summer safety tips

now it is summer it is very warm which can be dangerous for us dogs. below i will put a few tips and products to help you keep cool!

 

1) paddling pool – this is great for splashing in and keeping cool. you can also put toys in to play. you can use a kids pool or a hard shell used for a sandpit instead of a specific dog pool. or you could go to the river or the sea

2) frozen kong – place food such as peanut butter, mashed banana, dog food, cheese or dog gravy in a kong and place in freezer to make a nice cool treat. if you dont have a kong fill a small shallow bowl or anysafe hollow object to make a frozen block.

3) cool mat – this is a gel mat that is pressure activated when dog lays on it to keep them cool. lots of different types and sizes. some mats charge up through non-use while others go in the freezer

4) cool coat – our personal favorite is the ruffwear swamp cooler but may be pricey for some owners. cool coats are worn like a regular rain coat on the dog and wrap underneath. most are activated by wetting the coat and will keep your dog and their organs cool for around 3-5hrs depending on brand. this is ideal if your dog spends time outdoors or has to go walking in the heat

5) life jacket – these will keep your dog safe while keeping cool in the water should they go in the river or sea or if around water such as on a boat. not all dogs are natural or confident swimmers and may need a bit of extra support when swimming. we reccomend the hurtta life jacket.

6) dog shoes – dogs paws can burn very easily when walking on concrete as the temperatures are so high. if you have to go out get a set of boots for your dog to wear. we use the brand paws which are rubber and come in varying sizes , they are suitable for if your dog has injuries, for snow, ice and sun and are disposable. for a higher price ruffwear also do hardwearing quality boots for climbing

7) elevated bed – these are beds raised off the floor allowing cool air to flow under the bed keeping your dog cool. these beds are usually made of mesh or canvas allowing air to get to the dog and can hose down. we reccomend hi-k9 who are also on facebook. they also have a sun shade that attaches

8) doggy sun cream – usefull for thin hair breeds such as whippets and mexiacan hairless and dogs that burn easily. available from petkin as a spray or wipes to put on ears, nose and any other showing skin. spf 15 and safe. the petkin one is the only one i have seen and available from amazon and a few online shops

9) toys!!! lots of toys that can be frozen or go in water.

fatcat freeze and chew or multipet chillybone – these can be placed in the freezer for an hour and took out to chew and play with

hydroball/ring – put under or in water before use then play. when your dog bites it water will come out leaving them refrshed. we found you need a good bite to work.

kong floating toy – allows you to throw toy into water and it will float allowing dog to retrieve. brightly colored with a rope. also the water wubba which can be thrown or tugged and squeaks

10) shade – pick a spot under a tree or canopy for the dog bed or blanket. many dogs will not move once settled and cannot tell you they are too warm. heatstroke can happen very quickly.

check your dog regularly and dont let them sit out in the sun for long.

make sure they always have access to water and change it often to keep it cool.

if the dog is panting heavily, drooling, shaking or other signs of overheating then get her out of the heat and to the vets. try to get temperature down using cool water and wet towels . heat can kill in 30mins!

 

 

 

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ruffwear harness

Earlier this month mum decided I needed a more secure harness so she can grab me easily and to use on our group walks that involve lots of stiles to lift me over. We had a look at a few and after chatting to people we decided to try out the ruffwear webmaster harness

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We got our harness from our friends at http://www.barksandbunnies.co.uk as they had a sale on but they are available from most big online stores or direct from http://www.ruffwear.co.uk. The rrp is £59.99

After measuring we decided to get their medium size. We were a bit confused with sizing as had looked at the wrong size guide but the people at ruffwear were helpful and made sure we choose a correct size. We could have fit in the small but medium gives extra room for a coat or if I get fat!!

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We choose the color red currant but it is also available in twilight grey.

 

Features

Ruffwear describes this harness as

supportive multi use harness ideal for hiking scrambling rehabilitation and mobility assistance

– features efficient easy clip buckles to keep straps in place

-anatomical design for controlled and comfortable lifting and load dispersion

– 5 points of adjustment for customised fit

– 3M scotchlite reflective trim

– secure design for Houdini dogs

– foam padded chest and straps for comfort

– 2 attachment points

 

Review

Fit- it went on well although fiddly to do all the initial adjustments. We viewed the sizing video on YouTube – search ruffwear webmaster fitting. We were initially concerned the harness was loose before we were advised there was a bit of elastic near the back to allow comfort when laying down. We got it to quite tight but not too tight and I could still walk and lay down.

It fully adjusts to accept both Stella and daisy as well. Daisy has a skinny body but deep chest and is a houdini dog as well as a puller but after an initial struggle managed to go for a walk in it without any hassle. Stella has a chunky body so needs a tighter front strap but looser round back end. She is at the largest end of medium so would require large size.

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Comfort

Think was quite comfy. We went for many walks and didn’t rub or make me move funny at all. I went to sleep in it even whern it was wet.we did climbing, running, swimming and rolling in it without any fuss

Walking

Easy to walk in. The lead clips to a sturdy ring on back that is out their way so won’t trip up. Handle can be held for when walking past items mum not want me to eat 😦 or if people come past on a small track.

Lifting

One of the main reasons we choose the webmaster is due to abuse as a puppy I have a bad back which means I can’t jump and climb very well. Many of our walks involve stiles where I get distressed seeing the other dogs jump over leaving me but I’m quite heavy to pick up by collar and bottom so we use the handle to lift me over easily.

So far we haven’t done any hard stiles that require heavy or difficult handling

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The harness dries quite quickly. We tested during a 4hr walk just after a thunderstorm so got very wet. Underneath of harness was fairly dry and dried quick once took off. The only thing mum doesn’t like is it attracts hair easily. The photo below was after the trials fitting and it wouldn’t come off

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Overall we would reccomend to friends and family as is a good quality harness however it is quite expensive if you just want to use it for a normal harness. But if you go hiking or need a harness because of mobility issues or injury then it is ideal.

 

We will be trying out the new ruffwear basic harness whern it comes out. This is netter suited if you want a good quality walking harness without the huge price so keep watch!!