-tested for safety in the event of an accident.
  • Make sure dogs have a nice long walk and plenty of water before the journey. Plan regular rest stops for them to stretch their legs and go to the loo.
  • Ensure your pet is microchipped. This is now a legal requirement for all dogs, but it also means you’re more likely to be reunited should you get separated in a new place.

Holiday care for pets

Cats are homebodies who like their territories, small pets can get stressed and are tricky to travel with, and there are some dodgy diseases you might not want your dogs to risk in foreign climates. If you can’t take your pet on holiday with you, then giving them a staycation is the next best thing. There are lots of options here: you could get a house-sitter, ask a neighbour to drop by every day or book them in to a good kennel or cattery.

For smaller pets like hamsters, guinea pigs or rabbits, having a friend or neighbour pop by a couple of times a day is often a great solution. Some cats might be happiest having a house sitter over, as many kitties can be uncomfortable moving into unfamiliar environments.

There are some really good kennels and catteries around, but the good ones do tend to get booked up well in advance. So do your research, give them a visit and book early!

Check your pet is up to date with their vaccinations – some kennels will request proof of this. Leaving a list of their regular routine or favourite toys and meals can help to make them stay settled.

Also, it’s a good idea to leave details of your pet insurance policy and contact details of a trusted person and a letter to the vet to give permission for them be able to authorise vet care while you’re away, just in case you can’t be contacted in an emergency.

It’s a good idea to consider taking out pet insurance if you haven’t already. This is the best way of planning for any unexpected vet fees and gives you peace of mind whether you’re at home or away.

For more expert vet advice on looking after your pets, visit PDSA’s website www.pdsa.org.uk/summerhealth. Have a safe and happy summer folks!

PDSA Petsurance Dog

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