Get Travel Vet’s dog-friendly holiday prep list

With summer just around the corner, you may be thinking about holiday plans. If you are taking your dog away with you, planning what they will need for the trip ahead of time will help to ensure your holiday is ‘smooth sailing’ or at the very least, you’ll be prepared for most eventualities. To help you, the dog-loving staff at Travel Vet have put together some advice for your dog-friendly summer holiday below.

If you need to update your dog’s vaccinations, flea & worm treatment, or anything else before your trip, book an appointment at our Staines-upon-Thames vet practice.

Book a pre-holiday appointment

Taking your dog on holiday this summer

Taking your dog on holiday with you can be an exciting idea; not only do you get the enjoyment of bringing them along for the fun and not being apart from them, but your dog will get to experience lots of new sights and smells! To help you prepare for a happy and easy dog-friendly holiday, take a look at Travel Vet’s list below.

Dog-Friendly Holiday Prep List

Car travel

  • Safety – Use a harness, seatbelt, and car seat, or a crate; ensure you can take toilet breaks without leaving your dog in a parked car on hot days
  • Sickness – Get your dog used to car travel in advance; talk to us if they have severe travel sickness on 01753 316081
  • Comfort – Plan plenty of toilet & refreshment breaks for your dog along the way; travel early or late to avoid the heat wherever possible

Suitable living accommodation that allows pets

  • Safety – Will stairs or outdoor steps be a hazard? Is there an enclosed garden?
  • Comfort – Where will your dog sleep and go to the toilet (if there is no garden)?
  • Damage – Could your dog damage light-coloured furnishings?
  • Camping – Will your dog be safe in your tent with you at night?

Essentials – Take first aid kits, local Vet contact details for your destination, food supplies, bowls, bedding, any medication they are on including scheduled flea & worm treatments, doggy shampoo and towels, plenty of poop bags, lead & collar (with ID tag), and anything else your dog usually has.

Sun safety – Take pet sunscreen, make sure your daytime plans don’t put your dog in the hot sun for long periods; always take water on your trips out and provide shade.

Daily plans – Are there lots of dog-friendly places to go? Check local dog beach bans. It’s normally a ‘no-no’ to leave your dog unattended in holiday accommodation.

Parasite prevention – Up-to-date worming, flea, and tick control, and vaccinations

Overseas travel – Your dog will need an Animal Health Certificate, rabies vaccine (at least 21 days before travel), a health check by an Official Veterinarian (OV) qualified to certify pets ‘fit to fly’, and potentially other documents and treatments depending on your destination(s).

So, there you have it, Travel Vet’s comprehensive planning guide for a fun, safe, and easy dog-friendly holiday this summer. We hope you and your dog have a fantastic time away and our team look forward to hearing all about it at your next visit to our Staines-upon-Thames veterinary practice.

Remember, if your dog needs anything before you go, or you just want them to have a health check to put your mind at rest, get in touch to book.

Book a pre-holiday appointment

Does my dog need an ID tag AND a microchip?

If your dog has been microchipped, do they need to wear a collar and ID tag? If your dog always wears a collar and ID tag, do they need to be microchipped? Veterinary Surgeon Emma Fisher, is here to clear up any uncertainties on this topic.

Book a microchip appointment

The short answers are Yes and Yes, if you don’t want to risk being prosecuted and fined. But what are the other costs of non-compliance?

Why microchip dogs?

June is National Microchipping Month and the perfect time to remind dog owners about this topic. Since 2016, there has been a UK law on microchipping dogs from 8 weeks of age. This is typically done by the breeder, who must then update the microchip log with the new owner’s information.

A microchip might be tiny (about the same size as a grain of rice), but its purpose is mighty, explains Emma. If your dog should ever go missing and isn’t wearing their collar and tag, a microchip can make all the difference in reuniting you. Vet practices, dog wardens, and some animal rescue centres can use a microchip scanner to reveal the owner’s details. This is also really helpful when a stolen dog has their microchip routinely scanned.

For dogs picked up as strays or scanned by the dog warden for something else, owners have 21 days to get them microchipped before a criminal prosecution is actioned with a fine of up to £500.

It is also a legal requirement to keep your contact information up to date, and extremely helpful in reuniting you and your dog.

If for any reason your dog has not been microchipped, or you just want to have their microchip scanned and the details checked, contact our Spout Lane North team on 01753 316081 who will be happy to help.

Dog ID tags UK law

According to the Control of Dogs Order 1992, all dogs must wear a collar and ID tag when out in public, which must detail their owner’s name and address. This dog ID tags UK law applies whether your dog is on a lead or not. Contravention of this order is an offence and risks a fine of up to £2000.

If your dog is involved in an altercation, an accident, or runs off, a dog ID tag is the quickest way for someone to contact you about your dog.

Dog ID tags can be quite small, especially if you have a small dog. Emma advises that phone numbers can be helpful on there too and recommends having your own version of this engraved:

SMITH, 10,

EXAMPLE DRIVE

WV11 8HG

07770 123456

A phone number can be very useful on a dog tag – and don’t forget, the tag has two sides that can normally be engraved.

On the topic of dog thefts, which have risen significantly since the first COVID lockdown, some of Travel Vet’s clients have told us their top tips for dog ID tags:

  1. Don’t have your dog’s name engraved on their ID tag – this will and give thieves a head start
  2. Include CHIPPED & NEUTERED on the tag if it will fit as this may put thieves off – many dogs are stolen for breeding

So, why not put microchipping and ID tag at the top of your to-do-list, and give your dog the best chance of a swift reunion with you whilst staying on the right side of the law?

Contact us about dog microchipping

Why all dog owners in Middlesex need a pet first aid kit

Preparation can mean the difference between life and death in first aid scenarios, according to our Vet, Emma Fisher. This is why the team at Travel Vet are recommending that all dog owners in Middlesex get themselves a pet first aid kit.

First though, check out our First Aid Tips for Dog Adventures – a guide to recognising conditions that need first aid and immediate veterinary care. Download it via the button below and save it on your phone. You could share it with friends & family by email or on Facebook too.

Download our Dog First Aid Guide

Whilst as owners we should aim to get our pet veterinary care as quickly as possible in an emergency, there are often scenarios where this is problematic. Imagine that your location or circumstances prevent you from getting to the clinic quickly, or your dog’s injury is life threatening and needs an interim measure to protect them before they can travel.

Emma advises that having a pet first aid kit to hand is crucial in being able to offer vital support when it is needed most. It also gives you piece of mind that you have the tools available to help your pet in the first instance.

Pet first aid supplies – what should your kit contain?

There are many different types of pet first aid kits. How comprehensive yours need to be will depend on what you are doing or where you are. If you are fairly local, you may carry a smaller kit compared to being on a holiday away from local amenities.

Useful pet first aid supplies include:

1.Bandages – different types (first aid courses can teach how to bandage properly)

2.Blunt-ended scissors

3.Wound wash – saline preferable

4.Cotton wool

5.Tweezers

6.Tick removal tools

7.Wound dressing

8.Self-adhesive tape

9.Vinyl gloves / alcohol gel for sanitising hands

10.Foil blanket

11.Thermometer

12.Antiseptic wipes

13.A blanket to use as a stretcher

14.Any medication your pet receives

15.Details for your local Vets – here are ours

16.Details for local vets for the area you are visiting

Having this equipment to hand means you are well prepared for the most common emergencies – download our dog first aid tips to learn what these might be.

Why some of the above items are so important

Emma explains that different types of bandages can help to stop bleeds, slow down blood loss, or protect a wound whilst transporting your pet. Tweezers can help you remove thorns or stings; never remove any big items that could be going through an artery, and use a special tick removal tool for dog ticks. Gloves and alcohol gel will help to ensure you are clean when cleaning wounds with the saline.

When it comes to blankets, Emma shares why you need two types in your pet first aid kit. Foil blankets are useful for helping to keep your pet warm and preventing shock after a trauma. Using a blanket as a stretcher is also very important for any injuries to the spine or limbs. If you can carry your pet on a stretcher, they will be more supported and comfortable then carrying them in your arms.

Keeping details of both your Vet practice and a local Vet if you adventuring far from home, will mean you are not frantically searching for the details of an emergency Vet.

Learn your DR ABCS

Whenever faced with an emergency always remember DR ABCS:

·Danger – keep safe from the environment or your pet; a scared dog or any other animal may lash out

·Response – check if your dog is responsive by calling their name

·Airway – is their airway clear?

·Breathing – are they breathing?

·Circulation – do they have a pulse or heartbeat?

·Send – send someone to go and find help

Always ensure wherever you go, no matter how close to home you are, that you carry your pet first aid kit. Also, remember to replace items you have used – there is nothing worse than needing something in an emergency and it not being in your kit!

Emma’s final piece of advice for dog owners in Middlesex, is to learn how to recognise common dog health emergencies – download & share our helpful guide below.

Download our Dog First Aid Guide

Cats, dogs and bee stings – what you need to know

 

Cats and dogs are naturally inquisitive animals. This has many benefits but can also get them into trouble! A common problem in the spring and summer months is Bee or Wasp stings. Our Head Vet Emma Fisher, has some advice for Middlesex owners of cats and dogs on this topic.

To help you tell the difference between bees, wasps, and hornets, our Staines-upon-Thames vet nurses have put together a handy guide for you to download.

Download our Insect Guide

Why do bees sting cats and dogs?

Often in the warmer months we spend more time outdoors and naturally our animals will then spend more time nosing at the flowers. This is typically how cats and dogs get stung as their inquisitive noses disturb the bees and wasps collecting pollen. Trying to catch a buzzing insect can also seem like a fun game…until they get stung!

Signs that your cat or dog has been stung

In most cases, owners will not actually see the stinging occur. Instead, you may see your pet suddenly shaking or pawing at their head or body, or they have a swollen face all of a sudden.

Typical bee and wasp sting symptoms include:

  • Swelling (often around the muzzle where they have been sticking their nose in)
  • Constantly licking either at a specific area or their lips if the sting is inside the mouth
  • Redness around the area where the sting went in
  • Pawing at the area
  • Vocalising more than usual

Severe symptoms could include:

  • Breathing difficulties, especially in brachycephalic breeds if the sting is around the throat area
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Allergic reaction such as anaphylactic shock (although this would be very rare)

How to treat a bee or wasp sting on a cat or dog

Unless you saw the stinging occur, it will be difficult to tell if your pet was stung by a wasp or a bee. Either way, you can use our first aid tips below.

First, you want to make sure the sting is removed. Our Staines-upon-Thames vet nurses suggest using something flat like a credit card to scrape the sting off your pet’s skin and dispose of it. Avoid using tweezers to pull the sting out as they could squeeze venom into your pet.

Second, if you do know whether it was a bee or a wasp, you could apply the correct substance to soothe the pain;

  • Wasp = vinegar/lemon juice
  • Bee = bicarbonate of soda & water paste

Do you know the difference between a bee and a wasp? Download our Know Your Insects Guide

If you do not know the culprit, or after you have used the above first aid advice, you can then apply a cold pack to the swelling.

When to call a Vet

If you are at all concerned, especially if the swelling is causing further distress to your pet or is likely to affect an airway, you should always ring a Vet for advice. Our Spout Lane North veterinary team are here to help, just give us a call on 01753 316081.

Some pets may need pain medication, which can be prescribed by one of our Vets too.

Middlesex pet owners sometimes ask if they can use antihistamines to help with the reaction; these can only be prescribed by the Vet to ensure the correct dosage is given, and because some ingredients could possibly be fatal in some brands.

Just to be safe this season, why not print our Know Your Insect guide and stick it on your fridge to help you spot the differences between bees, wasps, and hornets?

Get our Insect Guide

Remember to share this advice with your pet-loving friends on Facebook!

How to pet-proof spring gardens in Middlesex

Spring is the ideal time to spruce up your garden after a gloomy winter. It is also your chance to garden with your pets in mind, so you can have a pet-friendly space all year round.

The team at Travel Vet have collated some important ideas below to help Middlesex pet owners make their garden a safe space for their four-legged friends. With our no-fuss guide, you can pet-proof your garden and keep your dogs, cats, or rabbits happy and healthy all year long.

Plants are an integral part of many gardens but some can be harmful, even deadly. Our Staines-upon-Thames Vets have also put together this helpful guide to highlight the signs to look out for, what to do if you suspect poisoning, and common toxic plants. You can download our guide here:

Get our Poisonous Plants guide

Pet-proofing your garden is mostly about making it safe for exploration. Look at your garden as a whole and imagine your pet exploring it. Remember, animals are curious and mostly led by smell, so if your dog, cat, or rabbit can physically reach somewhere, it is not ‘off limits’ to them.

Below is a comprehensive list of ways to make your garden safe. Adopting these strategies to pet-proof your garden now will make life easier later and ensure your pets have a safe outdoor space to enjoy all year long.

How to pet proof your garden

Travel Vet’s team suggests your to-do-list should include:

  1. Pet proof your garden fence and fix any gaps in boundaries where your pet could escape through.
  2. Get rid of broken bottles, sharp stones, and other obvious hazards.
  3. Tidy away tools and anything you do not want your pet ‘playing’ with or nibbling.
  4. Relocate or reorganise piles of bricks or wood so they can’t topple over.
  5. Make places your pet could get trapped inside or under inaccessible and close shed doors.
  6. Fence off areas your pet could fall from and any bodies of water.
  7. Put harmful substances on high shelves and behind cupboard doors.
  8. Choose pet-safe plants and remove toxic plants for pets – remember that parts of plants can be spread throughout your garden by wildlife and wind.
  9. Remove/relocate bulbs that could harm pets – cover soil in netting so pets can’t dig them up.
  10. Grow vegetables in raised beds – put netting over to keep out curious paws and noses.
  11. Only use pet-safe products to repel insects, slugs, and snails.
  12. Don’t leave pet bowls and toys out overnight – slugs/snails can cause lungworm in dogs.
  13. Lawns: beware as grass seeds can get lodged in eyes and cut grass is toxic when eaten.
  14. Clean up any animal faeces (not just your pet’s) to avoid your pet eating it and becoming unwell or potentially contracting worms.
  15. Remember that wildlife frequents your garden too and may drop food that contains bones, raw meat, raisons, or other toxic ingredients – check your garden before letting your pet out.
  16. And finally, monitor your pet’s time outside. Head Vet Emma Fisher cannot stress this enough – accidents and escape attempts can happen fast.

If you have followed this list, your garden should be a safe and happy place for your pet to hang out in. You could go a step further by creating dedicated areas in your garden for digging, playing, relaxing, and toileting of course, maybe even connected by a pet-friendly garden path. This creates a harmonious outdoor space that works for you and your pets.

Remember to download our Pet Plant Poisons Guide below. Also, why not share our article on pet-proofing your garden with your pet-loving friends and family on Facebook or email?

Download our Poisons Guide

Get Emma’s advice on dog fleas, worms, and ticks

What do dog fleas look like? Could my dog have worms? Why are ticks so dangerous? These are just some of the questions we get asked by Middlesex dog owners at our Staines-upon-Thames vet practice.

In this article, our Head Vet Emma Fisher invites all dog owners to take a closer look at common dog parasites as we head into spring. Emma shares what you need to know about dog fleas, worms, and ticks below, and you can download our handy infographic highlighting the common signs to look out for here:

Get our Spotting Pesky Parasites guide

Dog fleas

As well as making your dog feel itchy, sore, and uncomfortable, fleas pose a serious health risk. They lay flea eggs on dogs and in your home, multiplying rapidly. A flea infestation can lead to anaemia (due to the volume of blood they consume), which can be fatal especially in puppies or unwell dogs.

Emma advises owners that fleas do not spend all their time on pets. Fleas can also survive in cracks and crevices, on furniture, and in carpets for up to a year. If your dog gets fleas you will need to treat them, your home, and other pets – never share flea treatments between pet species.

How do dogs get fleas?

Fleas are common in the environment and can be easily picked up in the garden, on walks, and from other pets carrying them. The only way to avoid your dog getting fleas is to treat them (and cats if you have them) regularly throughout the year with vet-recommended preventative flea treatments. One-off treatments might remove existing fleas but won’t protect your pets going forward, neither will many over-the-counter products.

What do dog fleas look like?

Dog fleas are small, black/brown in colour, and swell after feasting on blood. You can sometimes spot them crawling or jumping on your dog, or you. To help you spot other tell-tale signs of fleas, get Emma’s dog parasite guide here.

Dog worms

To give your dog ongoing protection throughout their life, they will need a vet-recommended worming treatment every 1-6 months, depending on your Vet’s guidance. Some worms can have devastating consequences for your dog, and some can be passed to humans, so Emma stresses the importance of preventative worm treatments.

  • Roundworms: higher risk to younger dogs – can be passed to humans
  • Tapeworms: exposure risk higher in dogs who scavenge for food and those with fleas – children at risk of contracting from infected faeces
  • Hookworm & whipworm: like tapeworms, these are common intestinal worms that can cause health complications
  • Lungworm: often fatal, picked up from the slime of infected slugs and snails – increased risk if dog toys and food/water bowls are left out overnight
  • Heartworm: dogs travelling abroad can be at risk

To help you spot the tell-tale signs of dog worms, download our parasite guide here.

Ticks

Ticks mostly live in woodland, long grasses, and fields where livestock or deer graze. Although most prevalent in spring and summer, they can be problematic throughout the year in some areas.

Ticks are usually small, oval, and flat in appearance, about the size of a sesame seed. They can swell to the size of a coffee bean after a feast of blood. Emma advises dog owners to check for small lumps on their dog’s skin (and their own) after walks.

Why are ticks so dangerous?

Ticks latch on by inserting their mouthparts into the skin to suck blood. A tick bite can cause irritation, anaemia, and temporary paralysis in rare cases. Ticks can also spread Lyme disease, which affects humans too and can lead to a serious, debilitating chronic illness with complications for life.

How do you remove a tick safely?

It is important to use a special tick removal tool in a twist and pull motion instead of pulling a tick straight out, which could leave the head in and increase the risk of disease transmission. Ask our team about tick removal tools.

With pets being outside more in spring they are more at risk of picking up parasites. To help you spot the signs of tick bites in dogs as well as worms and fleas, check out Emma’s handy dog parasite guide:

Spotting Pesky Parasites

If you found our article on dog parasites useful, why not share it with your dog-owning friends and family by email, WhatsApp, messenger or on Facebook?

Must-have exercise and nutrition tips for dogs in Middlesex

Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand when you are trying to lose weight or just live more healthily. At Travel Vet in Staines-upon-Thames, we love dogs, and we love helping owners improve their dog’s health and happiness. Our team have put together some proactive dog nutrition and exercise tips to help you make a plan.

You can help other dog owners in Middlesex by sharing your dog wellness tips on our Facebook page:

Share your dog tips

10 top tips for creating a dog nutrition & fitness plan

  1. Choose a good quality, nutritionally complete, dry dog food that will support your dog’s health, life-stage, activity levels, and dental health.
  2. Some owners like to add wet food, look for one with good quality ingredients.
  3. Measure/weigh your dog’s food portions to ensure they are getting the right amount for their daily needs. Remember that more exercise may need more food. Ask us if you are unsure.
  4. Ensure your dog drinks plenty of water, you can always put some in with their food.
  5. Reduce treats and switch to healthier options like carrots and cooked green beans.
  6. Write down the exercises you want your dog to do and when, so you have a clear guide to keep you bothon track.
  7. Even if weight loss isn’t the focus, it is a good idea to write down weight goals (lose/gain/maintain) and measure changes every 2 – 4 weeks. This way, you can adjust the exercises or nutrition quickly if any issues arise. Pop into our Spout Lane North practice to get your dog’s starting weight. We can also do a body condition score to understand where your dog is at on the scale – just request a Nurse appointment.
  8. Increase the time, speed, and/or incline of your dog’s daily walk to burn more calories, give muscles more of a workout, and mix-up their regular routine.
  9. Try something new like dog agility if your dog is up to the challenge – be careful with older dogs and take it slow to start with.
  10. Consider a dog fitness app that lets you track routes, activities, and achievements.

Now you are ready to create your dog’s ‘healthier in 2022’ plan.

Don’t forget to make time for rest and recovery in your plan to avoid injury, burnout, or loss of interest for you both. Dogs do need daily exercise, so it is a good idea to do standard walks on some days (or all days if you have a very energetic dog) and try something more up-tempo on others. We hope you enjoy your new plan as much as your dog will!

Call us if you would like more advice or to book a body condition score appointment with our Vet Nurses on 01753 316081.

Help your friends and family, and other Middlesex dog owners by either sharing our article on your social media profiles or,

Share your own dog tips on our Facebook page

Eco-friendly treats for overweight dogs

We’re all for new year resolutions that will help pets and planet. Head Vet Emma Fisher and the rest of our dog-loving team in Staines-upon-Thames, have some thought-challenging ideas to share with you on the topic of dog treats.

Before we dig in, if you think your dog could be overweight, our Spout Lane North nursing team can help. Book a weight check and get a body condition score, advice, and support for your dog’s weight-loss journey ahead.

Book a weight check

What are overweight dog problems

Carrying excess weight will affect your dog’s health and quality of life. Overweight dogs can struggle with mobility, sore joints, and injuries. They are also at risk of developing diabetes and other serious health complications. A large contributing factor to weight gain is treats – to be more accurate, people giving dogs treats.

As January is a common time for new year weight-loss resolutions, we thought we’d encourage pet owners to focus on their dog’s weight too… whilst trying to live more sustainably of course. Read Emma and our team’s top tips below for better treat options.

Seven dog treat ideas for 2022

  1. Dogs don’t ‘need’ treats; there’s an interesting thought! Here’s another – your dog won’t love you any less if you don’t give them a treat. Be more purposeful with them i.e., use treats in training and to reward positive behaviour, such as recall on walks. Keep an eye on how many you’re giving as they quickly add up when you’re having fun.
  2. Your dog will still enjoy a treat if it’s not of the high-calorie, artificially coloured variety. Choose a low-fat dry kibble to use as treats, or, switch to carrots, cucumber, apple (not the core), and other healthy fruit and vegetables that aren’t toxic to dogs. Here’s a guide on fruit & veg your dog can eat from the PDSA.
  3. When buying dog food and treats from a shop check for eco-friendly packaging. Is it recyclable? Is there a better option? Also ask yourself, “does my overweight dog need it?”
  4. Avoid the pick & mix stand in your local pet shop as you can’t always check the ingredients and fat/sugar content and it’s easy to get carried away. If you do use it, take your own tubs.
  5. If you’re switching to carrots and other healthy veg & fruit treats, buy loose items without plastic packaging. Alternatively, why not buy some seeds and grow your own in Middlesex?
  6. Can you walk to the shop for treats? Lower your carbon footprint and give your overweight dog some exercise. You could also take a backpack to avoid plastic shopping bags.
  7. Have you thought about making dog treats at home? You’d be in control of the ingredients and baking goods often come in recyclable packaging (flour, eggs, etc.). Search for ‘healthy dog treat recipes’ and grab your apron.

If you have any more tips for switching to healthier and more sustainable dog treats, we’d love you to share them on our Facebook page to help other dog owners. Share on Facebook.

Not sure if your dog is overweight? Book a weight check with our Staines-upon-Thames nursing team and let us help you make 2022 a healthier year for your dog.

Book a dog weight check

Dog friendly days out in Middlesex this December

The run-up to Christmas is usually a busy time spent out and about shopping for gifts & decorations and seeing friends & family. But does this mean your dog has to spend more time home alone? Dogs thrive on attention and time with their favourite human companions. A bored and lonely dog can develop behavioural issues like destroying your belongings, excessive barking, and soiling indoors.

The solution? Dog friendly days out!

This way, you can spend time with your dog AND tick off your pre-Christmas to-do-list at the same time. Our Spout Lane North team have listed some ideas for dog friendly places below; it’s a good idea to check the website and reviews to ensure they are dog friendly before setting off.

Share dog friendly places on Facebook

You can help other dog owners in and around Stanwell, Longford, and Colnbrook, by sharing your favourite dog friendly days out on our Facebook page.

Travel Vet’s top ideas for places you can take your dog:

  • Cafés, restaurants & pubs – With so many dog-friendly options in Middlesex, why not persuade your friends to meet you at one of them so your dog can hang out too? Remember though, six hours sat under a table in a rowdy pub while you drink and talk with your friends isn’t ideal either. We suggest reading some reviews first to see if the establishment is a good fit for you all.
  • Pet shops – Pottering around your local pet shop is a great way to make both you and your dog happy. While you’re buying pet products for your dog and as presents for your pet-loving friends, your dog can be basking in the heavenly smells a pet shop has to offer.
  • Garden centres – Many garden centres these days are dog friendly and of course free to visit. You can often get some lovely Christmas gifts there and enjoy some tea & cake. Your dog will enjoy wandering around, taking in the interesting sights and smells.
  • Markets & shops – Some fantastic Christmas gifts can be purchased at outdoor markets. Dogs are normally welcome but be careful if they are wary of large crowds. Plus, we bet there are more dog-friendly shops in Middlesex than you might think, where you can take your pal for a walk while you shop.
  • Dog parks & countryside walks – Catch up with friends and family by going for a dog walk. Everyone gets some fresh air and exercise, and your dog gets to be by your side.
  • Dog friendly attractions – You may be surprised how many places you can find to take your dog by searching for ‘dog friendly days out near me’. Perfect for that festive fix!
  • Dog friendly holidays – If you’re planning a Christmas break, check out the wide variety of dog friendly accommodation on websites like Airbnb and dogfriendlycottages.co.uk research local dog friendly attractions before you visit too.

To ensure you are welcomed back to these places time and time again, our team recommends:

  1. Cleaning up and disposing of your dog’s poops.
  2. Keeping your dog on a lead (unless you see a sign saying otherwise) and under control.
  3. Being courteous to business owners and other visitors by not letting your dog eat or urinate on any goods, furniture, or decorations.

We hope you enjoy some fun times with your canine companion this Christmas. Don’t forget to share your favourite dog friendly places on our Facebook page.

Share your favourites on Facebook

If your dog has been spending more time home alone lately and you notice any unusual behaviours, book a Vet appointment with our team.

Christmas foods that are toxic to dogs – a Vet’s guide

Should you give your dog human foods like roast dinner, mince pies, Christmas pudding, and trifle? No, is the short answer, as our team of Vets will tell you.

If you think your dog may have eaten something concerning, call us for advice or to arrange emergency care straight away.

Call us on 01753 316081

Many foods and drinks we consume over Christmas are toxic to dogs. Depending on the item, amount consumed and how long ago, combined with the size and health of your dog, the situation could be life-threatening. To put it into context, a single raisin could potentially kill a dog – they are that toxic.

To help you avoid harmful foods and find treats your dog can have this holiday season, our Staines-upon-Thames Vets have created these lists to help you.

Christmas foods your dog SHOULD NOT eat:

  • Christmas roast dinner – Skinless, plain turkey is fine in small quantities. However, most festive dinners are laden with fat and can include onion (gravy), chives, garlic, pepper, and lots of salt – none of which will do your dog any good. Likewise, your dog shouldn’t chew on cooked bones as these can splinter and damage your pet’s mouth and gut.
  • Pigs in blankets – The sausage meat may contain onion and spices, and along with the bacon will be very fatty. Eating foods high in fat can lead to a painful condition called pancreatitis.
  • Mince pies and Christmas pudding – These usually contain dried fruits like raisins and sultanas, which are highly toxic to dogs and consumption can be fatal.
  • Chocolate – All chocolate is toxic to dogs. However, dark and cooking chocolate are the most toxic as they contain the most theobromine per gram. Call 01753 316081 immediately and keep the wrapper if they didn’t eat that too.
  • Trifle and other sweet treats – Many dogs are lactose intolerant, and an overdose of dairy cream can cause an upset stomach. Fatty and sugary foods can cause weight, dental, and other health issues so it’s best to just avoid these types of human foods as dog treats.
  • Other harmful Christmas goodies include macadamias and other nuts, bread dough (yeast), cookie dough, grapes, corn-on-the-cob, alcohol, and anything containing Xylitol – an artificial sweetener that is highly toxic to dogs.

Treats your dog CAN have:

  • Dog treats! It might sound simple, but dog treats are typically made to be nutritionally balanced, tasty, and safe for dogs. You can usually buy festive-themed treats at most pet shops in and around Stanwell, Longford, and Colnbrook, or make your own!
  • Safe human foods like raw carrots, cucumber, banana, and blueberries, and cooked butternut squash, green beans, and plain pasta in small amounts can make excellent dog snacks. They can also be heathier alternatives to some manufactured dog treats.

Try to remember that your dog won’t love you any less if you don’t give them some of your food, or if you swap cream cakes for carrots. And most importantly, dogs are cunning enough to help themselves if you leave them and food unattended…

Some final tips from our Staines-upon-Thames Vets – Always research new foods online to check they are safe for dogs – if in doubt, leave it out. Give new foods in small amounts first to check they agree with your dog.

If you have any dog food health scares over the festive season, contact us straight away.

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