4 Top Tips to Help Keep your Dog Cool and Safe in Summer

Summer is here and for many dog owners, this is the perfect season for beautiful outdoor dog walks and trips to the coast. The following article provides 4 top tips to help keep your dog cool and safe in summer. Enjoy!

Research your Breed of Dog

There are many deciding factors that determine a dog’s sensitivity to the sun. Some dog breeds are better suited to warmer temperatures while others prefer much colder conditions and need to plenty of shade. With so many dogs coming in different colours, shapes, and sizes, it is important to research and understand your dog’s breed when it comes to reducing their risk of overheating this summer.

The size of your dog is another great indicator of how easily it will overheat. For example, bigger dogs with fleshier bodies have less surface area for their size and build up heat faster. In comparison, a miniature sized chihuahua is therefore less likely to experience overheating as quickly as a Great Dane.

Dog breeds that are known for their snub noses like Boxers, Pugs and Bulldogs can also have a higher risk of overheating in the hot weather. Dogs regulate their body temperature by panting and so dogs that experience breathing difficulties can come with a higher risk of overheating.

Hydrate your Dog

Did you know that water accounts for roughly sixty percent of a dog’s body weight?

Hydrate your dog by making sure they drink roughly between 1/2 to 1 oz of fresh water per pound of body weight.

Another important point to remember is that dogs sometimes spill plenty of water when they drink due to being sloppy drinkers.  It is recommended that you add more water to their bowls to factor this in.

Understand your Dog’s Vulnerabilities

Being receptive to your dog’s vulnerabilities is crucial. For example, if it is a scorching hot day and your dog is fair skinned, then make sure they are kept in the shade and apply sun lotion. In comparison if your dog has a thick long coat and is dark, never leave it for long periods of time in the sun. Also always check their paws on a walk. Are their paws hot or blistering, are there any signs that they are in discomfort whilst on a dog walk? Being receptive to how your dog is feeling is vital for any responsible dog owner.

Alternate your Dog Walks

During the summer it becomes too hot to take your dog for a walk at certain parts of the day. Aim for times of the day when it is a lot cooler for your dog to go out. Early morning and late evening are cooler dog walking times. If you are on a dog walk and feel it may be too hot, always turn around and come home. Many dog walkers will often place their hand on the pavement or ground if they feel the temperature is too hot. If you cannot hold your hand on the pavement or ground for five seconds, then it is too hot to walk your dog.

Did you find this article helpful? If you have any further questions or would like expert advice and help from one of our professionals, then please contact us at Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs. We look forward to hearing from you.

5 Top Tips for a Successful Dog Party

Last month, the 21st June was National Dog Party Day, (yes, there is such a day!) and many owners around the world celebrated by throwing a party for their canine companions. Below are our 5 top tips to help you enjoy the ultimate dog and puppy party!

#1 Raining Cats and Dogs

Are you planning a dog party outdoors? If so, then you will need to ensure that the weather is suitable. If the weather is hot, then you must ensure plenty of shade for your dogs to cool down in and offer plenty of water bowls. Likewise, if the weather report is predicting rain ensure that there is plenty of cover and an indoor area for the dogs and owners to dry off in if necessary.

#2 The Guest List

Guest lists are so important when it comes to creating a successful dog and puppy party. If your dog is unfamiliar with certain dogs coming to the party, then there is a slight chance that they may fight or display territorial and aggressive behaviour towards one another.  It is therefore highly recommended that you try and keep your guest list to dogs with which they have been regularly socialised.

#3 The Feast

As well as providing snacks and food for your human guests, dog parties are a great way to provide healthy and tasty snacks for the dogs attending. There are lots of great healthy recipes online that are perfect for your dog to enjoy at the party. Many recipes include ingredients needed to make healthy dog friendly birthday cakes and nutritious snacks to include in their party bags. Likewise, always check with other dog owners if they or their dogs have any special dietary requirements. The safety of the owners and their dogs attending should be your number one priority.

#4 A Day of Favourites

Make a list of all the favourite things your dog likes to do and try and incorporate them into their perfect party. Maybe it is a particular dog treat that they love to try or maybe it is a fun activity you can get the other guests and their dogs to join in with? One firm favourite for many dogs is a nice walk, so why not invite the owners and their dogs on a group dog walk after you have cut the cake?

Why Dog Grooming is Important

For some dog owners, it is usually enough to brush their pets just once every week. But that is not really how it should be. It is very important to frequently groom pets and ensure that they are healthy and clean at all times. Find out why it is important to groom your dog regularly. 

Keeping good health

When you carry out proper dog grooming, it can be easier for you to eliminate shedding, fleas, ticks, mats and various other health problems that can develop in your pet. Early on, you can spot any issues from which your dog might be suffering. With early detection, you can treat the problems and make the treatment easier and shorter. Look for infections, lumps, inflammation, lesions, rashes, grass seeds, etc. that might be missed otherwise. When you catch an underlying problem prematurely, you can easily prevent any major health issues in your dog. 

Maintaining nice fur and coat

With frequent grooming, you can ensure that your dog has a healthy fur and coat. Keep in mind that you should refrain from bathing your dog regularly. With regular bathing, the coat will be damaged – as the natural oil will be removed. However, you should try to brush your dog regularly, so that there are no mats in the fur of your canine companion. Mats can knot the hair up, pull on the tight skin and lead to pain and discomfort. 

Abrasions and ulcers can also result from mats. With brushing, you can bring the natural oils out in the fur. It can help remove dandruff, dirt and dead hair. A shiny, healthy coat is what your dog will have, and it will also feel healthy from the inside. Remember to use a fine comb to brush your dog, as it can help you to brush without damaging the hair, as well as reveal fleas which might not have been possible with a thicker comb. 

Prevent spread of germs and infections

Cut and trim the nails properly, as dogs cannot walk in alignment with pads which have uncut nails and there can be joint aches as a result. In dogs, it is quite a common issue. Nails that are trimmed are less likely to get curled, and there is less risk for germs to get stuck and spread. In case you plan to trim your dog nails on your own, buy good nail clippers designed to be used for dogs. It can make the job easier as well as less painful. If you feel nervous about cutting your dog’s nails, you should seek advice from your vet.

No bad odors

With a clean and well-groomed dog, you can also be assured that there would be no bad smells around. There will be less shedding and less or no bad odor to endure for you or others in your home. That will also mean less need to use a vacuum cleaner. 

If your dog needs grooming and you would actually prefer a professional dog grooming service then bring your dog to us so that they can relax and enjoy a day of pampering. Our dog grooming service puts your pet’s welfare first and we make sure each pet is treated as they require. We ensure a calm and safe environment where our loving professionals can groom your dog. Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs have been providing friendly and professional dog grooming services for the Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire area since the 1950s. We operate in and around Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth, Baldock, Royston and Biggleswade. Our friendly staff are waiting to receive your call.

Top Tips of How to Travel with your dog

It can be fun to go on a vacation for everyone in a family, including your dog, when you make careful plans. Here are some tips that you will find useful while travelling with your dog.

Consider the Health and Safety

Prior to going on an extended trip, you should take your dog to the vet. Ensure that all the vaccinations are updated, and take all the records of the shot with you. For airline travel, you need health certifications. Take wet as well as dry foods along, so that there is proper nutrition for your dog and the pet gets the kind of food that suits its health during as well as after the trip. Also, when you take food along with you, there will be no need for you to look for a source for foods on the way or even when you arrive at your destination.

Emergency Contact Details

It is important to have the contact number of the closest veterinary emergency hospital that is open for 24 hours, and save it in your mobile phone along with the emergency number and office number of your standard vet who cares for your dog. That will ensure that in case your dog is in need of emergency medical attention in any situation, you can get all the important information that is required.

Take a crate along

Having your dog in a proper crate can ensure that it stays well, and safe, at all times. A crate can be a good way to ensure the safety of your canine friend in the car, plane etc. This is necessary when you take your dog along for travel by air. You can ensure that your pet will not get into any trouble at the home of your host or in the hotel that you stay in.

Have Identification information

Ensure that there is a strong collar and leash attached to your dog. There has to be identification tags in the collar with the details of your dog, your details and contact number. If you plan to be away from your dog for a longer period, consider buying another identification tag which should have the phone no. as well as the location of your vacation spot. A microchip is now a requirement in the UK and can be a permanent form of identification for your dog.

Plan bathroom breaks

Teach your dog to relieve itself on various surfaces, not only on grass, before you leave home. When your dog is able to relieve itself on different terrains, like gravel, mulch and concrete, it can stay more comfortable and avoid accidents. Take along a supply of bags for cleaning up afterwards, and also take a leash along.

Travelling can be stressful when you have a noisy and restless pet. When you make bookings beforehand and plan each step of the journey, you can have a calm dog by your side, enjoying the trip just as much as you.  If on the other hand you are booking your own holiday this summer and want to treat your dog to a stay in our luxury dog kennels, then contact our friendly team today. We are not just experts, we are dog lovers, and it is our mission to ensure your dog is happy and comfortable while staying in our care. 

Six Fun Ways to Exercise with Cats and Dogs

dog and cat boarding services

Maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle through physical exercise is crucial for many people, and especially so for their pets. If you own a cat or a dog, then you’ll know how important their health is. After all, our four legged friends are members of our family and so making sure they are fit and healthy is crucial for them to live the best life possible. Sadly, obesity is an epidemic which has reached epic proportions over the last decade or so, with more people currently classed as obese, or morbidly obese, than ever before.

Obesity can affect your quality of life, it leaves you susceptible to all manner of ailments and health issues. It turns out however, that it isn’t just us humans who are struggling with our weight. So too are our four-legged friends.

Many dogs and cats are also getting heavier and obesity in animals can be very serious and can lead to a whole host of health issues. Across the pond, 52.5 percent of dogs in the US are overweight or morbidly obese which shows that something has to change. For cats the number is even higher, with 59 percent in the US being classed as obese or overweight.

The good news when it comes to obesity is the fact that it can easily be undone with diet and exercise, and the same applies to your cats and dogs.

If you and your furry friend are interested in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, here’s a look at six fun ways to exercise with your cat and dog.

Go for a swim

Yes, you did read that right, we are indeed recommending that you go for a swim with your dog if the pair of you are looking to lose weight, providing you do so safely of course.

Swimming is a great cardiovascular workout that is great for the heart and great for weight loss. As an added bonus, it is also a low-impact form of exercise that is great for the joints. Obesity in owners and their dogs, can put pressure on the joints which is why joint issues such as arthritis are more common in people and animals that are overweight.

Providing you find a safe and suitable location, swimming with your dog is actually a whole lot of fun and is a great way to lose weight.

Go play ball

Let’s face it, if there’s one thing that dogs love to do, it’s play ball. This is very fortunate when it comes to losing weight because playing ball is a great form of exercise.

If you want your canine companion to shed those pounds, head to the nearest park or playing field with their favourite ball, throw it as far as you can over and over, and have them bring it back to you until they have used up a lot of their energy.

To help you get some weight off too, you might want to incorporate some light cardio in there too, perhaps by running around the field every so often.

Go for a walk

Perhaps the easiest and most common way for dogs and their owners to lose weight and get some exercise in is to go for a walk.

Dogs love going on walks, and walking is a fantastic form of cardio that will burn calories and contribute towards weight loss and aerobic fitness. As an added bonus, dog walking is also fairly low impact so it is much better on the joints than running.

Whether you’re going on a walk around the block, your local park, the beach, the countryside, or a hiking trail up in the mountains, walking is a great way for dog and owner to get fit together.

Hunting Prey

Your cat is a natural born hunter and they will retain their natural hunting instincts throughout their life. A great way of indulging their inner predator is to buy a small stuffed animal toy, usually attached to a piece of string and then play hide and seek with them. By wriggling the string you can imitate the movements of its prey and this will stimulate your furry feline in to charging at it and taking it down. This is a great exercise as it helps your cat to burn calories, use up their energy and exercise their joints. It’s also lots of fun!

Cat Towers

A cat tower is a great way of introducing exercise to your furry feline by allowing them to play, dangle, pounce and scale. These exercises will be a fun way for your cat to burn calories and use up plenty of energy!

Cat Diets

The internet is a great source of information but not all of it is helpful or accurate. If you have concerns about your cat’s weight you should consult your vet who will be able to offer solutions.

Hopefully this article covering cats and dogs exercise has been helpful. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs we understand the importance of ensuring your cat and dog lives a healthy and happy life. We have many years of experience providing a friendly and professional dog walking service, cattery and dog boarding services for the Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire regions. Our friendly team will also happily collect in and around Hitchin, Letchworth, Baldock and Royston. Call us today and our team will be happy to help you.

Joining The SME Climate Hub & Reducing our Carbon Footprint

At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs, we care passionately about protecting the environment and reducing our overall carbon footprint. In fact, we have even pledged to achieve a 50 % reduction in our carbon fuel emissions by the year, 2030! To ensure we hit this figure, we proudly joined the SME Climate Hub – an innovative and revolutionary climate action initiative for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – dedicated to reducing carbon fuel emissions.

The ground-breaking SME Climate Hub has helped to inspire many small and medium-sized businesses, just like ours to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% before 2030. So far we are on target to meet this eco-friendly business goal!

Since joining this government climate initiative, we have been able to gain access to eco-friendly tools and resources that have really helped us in our quest to reduce our carbon fuel emissions. We now have two fully electric vans which are charged on site using power generated by our extensive solar panels arrays. This means zero emissions when we drive. We also have a large Tesla battery on site which charges up when the sun shines and we use the stored power at night. This dramatically cuts energy we use throughout the year.

As part of this initiative, many other SME’s are also turning towards greener ways of operating, with many waving goodbye to petrol powered cars and saying hello to electrically charged work vehicles.  In creating the SME Climate Hub, the founders have discovered a great opportunity to facilitate emissions reductions on a national and global scale. We really are excited to be joining this SME green initiative!

Recently, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has shown his governments’ support for a greener Britain:

“Every step that a small business takes on their journey to net zero adds up – not only in protecting the health of the planet but also in future-proofing their business and encouraging new investment, new customers and new opportunities for growth.

We are providing the support and advice small businesses need to join us and become leaders in the fight against climate change.”

With so many SMEs like ours becoming more sustainable and more focused on reducing carbon fuel emissions, we can look forward to hopefully seeing an even bigger impact later on down the road to help protect the future of our planet.

Did you find this eco-friendly article helpful? At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs we are more than just a friendly and professional dog walking service for the Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire regions. We also care passionately about the environment and want to ensure our business does everything it can in helping to reduce our carbon footprint. If you found this article helpful or have any questions on how we can assist you and your dog or cat, then please call our friendly staff today who are waiting to receive your call. Call 01462 742658 or send us an email office@cbkennels.co.uk for dog walking in Hertfordshire. 

6 Dog Walking Tips

When it comes to walking your four legged friend, it’s not only a great way for you to keep fit but it’s also a great way for them to learn good behaviours whilst exploring the world around them. Read the following six dog walking tips below to ensue your canine companion gets the most out of their daily walks. Enjoy!

Change the Pace

Sometimes changing the pace of your dog walk is a great way of enjoying the scenery around you. It’s also a great chance for your furry friend to take in a new smell or explore something they have spotted. Likewise, if you prefer a more leisurely stroll, then why not try introducing a higher intensity? By changing the pace of your dog walk, you are slowly training your dog to become more alert, more focussed and allowing them to remain closer to you at all times.

Exploration. Exploration. Exploration

Your dog is a natural born explorer and very inquisitive. They say variety is the spice of life, so why not explore new trails the next time you take your dog out for a walk. Introducing a new corner of your walk is a great way of doing this.

Include Training Exercises

Dog walking is also a great opportunity to introduce different training exercises. Dog training doesn’t have to always take place at home. Dog training exercises on a walk are highly recommended for any breed and for any age. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?! We offer a variety of assessments and courses at our dog training centre in Hertfordshire to address a wide range of issues your dog may be experiencing.

Walking and Playing

The next time you walk your dog why not bring along their favourite toy to add some fun to the mix. Playing fetch with a Frisbee or a ball is a great way to bond with your dog whilst also helping to build their concentration and discipline.

Socialising

Dog walking is a great way of socialising your dog with other canines. The more exposure your dog has with other dogs, the more comfortable they will become in social situations over time. When your dog goes for a walk, they’ll also use up plenty of energy from exercising their limbs and therefore tend to be a lot calmer when meeting up with other canines. However, always approach dogs which you do not know with caution as they may be reactive. Ask the owner how their dog reacts to others before letting your dog get in close.

Hopefully this dog walking article has been helpful. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs we have many years of experience providing a friendly and professional dog walking services for the Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire regions. Our friendly dog walking team will even collect in and around Hitchin, Letchworth, Baldock and Royston. Call our friendly dog walking staff today who are waiting to receive your call.

Call 01462 742658 or send us an email office@cbkennels.co.uk for dog walking in Hertfordshire. 

Buying a Puppy in Lockdown – What to Know first

As Lockdown continues and many of us are working from home, more and more people are considering this to be the perfect time to buy a puppy.

Lockdown has caused record numbers of searches for ‘puppies for sale’, in fact; The Kennel Club says searches for puppies on their website doubled between February and March 2020 when the first lockdown was announced. Furthermore, this ‘puppy boom’ has prompted many breeders to raise their prices to an all-time high.

If you are thinking of buying a puppy during lockdown, it is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Before you start your search, here are some important points to consider…

Restrictions

It is important to remember that lockdown and social distancing restrictions will make buying a puppy more difficult. Not only because you may have to travel to collect one, but also because you will need to see the puppy in the seller’s home. It is always recommended that you view a puppy where it has been raised and with its mother. This is so that you can be sure the animal has been properly cared for and you are not buying from an unreputable ‘puppy farm’.

Cost

Cost is a huge consideration when buying a puppy. The price of puppies has more than doubled during lockdown, with popular breeds selling for £3,000 or more. Expensive? Yes! And this is before you have even factored in veterinary and insurance costs. Vets are seeing lots of new pet owners unable or reluctant to cover the additional costs needed for vaccinations, neutering and flea treatment. And don’t forget food and other accessories, such as bedding and toys.

Time

Puppies are incredibly rewarding in many ways, however they are also very demanding of time. You may have lots of time to care for a puppy now, but what about when you return to work and school, and going on holiday? It is important to think about this before you buy a puppy. Who will care for it when things return to normal? Can you afford the help of a dog walker, sitter or boarding kennels in the future?

Stress

Many say that getting a new puppy is a lot like bringing home a new baby. At the beginning you will have sleepless nights and you will always need to keep your eye on them.  This on top of working from home, your usual household chores and home-schooling can become incredible stressful. So it is crucial to ask yourself “Can I deal with this additional responsibility right now?” before buying a puppy.

A puppy is for life, not just for lockdown

Remember, a puppy is a lifetime commitment. Please think very carefully about whether you can properly care for a dog, not just now, but also in the future when lockdown is lifted. If you do believe now is the right time, then you could also consider adopting a dog from an animal shelter, where there are still thousands of animals waiting for a new home and it should save you a lot of money.

Grooming your dog at home

During this lockdown period, you may be wondering how to get your dog groomed. Following the guidelines by the government, we are unable to accept bookings for dog grooming, however, we are members of the Pet Industry Foundation (PIF) who have created an infographic packed with advice on keeping your dog’s coat tidy during the Covid-19 outbreak. We hope you find this advice useful. Click here for further information.