While it’s a wonderful experience to take your dog along with you wherever you travel, it’s important to know how to protect them throughout the seasons. Whether you’re staying in our home country or travelling abroad, it’s vital to prepare for your dogs wellbeing.
As a creature who is used to living closely alongside people, dogs can become accustomed to comfortable temperatures and may become stressed in new climates. Furthermore, it’s important to know how to safely transport your pet to your adventure destination too.
Here we go through the seasons and the steps you need to take to ensure your pooch stays comfortable, wherever you decide to venture together.
As the temperature begins to rise and spring flowers burst to bloom, many dogs can experience symptoms of hayfever. Whilst humans usually suffer from a runny nose and itchy and irritated eyes, dogs with hayfever tend to display their symptoms on their skin. If your pet is itching incessantly, and perhaps has areas of dry, flaky skin on its paws, abdomen or face, they may well have hayfever.
Spring time hayfever in dogs is usually associated with tree pollen, so if your dog becomes uncomfortable throughout this season it’s well worth taking them for a trip to the vet to get advice on possible treatments.
Spring can also bring unpredictable weather patterns, so be sure to pack enough fresh water for your dog in warm temperatures, as well as towels to help them dry off if there is a sudden downpour.
With summer comes heatwaves and a rise in humidity that many people and dogs alike can struggle with. Whenever you take your dog out in a car, be sure to have at least one window open to ensure there is air circulating throughout the vehicle. Never leave your dog in a parked car on a hot day, even with the windows open. The temperatures can rise dramatically in a short space of time and this can be lethal to dogs.
When exploring your destination, avoid walking your dog on hot pavements as their paw pads can easily burn. A sturdy, well fitting boot can protect your pet from surfaces and rough terrain. Be sure to always have fresh water available for them to drink, and encourage them to cool off in bodies of water and relax frequently in the shade. Heat stroke in dogs can quickly escalate from mild to life-threatening, so be sure to know the signs.
As the temperatures drop and the nights draw in, it’s worth considering your dog’s visibility when out and about in the evenings. Investing in a high visibility gear, like a harness or collar is a great idea to help motorists spot your dog. This is also a crucial time of year for farmers, so if you’re walking in the countryside, be sure to avoid the fields where farm machinery may be, and prevent your dog from disturbing livestock in areas with paddocks.
Acorns and conkers (horse chestnuts) are notable attributes of autumn, but they are in fact poisonous to canines. Keep a close eye on your dog during this season to ensure they aren’t playing with or chewing on these seeds. Be aware and don't let your pup eat or chew on foliage.
Be sure to take extra care when exploring with older dogs throughout the colder months, as damp and cold conditions can affect their joints. Keep them warm when travelling in the car or train by having the heating on, providing a fluffy blanket or investing in a dog coat. When returning from walks in rain or snow, rub them with a towel to help them warm up quickly.
Of course, always follow road safety advice whenever driving in icy conditions, and ensure your car is checked prior to every journey for working lights and effective brakes. Always use a seatbelt-fixing harness or crate to transport your dog in the car, as having them is unsafe.
If you’re going abroad, most airlines have restrictions on how cold the ground temperature can be before it's deemed unsafe for animals to fly – so check this before you book.
With a little extra planning and consideration, travelling with your dog throughout the seasons will be nothing short of a magical experience.
Guest Blogger: Sofia Avery