Ultimate guide to a stress-free summer with your pet

We don’t mean to get ahead of ourselves, but it seems summer is really here! If you live in the UK, we understand why you might not be keen to commit to the enthusiasm yet. However, if you are a pet parent, particularly to dog, then you will know that planning ahead no matter the weather is something that can make your pet's life a lot less stressful. The wet and mud-filled days might finally be behind us, but now we face new problems. Hot weather can bring all sorts of skin concerns for our pets and knowing how to support their skin might be the difference between a good summer and the best summer.

Prepare for warm weather

You might notice your pet is feeling restless, panting or unable to get comfortable. If you feel warm, then they will feel that times five. That beautiful coat that makes them furry and protects their skin, makes it hard for them to naturally cool down the way we might by simply wearing fewer layers of clothing.

1. To make the hot weather more comfortable for your pet, try sturdy cooling matts or find an area in your house that’s the coolest and create a resting place for them. This could be the bathroom, a garage, etc.

2. Make sure your pet always has access to clean and cool water. It is important to regularly change their water, especially on hot days (no one likes warm water!).

3. Avoid taking your pet out during peak hours when the sun is at its warmest. This is usually between 10am-6pm. Unlike us, our pets struggle to cool themselves down and taking them on lengthy walks during the hottest hours of day is not only dangerous to their breathing but also their skin. Have you ever walked barefoot in hot sand? This is a similar feeling your pets paw pads will experience when walking in hot tarmac. Keep their toilet breaks short if possible - if you have a garden, allow them to use this. For those without gardens, walk your dog in shaded areas, and if possible, try to stay on the grass.

4. Make summer-friendly treats for your pet. Fruits are a hit with dogs and you can even freeze raspberries, strawberries, watermelon and cucumber slices and feed them as healthy, cold treat! You can also try freezing some treats or fruits mixed with some natural yogurt, either in small spoonfuls or in a feeding mat (this will keep them entertained and cool for ages!)

5. Take your dog out for a swim or splash. Join your local dog community group to find out the best places for your dog to enjoy a swim near you. If you have a garden, try a dog friendly splash pool, and let them relax to their heart's content.

Prepare the skin for warm weather

So, we’ve covered all the fun bits of the summer, but how do we prepare our pets' skin to tackle allergies, creepy crawlies, hot spots and itchy skin?

1. During the summer we can get caught up in the excitement of warm days, BBQs and just having the best time - so much so, that we might forget how important it is to keep up with our pets’ diet. We’ve said it before, and we will continue to say it: tackling skin allergies start from within. This doesn’t change in the summer, so feed your dog a raw diet of about 60% meat and some vegetables, seeds and oils as well. Also look for natural treats rather than highly processed commercial dog treats with long ingredient lists. Remember, cats are carnivores and a 100% meat raw diet is usually recommended for them.

2. Keep an eye out on those creepy crawlies that love to catch a free ride with our pets. In the UK the most commonly found parasites are ticks & harvest mites. They do affect humans too but given how much time our pets spend outdoors they are more likely to be bitten by them, wreaking havoc on their skin. Remember to regularly check your pet for ticks; they tend to latch on behind the ears, neck and paws. To reduce the risk of these nasty bugs, try our Dog Spray before you go out. The Spray is packed with natural ingredients and essential oils and extracts that act as a natural insect repellent. If you find that your pet has bite marks, gently clean the area and apply our Dog Gel to soothe and heal the skin before it gets worse. If you are heading into long forest walks, camping or heading into the country, keep our Spray in your bag and Spray your dog throughout the trip. Our Dog Spray comes in a handy travel friendly 100ml size!

3. A common skin concern that tends to come up in the summer months is hot spots. Hot spots are formally known as “acute moist dermatitis” and are areas of inflamed and infected skin. They’re damp, red, smelly, scabby and can be really sore. They start off small, most commonly stemming from an insect bite or a little scratch and then, when rubbed, licked or overstimulated, they can grow into a hot spot. If you find these quickly apply our Cat or Dog Gel. They have antibacterial properties and help cool and soothe inflamed areas of skin, leading to less licking and scratching as the skin heals. Find out more about hot spots in our dedicated blog here.

Pro tip: You can safely store our Gel and Spray in the fridge for an extra cooling effect when applied to the skin (perfect for hot itchy days). Also, if you’re unlucky enough to get an insect bite yourself, try the Cat or Dog Gel on your skin (you will see why you pet loves it!).