We have had some unseasonably hot weather in the UK over recent months and many of us have been thinking of ways to keep our dogs cool. We often see stories, in the news, of dogs being left in hot cars which is so upsetting. Dogs can suffer fatal heatstroke in minutes. Our canine friends are not able to regulate their body temperature by sweating, like we do, so they rely on panting.
What are the signs of heatstroke in dogs?
Excessive panting, dribbling and collapse can be a sign of heatstroke. If you suspect heatstroke in your dog, move them out of the sun, into the shade, wet their coats with water (cool but not freezing) and call you vet immediately.
10 ideas to keep your dogs cool in the extreme heat.
1. Make sure your dog always has access to clean water. If you are leaving the dog at home, make sure their bowl is filled right up and maybe leave a second bowl as well. If you are going out on a walk, make sure you take water and a bowl for your dog.
2. On very hot days, try to walk your dog very early or very late when the temperatiure is cooler. As well as the risk of heatstroke in the midday sun, your dog is also likely to find the pavements very warm which, at best is very uncomfortable for your dog and, at worst can burn your pooches pads.
3. If it is too hot to walk your dog, try some positive enrichment games. There are some great ideas online, and we will be sharing some of our ideas in a blog very soon.
4. Never leave your dog alone in a car, even with water and the windows open – it is not safe for them.
5. Be very careful with short-nosed dogs like bull-breeds, older or very overweight dogs as heatstroke can be caused just by running around in the heat.
6. Grooming is very important all year round but more so in the hot months. Groom your dog regularly and, if you can, take it to a professional groomer for a clip.
7. Swimming is heaven for many dogs but please take the same precautions you would with children, be aware of currents etc and please ensure lakes, canals etc are clean enough for your dog to swim in. For instance, some places, like Frensham Ponds, sometimes have blue algae, which can be deadly for dogs so keep your eye out for signage, and if an area is closed off, please don’t risk it. If your dogs seems unwell after swimming, please contact your vet as water intoxication can be very dangerous
8. Try freezing your dogs favourite treats into ice-lollie moulds or popping some yummy treats into a Kong and freeze that.We would recommend staying with your dog while they enjoy these treats to ensure they don’t choke.
9. A doggie paddling pool can be enormous fun and a great way for your dog to cool down.Try to position this is a shady spot, or use an parasol to keep it nice and shady.If you use a paddling pool, clean and replace the water regularly
10. Cooling mats are also great for dogs. However, do avoid these if your dog is a “bed chewer” as they contain a gel to help keep them cool.
We hope you find this information useful, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Enjoy the Summer and stay safe!
Did you know that separation anxiety is very common in dogs? Most dogs are pretty social creatures and can get very lonely and distressed when they are left alone.
It’s also worth noting that any routine changes can affect your dog’s behaviour. During the lock-down, your dog is probably getting used to you being at home a lot more than normal and most dogs love it. However, what will happen when the restrictions on movement are lifted, and everything goes back normal, or “the new normal”?
An abrupt change in routine that may increase the time your dog is home alone can trigger the development of separation anxiety.
Your doggo probably won’t like it and will miss you a lot. He/she just got used to another routine, a much better one, so they won’t understand what has changed.
Dogs will show signs of separation anxiety in different ways but some of the signs are;
These behaviours do not usually occur in the presence of the owner and it is likely that they will probably happen within the first 30 minutes of being alone.
Even if you believe your dog is happy when left home alone you could always check for the hidden signs by filming your dog while you are away.
Ways to help your dog
It is really important that we never punish an anxious dog, even if the behaviour is annoying or frustrating (such as urinating in the house or chewing the furniture). It will not help and in fact, it will most likely make things worse as you raise the dogs anxiety and stress levels even more.
Here are some suggestions of ways to reduce their anxiety
After the quarantine, many dogs will be impacted by the changes in routine. They are used to have you at home all the time now. They will miss you and you will have a hard time leaving your dog home alone. Hopefully these tips will help but if you are concerned, please consider contacting a dog behaviourist for more personalised advice. We highly recommend Dog 999 which is run by our Founder, Rachael and her business partner Sam. Both have a lot of experience with lots of behavioural issues and have years of experience particularly with Rommies, who we know can be very sensitive little souls - Dog999
Limited walks can be frustrating for your dog at this time and so one of our volunteers, Kate, has shared some ideas of ways to keep your dogs busy during lock-down and beyond!
Like most of us - humans and dogs - things have changed in our lives recently. My dogs certainly are not getting the same interactions as before so I have tried different approaches to their normal feeding:
Firstly I have been scatter feeding - this isn't rocket science and basically entails putting their dry food/kibble around the garden to make them sniff it out and eat it.
Any kind of game where your dog has to work for his/her food is good for their brain. Filling the yellow/green game with different food - some kibble and some higher value treats is a good way for your dog to use their brain. Even mine can use this so it really cant be that hard!
Give your dog/s time to be come adjusted to these tools and you'll understand which ones they are interested in, which ones they can be left with and which need supervision.
Cleaning these are important, and I put each of these gadgets through the dishwasher to ensure high temperature cleaning. Anything for an easy life!
Just some ideas to keep your dog happy and engaged during this quite bizarre time in our lives.
With the lock-down continuing, lots of people are spending their time taking up hobbies that they do not normally have the time for. I’m sure you’ve all seen the shared baking successes (and failures) on social media, and the empty baking aisle in your supermarket!
We thought some of you lovely dog parents might enjoy a spot of baking for your dogs. Your dog would be so grateful, and since they are not for human consumption, your waistline might thank you too!
In all seriousness, there are some really great, natural healthy treats on the market but a lot of commercial treats are packed with unhealthy additives such as chemical flavour or colour and not to mention, a more than healthy helping of sugar.
Here is one of our favourite recipies which makes around 20 natural, additive free treats which can be stored in an airtight container, in the fridge for up to two weeks… we hope you and your dogs enjoy it!
200 grams of minced meat (lamb is tasty but chicken or turkey is lower in fat)
100 grams of rice
1 small carrot
1 small potato
1 teaspoon of dried parsley
Our founder, Rachael, often says “rescue has no boundaries” and this week, during the coronavirus pandemic, Rachael proved that to be true.
In a local chat group, we were made aware of a number of dogs being kept is awful conditions in a small back garden. The weather at the time was really hot, and it was clear to see that these dogs needed help, fast.
The team turned up to collect the dogs, a female rottweiler (Skye), a male rottweiler (Zeus) and a bull mastiff cross (Fluffy). The two rotties were super friendly but the bully cross was very, very nervous. We had been warned that he was aggressive but really only saw a very scared dog. On top of this, it turned out that Skye was pregnant.
After a scan, the vet said that she could not hear any heartbeats and gave us two options… one, take her home with some antibiotics or two, perform a c-section and see if the puppies were alive. We felt that the kindest, and safest option for Skye was to go ahead with the operation. After a few nail-biting minutes, the vet informed us that she had 6 puppies. Sadly, three had not survived but the other three were healthy, as was their mum.
To say we were delighted was an understatement, and we are so grateful that we were able to get her out of that terrible situation and into a safe loving environment, and more importantly, get her the veterinary care she needed so quickly. Sadly, some tumours have also been found on Skye's spleen so we will be taking her back for some tests, once she has recovered from her c-section.
Skye is now back at her foster home and happily feeding her three gorgeous male pups. Both Zeus and Fluffy were entire (not neutered) and so we were unsure who the Daddy was, but it’s clear from the pictures, that the Daddy is in fact Fluffy, the bully cross. Skye's foster mum had the honour of naming these pups, and she has called them Cash, Buddy and Junior.
Zeus and Fluffy are settling into their foster homes too and we will be giving them time to settle in and be assessed before we decide on the next steps for them but, rest assured, they will be treated like kings and loved to bits.
We need your help
We were not expecting the dogs to have to see a vet so quickly when we rescued them, which s is not to say that we wouldn’t have rescued them had we know,n. It does however mean that we now have a rather large vet bill to cover, as well as the ongoing care of the dogs and the puppies.
We have set up a Go Fund Me page to raise fund for this trio that turned into six! If you are able, please make a donation - no amount is too small.
Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date with the stories of Zeus, Fluffy, Skye, Cash, Buddy and Junior.
We are now living in the big house ... which apparently is called “Turn Left”, which is a bit unusual isn't it? (Note from FM: You know how in an aircraft, the first class passengers turn left? Well the big house is first class for our rescues, most of whom have never lived in a home before).
Anyway, we have been very, very good girls and only had a couple of accidents in the early days but that wasn't our fault was it? No. It’s not like we knew there was a special place for wees and poos and places they shouldn’t be done. For about the last week there have been no accidents at all ... our FB Steve and FB Ferdie are an odd couple though ... not very friendly with us yet ... FM calls them “The Twats” ... we think that she must mean their breed. (Note from FM: Steve and Ferdie are themselves Romanian rescues, who take their jobs of showing the newbies the rules in the big house very seriously indeed).
Then we went for a stroll down to the woods where Rosie visits the stream. Chance doesn't want to yet but she might when she gets braver. Then we come back up to Turn Left and have a rest because obviously we've had an enormously energetic day with much duffing in between feeding. Then after our rest, and a few grumblings from foster brothers, Ferdie and Steve if we take liberties with THEIR sleeping spots, FM will give us “Grub Up” in something called a slow-down bowl which means we take about 1 minute instead of 30 seconds to eat our grub. FM seems pleased so that’s OK with us.
At Conker o'clock FD and FM get very excited and certain bottles come out of the fridge whilst lemons or limes are cut up and put in glasses along with a lot of ice. They always seem slightly merrier after this, especially if FM then gets out something called wine. FM says that it helped get her through the announcement that football season was cancelled ... she said she nearly fainted.
We usually retire to our beds in the hallway at around 10pm, FM makes FB Steve sleep out here to keep his beady eye on us and growl a bit. He's a bit of a “miserable old sod” FM says but she leaves him here because apparently, he's all bark. That must be the Twat breed.
We hope you are all OK during these strange times and we look forward to seeing you all soon.
Love Chance and Rose xx
In November 2019, a team of Dogs Walk This Way Volunteers headed over to Romania for an outreach trip
These wonderful volunteers funded their own travel, accommodation and all expenses. In the run up to the trip, they filled 6 suitcases with donated treats, food, medication, wormers and flea-treatments. Thank you to each and every one of you who donated.
The plan for the trip was to visit one of our trusted shelters to help out by spending time with the 600+ dogs; treating them for worms and fleas and giving them some much-needed love. In addition, the team planned to visit one of the horrific government run kill shelters to save as many dogs as possible.
Read more to find out how they got on, on their trip, in the words of Rachel Welch - our amazing Founder;
“This trip has been extremely emotional for all of us. We started each morning by feeding the stray dogs and cats outside of our hotel before jumping into the mini-bus to arrive at the shelter by 7 am.
Our main job was to get around as many of the dogs as possible to de-flea and worm them. In addition to this, we treated any dogs that needed it with antibiotics and pain-relief. We also tried to spend some time with each and every dog to show them some love, and even those that were too scared to interact with us were given treats. We managed to get some of the dogs out for some exercise as well but there were over 500 dogs to get around to, so time was limited.
Arriving in Romania
In November 2019 some of our volunteer team headed off to Romania on an outreach trip. Their aim was to care for stray dogs, help out in the safe shelters and try to save as many dogs from the kill-shelters as was possible in the short few days they were there.
When they arrived in Romania, their first stop was a local supermarket to stock up on dog food and treats. Although they took as much as their luggage allowance permitted, they knew from past experience that it would never be enough.
As they left the store a small puppy came running over to the team, as if somehow she knew that these people were her to help her. Aside from being very hungry, she was also injured and limping on a swollen leg. The team took one look at her and knew there was no way they were going to be leaving her on the streets to suffer for a single moment more! They immediately rang one of the safe shelters the rescue works with and arranged for this little girl to be picked up.
Like most people, I try and strive to be the best version of myself and set a strong example for my children. I’m not expecting to save the planet, but I’d like to do more to “help” that extends beyond reducing my carbon footprint. My most recent venture has been so heart warming, far beyond my expectations, & the most emotionally rewarding thing I have ever undertaken– we have fostered a dog.
After losing my beloved border collie of 13 years last year, my family and I were left with a huge hole in our hearts. I had always wanted to rescue a dog, but was not feeling ready to take this step. So I decided to look into fostering. Having worked in the “dog industry” for over 10 years, I felt that I had developed the right skill set to help rehabilitate and re-home a dog that needed my help. A close friend of mine runs a Romanian dog rescue called “Dogs Walk this Way Rescue”, and she was my first port of call.
Remember, remember…your dog during fireworks season.
I am not a great fan of fireworks to be fair. Although I understand that the celebrations can be great fun for people, dogs, cats (and other pets and wildlife) can be left stressed out, confused or, even worse, injured by fireworks.
Apart from the obvious physical damage suffered through accidental contact with fireworks, dogs can be badly affected by fireworks noise and lights. Possible behavioural problems as a result of fear and stress could include house soiling or excessive grooming, whilst there is also the danger of a dog running away, and never returning home.
The best place to start is to try to find a list of local public firework displays as these can run for a couple of weeks over the 5th November – as we know, fireworks are not limited just to Guy Fawkes Night anymore.
Once you know when to be prepared, a few simple precautions can help you to keep fur babies out of harm’s way: