Keeping your dog safe whilst out and about this summer

If you’re planning on getting out and about in the UK this summer, whether just for the day or for a longer period, we have some tips and advice for you and your pet.

With so many dog-friendly campsites, holiday cottages, hotels, and caravans available, your dog will enjoy the adventure just as much as you! Dog-friendly beaches and parks are the perfect settings for your canine companion who loves to play, but you should always take care to ensure you and your dog are prepared in advance.

Before setting out, ensure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date and that they have had their flea, tick, and worming treatment. We can advise on the best treatments to protect your dog, to keep those pesky parasites at bay. Remember if your pet is signed up to our Pet Health for Life plan their flea, tick, and worming treatment is included.

ENSURE YOUR DOG IS MICROCHIPPED

A new or unusual environment could confuse your dog and if the worst happens and you get separated, it’s important that you can be reunited quickly and easily. All dogs must be microchipped by law, and you could be fined up to £500 if they are not. Before leaving, take five minutes to check that your contact details stored on the chip are up to date and a mobile number is available (particularly if you are not at home) so that you can be contacted wherever you are.

Read more here >>


TRAVELLING BY CAR  

Planning your journey before you leave is important to ensure you know where you can stop to allow your dog to stretch their legs, get some fresh air and have some fresh, clean water.

It’s also very important to ensure your dog is correctly restrained if you’re taking them out in the car – for both their safety and yours. A travel cage, harness, or dog guard can keep your dog secure for travel, however, make sure it’s correctly fitted and from a recommended manufacturer.

Regulate the temperature in the vehicle and ensure your dog isn’t in direct sunlight, whether you’re moving or stationary, as overheating can lead to heatstroke.

If your dog has not been on many car journeys or is not used to travelling in the car, we would recommend taking them on some shorter journeys beforehand in preparation.

Further details here >>


VISITING THE BEACH 

As soon as the sun comes out, many of us will head to the beach. Do check in advance that dogs are allowed, as some have a dog-free policy in place at certain times of the year.

It is also important to be aware of the potential dangers that such an environment can bring. Eating sand and drinking seawater can be dangerous to your dog, so do be aware of what they’re up to whilst you’re enjoying yourselves.

Find out more here >>


PROTECT YOUR PET FROM THE SUN

Like humans, dogs can be affected by high temperatures. Sunburn, footpad burns, dehydration, and heatstroke can all occur, causing discomfort and potential fatalities. If you’re feeling the effects of a hot summer’s day, your dog will be too. Ensure you have a supply of cool, fresh water and stay out of direct sunlight where possible. To protect your pet, we would advise keeping them indoors between 10.00am and 3.00pm when the sun is at its strongest.

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Why not have a read through the list of our top 10 summer hazards, for other things to consider to keep your pet safe.

Read the list here >>

As always, if you need any help or advice, please get in touch with us.

Here’s to a happy and healthy summer for you and your dog!

The importance of parasite prevention

Parasite prevention is an integral part of taking good care of your cat or dog. Parasites also pose a threat to human health, as some pet parasites cause zoonotic infections, which means they can be transferred from pets to people.

Where and when can my pet get infected by parasites?

Dogs and cats can get parasites in a variety of places — whether they go outside or not. Fleas and ticks can live outside year-round but are most abundant during spring and autumn. Other animals can bring parasites into your home, and once fleas get in the house, they can be a year-round problem.

How can I protect my pet from parasites?

Because parasites can be found all year long, it is important that your pet is always protected. We offer a series of popular prescription products that are easy to use and will help to protect your pet.

You can receive year-round parasite protection through our Pet Health for Life plan. The plan spreads your regular pet care costs with a fixed monthly fee which guarantees an annual saving on your preventative veterinary treatments.

Dangers of parasites

The harm from parasites to a pet’s health can range from minor irritation to severe conditions that can be fatal. Below are some common parasites found in the United Kingdom:

  • Ticks – Tick bites can cause allergic reactions or infections at the site of the bite. They can transmit infectious diseases such as Lyme Disease, Babesia & Ehrlichiosis.
  • Worms – There is a wide variety of worms, such as tapeworm, roundworm, heartworm, whipworm, and hookworm. These are common parasites in the UK and can affect your pet’s health. They also carry a human health risk, especially for children.
  • Lungworms – Lungworms are potentially deadly parasites that are carried by foxes, slugs, and snails. It is the first fatal parasite to be endemic in the UK.
  • Fleas – Fleas affect dogs and cats and can be seen all year round. They can also pass on tapeworms. Signs that your pet may be suffering from fleas include itching, scratching, and licking. You may also see ‘flea dirt’ – tiny dark specks that look a little like grains of soil and go red when wet. It is possible to see fleas with the naked eye!

With advances in veterinary medicine, most parasitic infections can be prevented with routine preventative care.

Alongside preventative treatments, it is also important to practice good personal hygiene, including washing hands after handling pets and before eating food. Grooming animals regularly helps to reduce the risk of coat contamination, and when going on walks, cleaning up pet faeces is vital as most intestinal worms are transmitted by worm eggs or larvae in faeces.

It is important to remember that parasite treatments are only to be given to the pet they have been prescribed for, as certain products can be fatal to other species. If you are unsure which parasite control products are the best for your pet, speak to one of our team members for advice.

May and Spring Bank Holiday opening hours

With two welcomed bank holiday weekends in May, we wanted to let you know that our opening hours may vary from our usual times. Please see below:

May Bank Holiday – Monday 3rd May
08.45 – 18.00

Spring Bank Holiday – Monday 31st May
08.45 – 18.00

Out of Hours service will be available by calling 01450 372038 as usual.

The importance of microchipping your pet

Keeping our pets safe is important to all of us as pet owners. They trust us with their care and protection and, as well as feeding, exercising and cuddling them, that includes identifying them so that we can be reunited if we are parted.

A microchip literally identifies your pet as belonging to you. It contains your details as an owner, which are stored on a central pet database. By scanning this microchip, a vet can get you and your pet back together as a family, whatever the circumstances may be.

You may be concerned that microchipping is an intrusive process, but the chip is tiny – the size of a grain of rice – and for cats and dogs the procedure takes seconds; it doesn’t even require an anaesthetic. It’s usually inserted under the skin in the scruff of the neck, and once it’s there, you (or your pet) won’t even notice it.

Hopefully you’ll never need to use the microchip, because your pet will live a safe, happy and long life with you. But there may be circumstances where you’ll be glad it’s there, such as:

Your pet is lost
It’s easily done – even the most careful of owners are at risk of their pet running away; whether it’s a dog that bolts out of the front door when you take a delivery, a rabbit that escapes its hutch, or a cat that gets stuck in a neighbour’s shed. When your pet is found, it will most likely be taken to a local vet practice or a charity rescue home. One quick scan of the microchip and a phone call later, and your pet is back where they belong – with you!

Your pet is stolen
It’s an unfortunate reality that some pets – especially purebreds with high value – are stolen to order and resold. Without a microchip you wouldn’t be able to trace them. With a chip your animal can be identified and brought back home.

Your pet is in an accident
Outdoor pets, especially cats, are prone to injury; whether that’s fighting with another animal or being involved in an accident. Injured pets found by members of the public are usually taken to a local vet practice, who will treat the animal whilst also trying to track down the owner. As long as your pet is microchipped and the details are up to date, you’ll be reunited with each other in no time.

There are certain things to consider about microchipping:

  • It’s a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped in England, Wales and Scotland.
  • It’s illegal for breeders to sell puppies over 8 weeks old that are not microchipped and on a registered database.
  • There is no legal requirement to microchip other pets, but it is strongly advised by animal charities, and by us here at Hawick Vets
  • Do remember to keep your details up to date if you move house or change telephone number, so that you can be contacted if necessary.

If you want to know more about getting your pet microchipped, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.  There’s also some information available on the Government website which you may find useful https://www.gov.uk/get-your-dog-microchipped

Tortoise parasite prevention

Do you have a tortoise? If so, it is recommended to have a worm count carried out on your tortoise twice a year.

A worm count can be carried out by obtaining a faecal sample, which can be tested in practice. It is common for tortoises to have a low-level worm burden; however, when this increases, it can cause issues such as diarrhoea, a reduction in the absorption of nutrients, and subsequently, weight loss. It is particularly important to control before hibernation, after moving to a new enclosure, before meeting a new tortoise, or if they stop eating or have diarrhoea.

If a positive test is returned, we would recommend booking in for worming treatment. Many wormers will only kill the live worms and not the eggs and, for this reason, we may advise on repeat doses and another faecal count at the end of the treatment.

Whilst your tortoise is undergoing worming treatment it is important to remove all substrate and replace it with newspaper. Throughout this time, you should feed your tortoise with high fibre, high water content food. It would help if you did not feed them fruit, as sugar can lead to worms reproducing more rapidly.

For more information, please contact us.