The Art of Keeping Pets Cool on a Hot Summer’s Day

The sun is blazing and the heat is on in East Renfrewshire. While we humans have various ways to beat the heat, our furry friends often need a little extra help staying cool when the mercury soars. Fear not, pet parents, for we’ve got you covered with some cool tips to keep your beloved companions comfortable and safe on those scorching summer days.

If your pet is not coping well in the heat, contact our team at Rouken Glen Vets for advice.

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The Art of Keeping Pets Cool

Whilst most of us look forward to a hot summer in East Renfrewshire, it can get too hot for our pets and affect their health. Here’s our advice on how to keep your pet’s cool:

  1. Hydration: Keep water bowls filled up, ensuring your pet stays refreshed and revitalised.
  2. Cool Spaces: Create cool havens indoors, avoid hotspots like porches & conservatories.
  3. Shady Retreats: Offer shady spots for your pet to relax in away from the sun’s glare.
  4. Outdoor Comfort: Design outdoor areas & enclosures with shade and consider bringing pets indoors on very hot days.
  5. Heat-Free Zones: Keep pets away from outdoor hot spots like greenhouses & sheds.
  6. Cool Runnings: Plan outdoor activities for cooler times of the day to prevent overheating.
  7. Car Safety: Never leave pets in hot cars, ensuring they’re always safe and cool by your side.
  8. Water Watch: Supervise pets around water features, ensuring they play safely.
  9. Vigilant Monitoring: Watch for signs of heatstroke like panting & vomiting, and act quickly.
  10. Emergency Care: Seek vet help immediately if your pet shows signs of overheating.

If you would like any further advice or your pet is struggling in the heat, contact our team at Rouken Glen Vets.

Contact us for advice

Now, for some more pet tips & treats!

Dogs:

Treat your dog to a splash in the paddling pool or set up a shady spot with a wet towel or cooling mat for them to lie on. Frozen treats like doggy ice lollies made from pet-safe ingredients (such as strawberries) are also a paw-some way to keep your canine companion cool and satisfied.

Got a favourite doggy ice-cream hot spot in East Renfrewshire? Let our followers know on Facebook!

Cats:

Provide plenty of fresh water for your cat to drink, add ice cubes to keep it cold. Create a cat-friendly chill zone indoors with closed curtains, a fan, cooling floor tiles or even a damp cloth straight from the freezer. When trying something new, introduce it slowly and monitor your cat’s response.

Rabbits & Small Furry Pets:

Fluffy furballs like rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters can quickly overheat and need cool retreats. Our vet nurses in Giffnock suggest frozen water bottles wrapped in towels or a ceramic tile that’s been chilled in the fridge make excellent cooling spots. For rabbits, you can lightly mist their ears with cool water, but don’t leave them too wet & cold.

Remember, pet parents – when it comes to keeping your pets cool on a hot day, a little extra TLC goes a long way. So, break out the frozen goodies, set up the shade, and let’s keep our pet pals happy!

For more heat-related pet advice, contact our experienced team at Rouken Glen Vets.

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Top Tips from Richard on Summer BBQ Pet Safety

Ah, the sizzle of sausages, the aroma of burgers on the grill… there’s nothing quite like a summer barbecue with friends and family. But while we humans may be drooling over the delicious delights cooking up, let’s not forget about our furry friends who are eager to join in on the fun. To ensure a paw-some barbecue experience for everyone, here are some top tips from our Vet, Richard Black at Rouken Glen Vets, to keep your pets safe and happy around the grill.

And just in case you need it, here is the emergency number for our vets in Giffnock – 0141 620 2580.

See our contact and emergency information

How to Grill & Chill this Summer

If you know your pets will be into everything, it may be wise to keep them indoors, but if your pets can handle your ‘BBQ rules’, here’s Richard’s tips for how to Grill & Chill:

  1. Create a ‘Safe Zone’: First things first, Richard recommends establishing a designated ‘pet zone’ away from the grill and cooking area. Set up a shady spot with water bowls and comfy bedding where pets can stay cool while you flip the burgers. Portable pet pens are handy for this.
  2. Keep an Eye on Pets: Naturally, the sight & smell of food cooking on the grill will tempt pets to investigate. To prevent them from getting too close to the grill or attempting to steal barbecue food, keep a close eye on them or put someone on ‘grill guard duty’ to steer roaming pets away to safety.
  3. Beware of Hot Surfaces: Grills can reach scorching temperatures that pose a burn risk to curious noses and paws, long after cooking has finished. Richard suggests using a grill cover or barrier to prevent pets from accessing the grill area altogether to avoid accidental burns, and have a plan for hot ash afterwards – see our emergency information.
  4. Pet-safe Barbecue Foods: While it’s tempting to share your barbecue feast with your furry pals, not all barbecue foods are safe for pets. Avoid giving them toxic or harmful foods like onions, garlic, grapes, chocolate, chicken bones, corn on the cob, and foods high in salt, spices, fatty juices, or sugar. Stick to pet-safe treats like plain grilled chicken or lean meat without seasoning. Consider grilling apple, mango, or cucumber for a tasty BBQ treat, if your pet can eat them.
  5. Watch Out for Falling Food: Accidents happen, and tasty treats may accidentally fall onto the ground. Picking up dropped food instantly will prevent pets from eating it; some items may pose a choking hazard or cause gastrointestinal upset.
  6. Keep Your Pets Hydrated: Provide plenty of water during the barbecue festivities for pets to drink. If they seem unwell, call our vets in Giffnock on 0141 620 2580.
  7. Have a Plan for Leftovers: Clearing up thoroughly straight after a BBQ is vital when you have pets. Disposing of barbecue leftovers and scraps promptly and securely will prevent dogs and cats from scavenging through the rubbish. Leftover bones, skewers, and other barbecue remnants can pose choking or gastrointestinal hazards if ingested by pets.

With these grill-tastic tips in mind, you and your furry friends can enjoy a safe and enjoyable barbecue season together in East Renfrewshire. Plus, you’ll be helping to keep wildlife safe too! So, fire up the grill, gather your friends and family, and let the summer celebrations begin!

And remember, call 0141 620 2580 in an emergency.

See our contact and emergency information

Rouken Glen Vets’ Guide to a Safe Summer by the Sea with Your Dog

Summer is all about having fun in the sun, rolling in the sand, and splashing in the sea – especially when your furry friend is in tow! To ensure your dog stays safe at the seaside, Rouken Glen Vets shares top tips for a worry-free beach day below.

Brighten up our day by sharing your doggy beach photos & videos with us on Facebook!

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Sun, Sand, Sea and Safety!

Rouken Glen Vets knows that a bit of sun-smart planning can make all the difference for a safe summer with your pooch. So…

  • Feeling hot? Consider leaving your furry friend to relax in a cool spot at home, especially if they are really young, old, have a very thick coat or a health condition.
  • On long days out and holidays with your dog, factor in time out of the sun together or schedule beach outings during cooler times of the day i.e. early morning or late afternoon.

Ready to hit the beach? Here are some tail-wagging tips from our dog-loving Vet, Richard Black:

Our Top 10 Tips

  1. Sun Protection & Shade: Consider lightweight, UV-protective gear and dog-safe sunscreen to prevent sunburn. Set up camp in shaded areas to shield your furry friend from the sun’s rays.
  2. Vet Richard Black, advises dog owners to be aware of the signs of heatstroke in dogs which include excessive panting, drooling, restlessness, red gums/tongue, lethargy, vomiting & diarrhoea. If your dog is struggling, take them out of the heat, wet their fur with cool water, encourage drinking and get prompt vet advice.

  3. Watch Those Waves: Assess water conditions before letting your dog take a dip. Stick to calmer waters and keep a close eye on your pup while they paddle.
  4. Prevent Saltwater Intake: Discourage your dog from drinking saltwater, as excessive consumption can lead to health issues. Ball games in the sea can result in dogs gulping saltwater.
  5. Stay Hydrated: Bring plenty of fresh water for your dog to drink and offer regular hydration breaks. A collapsible water bowl is a convenient accessory for beach outings. Richard’s top tip for spotting dehydration in dogs is to pull up a pinch of skin and let it drop. If it doesn’t go back to normal right away, your dog is likely dehydrated.
  6. Protect Those Paws: Sand and hot surfaces can scorch sensitive paw pads. Consider doggy booties or schedule beach visits during cooler times of the day.
  7. Watch Out for Hazards: Keep an eye out for sharp debris that could harm your pup’s paws. Take a stroll along the shore to ensure the area is safe before letting your dog off-leash.
  8. Sand Safety for Dogs: Keep an eye on your pup to ensure they’re not ingesting sand, which can lead to digestive issues or blockages – rinse off sandy paws after beach play. Sand in the eyes can cause problems too so wipe it away with a damp tissue if it’s irritating your dog.
  9. Know Your Dog’s Limits: Not all dogs are natural swimmers. Recognise your dog’s comfort level and never force them into water if they seem anxious or tired.
  10. Practice Proper Beach Etiquette: Foster a happier beach experience for all by abiding by local beach restrictions, cleaning up after your dog, and being mindful of other beachgoers and their pets.
  11. Rinse & Repeat: After a day of beach fun, Richard recommends rinsing off your pup with fresh water to remove salt & sand. Pay extra attention to their paws, ears, and underbelly to prevent irritation.

By following these simple tips, you and your furry friend can enjoy a safe and fun-filled day at the beach. So, lather on that sunscreen, grab your beach gear, and get ready to make unforgettable memories together!

Share your doggy beach photos on Facebook

Vet nurses in Giffnock have the best dog grooming tips for you

Is there more to dog grooming than just getting rid of tangles and dead hair?

Yes, there is! Whether your dog is long-haired, wire-haired or short-haired, they’re going to need coat brushing and maintenance for sure. But they’ll also need regular attention paying to other areas to keep them clean and healthy too.

Your favourite veterinary nurses in Giffnock are sharing their advice below on the best dog grooming routine.

Book a tailored nurse appointment

Before we dive in, May 2024 marks the 20th anniversary of Veterinary Nurse Awareness Month (VNAM), a celebration of veterinary nurses everywhere for their hard work and the care they provide to pets and owners. We know our nursing team would love to hear from you, so why not share how they’ve helped you & your pet on our Facebook page? Be sure to include the hashtag: #VNAM24

Nose-to-tail dog grooming

Dog grooming goes beyond coat condition and is a vital part of maintaining your pet’s health and happiness. Here, Rouken Glen Vets’ nurses share why a nose-to-tail grooming routine is best:

  1. Quality Bonding Time: Dog grooming strengthens your connection with your furry friend while providing calming relaxation for both of you, so groom away!
  2. Health Check: Daily grooming helps you spot any irregularities like lumps, bumps, sores, or parasites early on, ensuring prompt vet attention if needed.
  3. Coat Care: Regular brushing promotes healthy blood circulation and balances natural oils, tailored to your dog’s individual needs and coat type. Our Giffnock veterinary nurses can advise you on the right tools and products to use as well as how often to wash your dog.
  4. Comprehensive Care: Check your dog’s ears, eyes, nose, teeth, nails, and paws for signs of discomfort or infection – you may notice a bad smell, discharge, or your dog’s unusual reaction. Our nurses can provide demonstrations and assistance for proper care – book a nurse appointment.
  5. Enjoyable Experience: Make grooming a positive experience with plenty of praise, treats, and encouragement for your dog.
  6. Stay Alert: If you notice anything concerning during grooming, reach out to our team for advice and early intervention.

Rouken Glen Vets’ nurses love helping dog owners keep their pets in tip-top condition, so book a personalised appointment for your dog at our Giffnock vet practice. They can offer advice that’s tailored to your dog’s individual needs including recommendations on techniques and equipment suited to your dog.

Book a nurse appointment today

Before you go, please do share your experiences with our fantastic veterinary nurses on Facebook, with the hashtag #VNAM24

Worm Watch: 8 Signs to look for in your dog

National Pet Month in April is all about responsible pet ownership and so this year, our vets in Giffnock are highlighting the importance of keeping a close eye on your canine companion’s health in order to spot parasites.

In this article, Vet Richard Black is talking about worms and how to spot them in your dog, plus we’ve also got a bonus downloadable Guide on Fleas Spotting to share with you:

Download & share our bonus Flea Spotting Guide

Why are dog worms such a big problem?

One aspect of pet care that can require regular attention is monitoring for signs of intestinal worms in dogs. These parasites can cause discomfort and health issues for your pet if left untreated. Below, Richard explains the common signs that may indicate your dog has worms.

First, here are three worms in dogs to be particularly concerned about:

  • Roundworms are one of the most common intestinal parasites found in dogs. They can be transmitted to puppies from their mother before birth or through her milk. Adult dogs can also become infected by ingesting roundworm eggs from contaminated soil or faeces.
  • Tapeworms in dogs are another prevalent intestinal parasite. They are commonly transmitted through the ingestion of fleas or by hunting and eating small mammals or birds infected with tapeworm larvae.
  • Lungworm in dogs can be contracted by ingesting infected slugs or snails, as well as their larvae present in the environment. Puppies may also acquire lungworm larvae through their mother’s milk. Once ingested, the larvae develop into adult worms in the dog’s lungs, leading to potentially severe health issues.

How to tell if your dog has worms

Below, Richard shares 8 telltale signs that your dog could indeed have worms:

  1. Changes in appetite and weight – some dogs may experience an increased appetite as worms steal nutrients from their bodies, while others may lose interest in food altogether. Richard advises that if you notice your dog eating significantly more or less than usual, it’s worth investigating further – contact us.
  2. Visible worms or worm segments in your dog’s faeces, vomit, or around their bottom. These can appear as small, white, rice-like grains or as longer, spaghetti-like strands. If you spot any unusual objects in your dog’s stool or vomit, it’s essential to get your dog checked by one of our vets in Giffnock for proper diagnosis and treatment.
  3. Changes in stool such as diarrhoea, constipation, or stools that appear abnormal in colour, consistency, or odour. Keep an eye on your dog’s bathroom habits, as any persistent changes could indicate an underlying health issue, including worms.
  4. Visible signs of discomfort such as scooting their bottom along the ground or excessive licking around the bottom area. This behaviour is often a result of irritation caused by worms or their eggs and should prompt a visit to one of the vets at our Giffnock practice for further evaluation.
  5. Lethargy and weakness and a general lack of interest in activities due to worm infestations draining your dog’s energy levels. Notice if your dog seems unusually tired or sluggish.
  6. Potbellied appearance in severe cases due to a large presence of worms in their gastrointestinal tract. Richard advises that a swollen abdomen can be a sign of serious worm-related health issues and should be addressed promptly – contact us.
  7. Dull, dry coat and overall poor condition due to worms robbing your dog of vital nutrients. Notice if your dog’s coat suddenly loses its shine or becomes rough and unkempt.
  8. Persistent coughing, difficulty breathing, lethargy and sometimes bleeding disorders in the case of lungworm.

If you notice any of these signs in your dog, get in touch with our team as soon as possible so we can arrange for proper diagnosis and treatment. With timely intervention, most worm infestations in dogs can be effectively treated, allowing your furry friend to get their health back on track.

Download our bonus flea spotting guide

While you’re focusing on keeping your dog healthy and free from worms, don’t forget about another common parasite: fleas. These tiny pests can cause itching, discomfort, and even transmit diseases to your dog. Download our bonus guide to spotting fleas here!

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to protecting your dog from parasites like worms and fleas. By staying vigilant and seeking veterinary care at the first sign of trouble, you can help ensure your canine companion enjoys a happy & healthy, parasite-free life.

Download our bonus flea spotting guide

Rouken Glen Vets on spring gardening safety for dog owners

As the days grow longer and the temperatures rise, many dog owners in East Renfrewshire find themselves drawn to the outdoors, eager to spruce up their gardens and enjoy the beauty of spring. While gardening can be a delightful activity, it’s crucial to consider the safety of our furry companions, especially our inquisitive dogs.

Rouken Glen Vets have some essential spring garden safety tips to ensure a hazard-free environment for your canine companion. Remember, if you ever encounter an emergency, don’t hesitate to call our vet practice immediately on 0141 620 2580.

See all our contact information

What to watch out for in your garden

  • Pet-Friendly Plants: Spring often brings an array of blooming plants, but not all of them are safe for our canine friends. Some common garden plants, such as azaleas, tulips, and daffodils, can be toxic to dogs if ingested. Research the plants in your garden and remove any that may pose a risk. Rouken Glen Vets’ advice is to choose pet-friendly alternatives like marigolds, sunflowers, or snapdragons to add colour without risking your dog’s health.
  • Fertilisers and Mulch: As you prepare your garden for the growing season, be cautious with fertilisers and mulch. Many commercial fertilisers contain chemicals that can be harmful if ingested by dogs. Choose pet-safe fertilisers and mulch options to minimise the risk. Additionally, keep your dog away from freshly treated areas until the products have been absorbed or watered in to prevent accidental ingestion.
  • Pesticides and Herbicides: While pests and weeds may pose challenges in the garden, the use of pesticides and herbicides requires careful consideration. These chemicals can be toxic to dogs, both through direct contact and ingestion. Our team recommends opting for pet-safe alternatives or natural pest control methods to protect your garden without compromising your dog’s well-being. If you must use chemical products, ensure they are thoroughly dry or absorbed before allowing your dog access to the treated areas.
  • Secure Fencing: Spring is a time when many dogs in East Renfrewshire will become more active outdoors and eager to explore. Ensure that your garden is securely fenced to prevent your dog from wandering off or encountering potential dangers beyond your property. Regularly inspect the fence for any gaps or damage that may compromise its integrity. A secure fence not only keeps your dog safe but also provides them with a designated space to enjoy the outdoors.
  • Watch Out for Sharp Objects: As you engage in gardening activities, be mindful of sharp tools and objects that may pose a risk to your dog’s paws or mouth. Store gardening tools safely and keep them out of your dog’s reach. Check the garden for any stray nails, broken glass, or sharp objects that could cause injuries. A tidy and well-maintained garden ensures a safer environment for your curious canine companion.

Spring is a wonderful time to cultivate a beautiful and pet-friendly garden. By following Rouken Glen Vets’ spring garden safety tips, you can create a space where your inquisitive dog can enjoy the outdoors without encountering potential hazards. Remember, your pet’s safety is our top priority. If you ever find yourself in an emergency situation, don’t hesitate to call our vet practice immediately on 0141 620 2580.

Go on, share our article and these tips with your friends & family and help us ensure a happy and healthy springtime for dogs in East Renfrewshire and beyond!

See all our contact & emergency information

Is bad dog breath normal or does your dog need to see a vet dentist?

East Renfrewshire dog owners are no strangers to the unique scents that come with pet ownership, but one smell that often raises concern is bad dog breath. While it’s not uncommon for dogs to have occasional odorous breath, persistent bad breath, or halitosis, can indicate underlying health issues that require attention.

Our Vet Richard Black has put together the following article about the causes of bad dog breath, when it’s normal, and when it’s a sign of something more serious. Don’t forget that the nurses at Rouken Glen Vets can demonstrate tooth brushing – call us on 0141 620 2580 to get booked in for a doggy dental demonstration!

Book a nurse appointment

Normal causes of bad dog breath

Occasional bad breath in dogs is not unusual and can be attributed to factors like eating smelly foods, chewing on certain toys, or simply waking up from a nap. If your dog’s breath is only temporarily bad and improves after a short time, it’s likely nothing to worry about:

  • Diet: According to Richard, the food your dog eats can have a significant impact on their breath. Some dog foods may contribute to stronger odours, whilst high-quality diets teamed with practising good dental hygiene can help minimise it.
  • Oral hygiene: Just like humans, dogs need proper dental care. Without it, plaque and tartar can build up, leading to bad breath. Regular brushing and dental check-ups at Rouken Glen Vets are essential.
  • Chewing habits: Dogs often chew on various objects that can affect their breath. However, the action of chewing on dental toys and (safe) bones can help naturally clean their teeth and reduce bad breath.

Abnormal causes of bad dog breath

Persistent and extreme bad dog breath is not normal and is one of the signs of dental disease and some illnesses:

  • Dental disease: Persistent bad breath is often a sign of dental issues such as gum disease, tooth decay, or infected gums. Richard advises that these conditions can lead to severe health problems if left untreated.
  • Digestive problems: Sometimes, digestive issues can cause foul-smelling breath. Gastrointestinal problems or an upset stomach can result in odorous breath.
  • Oral infections: Infections in the mouth, throat, or respiratory system can lead to bad breath. These infections need prompt medical attention.
  • Underlying medical conditions: In some cases, bad breath can be a symptom of underlying medical conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, or liver problems.

Taking action

As with all dog health concerns, prevention is better than cure, and early intervention is always the best route as this will give your pet the best chance of a fast recovery. Richard recommends that dog owners in East Renfrewshire should take note of the advice below:

  1. Regular dental care: Establish a routine of brushing your dog’s teeth regularly and providing dental chews or toys designed to promote good oral health.
  2. Diet: Feed your dog a balanced diet with dental-friendly options. Talk to our team for dietary recommendations.
  3. Veterinary check-ups: Schedule regular check-ups with our team, including dental exams, to catch and address any potential issues early.
  4. Stay alert: Pay attention to changes in your dog’s breath. If it becomes consistently foul, contact us to book a dental check-up.
  5. Professional cleaning: When necessary, our vets may recommend a professional dental scale & polish to address any existing dental problems.

While some degree of bad dog breath is normal, persistent and foul-smelling breath should not be ignored. It’s often a sign of an underlying issue that requires attention. Regular dental care, a balanced diet, and vigilant observation of your dog’s health can help keep their breath fresh and their overall wellbeing in check.

Contact our vets at Rouken Glen Vets on 0141 620 2580 to discuss your dog’s dental care and how you can help at home.

Book a nurse dental appointment

Why winter heat stroke in dogs isn’t to be sniffed at

Not many dog owners would consider heat stroke in dogs to be an issue once the weather starts to get colder. Vet Richard Black advises that although this condition is typically associated with summer, there are certain circumstances that could increase the risk of your canine companion becoming affected by heat stroke in winter too. Keep Rouken Glen Vets’ phone number stored in your mobile and contact us if you need our help – 0141 620 2580.

Contact us if your dog has heat stroke symptoms

Why some dogs get heat stroke in winter

Overheated indoor spaces

If your home is overheated due to malfunctioning heating systems, excessive use of space heaters, or a closed-off room with poor ventilation, Vet Richard Black advises that your pet may be at risk of heat stroke. Ensure that indoor temperatures are comfortable for your dog and not excessively warm.

Leaving pets in cars

Pets left unattended in parked vehicles during winter can still be at risk of heat stroke if the vehicle’s interior becomes too warm. The sun’s rays can heat the car’s interior even on a cold day. On the flip side, being left in a cold vehicle can lead to hypothermia.

Overdressing

While it’s essential to keep pets warm during winter walks in and around Giffnock, over-dressing them in heavy coats or sweaters can cause them to overheat. Ensure that your pet’s attire is appropriate for the weather and temperature conditions. If left alone indoors, extra layers should be removed and blankets used to warm up your pet, allowing them to move out from under them if they get too warm.

Exertion during cold weather

When dogs engage in strenuous physical activity, like running or playing fetch, they can generate enough body heat to become overheated even in cold weather. Vet Richard Black recommends watching out for signs of overheating during winter activities – see below.

How to prevent heatstroke this winter

  • Provide a comfortable indoor environment with regulated temperatures.
  • Avoid leaving pets unattended in parked vehicles, even in cold weather.
  • Monitor pets for signs of overheating during outdoor activities, and take breaks as needed.
  • Dress pets appropriately for the weather, considering their breed and size.
  • When indoors, warm your dog with blankets instead of dog clothing.
  • Check heating devices or appliances in the home that could lead to excessive indoor heat.

Remember, the signs of heat stroke in dogs can include heavy panting, drooling, weakness, vomiting, and even collapse.

If you suspect your pet is experiencing heat stroke, seek immediate veterinary help by calling Rouken Glen Vets on 0141 620 2580 and take steps to cool your pet down gradually while waiting for professional help.

Contact us if your dog has heat stroke symptoms

Booking a UK staycation or holiday abroad soon?

Are you planning on starting 2024 with a holiday? If so, good on you! If you plan to take your dog with you, then read on for Vet Richard’s top tips on how to plan for your holiday.

Not taking your dog on holiday with you? No problem – download our list of questions to ask kennels whilst you research your dog’s temporary accommodation.

Download our kennel research guide

Deciding on your destination

You need to make sure your chosen destination and accommodation have plenty of dog-friendly spaces and activities to keep them happy. Popular staycation holiday choices in the UK are log cabins or pet-friendly cottages. Some areas will only allow dogs on the beach during certain months so researching ahead will help you plan your holiday. This research can also help you work out whether your dog could need extra training or socialisation ahead of your trip.

Transport options

If you are planning on travelling abroad, Richard advises that it is essential you start planning your pet’s travel arrangements as early as possible. There will be animal health certificates and often vaccines and other health checks that need to be completed ahead of your holiday. These will be affected by time limits – learn more about pet travel.

Contact Rouken Glen Vets on 0141 620 2580 to organise a travel appointment for your dog.

If you are planning a staycation in the UK, make sure your chosen transport is suitable for your dog and the holiday you’ve chosen. More remote destinations will need car transport, which could be an issue if your dog becomes car sick. Trains and ferries may be a necessary part of the journey to your holiday destination – how would your dog cope with these?

Protect your pet

Before you leave for your holiday, ensure you have researched local vets near your destination just in case your dog requires veterinary treatment whilst away. You also need to make sure your pet’s microchip and collar ID tag have the most up-to-date contact details recorded. Richard wants to stress this to anyone planning a trip with their dog; if you become separated whilst away, it is essential that a veterinary professional/animal shelter can get hold of you.

If you are holidaying abroad, keep your dog’s vaccine certificates, clinical history, and their animal health certificates to hand. To request a copy of your dog’s clinical history, contact our reception team on 0141 620 2580.

It’s also worth checking that your pet insurance policy covers your dog for unexpected veterinary expenses, in case emergency veterinary treatment is needed, also if going abroad. Plus, whether in the UK or abroad, our Vet Richard recommends taking along a pet first aid kit for minor injuries – contact us if you need advice on what to put in it.

Essentials to pack for your dog

Remember to pack your dog’s food, treats, feed/water bowls, collar, lead and harness, toys, bedding, grooming equipment and poo bags. Their bed and blankets will help them feel comfortable and secure in their new surroundings.

By carefully planning and preparing for your early bird holiday with your dog, you’ll be able to create wonderful memories together while ensuring their safety, health, and happiness throughout the trip. Contact us on 0141 620 2580 if you have any questions about taking your dog on holiday and need some veterinary advice.

Alternatively, if you’re not taking your pet on holiday with you,

Download our helpful kennel research guide

Canine Christmas dangers advice from Vet Richard Black

As Christmas creeps closer, we start to see an increase in the number of dogs admitted to Rouken Glen Vets for seasonally related illnesses and injuries. Vet Richard Black wants to make owners aware of the risks that come with seemingly harmless Christmas décor and food and encourage them to use our Pet Proofing PDF guide at home in the run-up to Christmas.

How To Pet Proof Your Home For Christmas

The sooner your dog receives veterinary treatment for any of the conditions below, the better chance they have for a smooth recovery. Contact Rouken Glen Vets on 0141 620 2580 if you think your dog could need emergency veterinary treatment.

Toxic substances for dogs

  • Chocolate
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Alcohol
  • Nuts – especially macadamia nuts
  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Onions and shallots
  • Caffeine
  • Xylitol – an artificial sweetener

Many of the food and substances above can be found on a buffet table, or around the house at Christmas time so keep watch of your dog and make sure they do not eat anything toxic. Richard advises that foods with a lot of salt, sugar, or spice can lead to digestive issues and more serious health problems too.

What happens if my dog eats something toxic?

If you know your dog has eaten something poisonous, then call us immediately. Even if you are suspicious, still treat it as a veterinary emergency.

It is essential you let the team at Rouken Glen Vets know what your dog has eaten and roughly how much and when, as this will impact their treatment.

Christmas Decorations

  • Tinsel
  • Baubles and tree ornaments
  • Wrapped presents and gift wrapping
  • Electric lights and cables
  • Candles
  • Real Christmas trees
    • Pine needles can puncture or irritate the lining of your dog’s stomach and the oils can irritate the mucous membranes
    • The water in the Christmas tree stand can contain harmful chemicals, bacteria, or preservatives that may be toxic if ingested by dogs

The decorations and items listed above can be toxic but also cause intestinal blockages, digestive issues or burns that will require immediate veterinary attention. Vet Richard Black advises that it’s best to keep these items out of your dog’s reach and to consider using cable covers or a tree skirt to block their access to the tree and lights!

Remember to download our Pet Proofing Your Home Guide to help you get your place set up for a safe and smooth Christmas for all – download now.

Stress, anxiety, and overindulgence

Around Christmas time, it is normal for dog owners in East Renfrewshire to see more visitors. This could be a cause of stress for your dog, and they may start to display digestive problems, behavioural issues, or even attempt escape. Ensure your dog has a safe space to retreat to away from the busy Christmas celebrations so they can relax when needed.

Also, as with humans, dogs tend to overindulge on special treats and edible Christmas presents. Remember to feed these, often rich foods, in moderation as part of their balanced diet to avoid tummy upsets and weight gain.

To keep your dog safe this festive season, Vet Richard Black urges you use the advice above and download our Pet Proofing guide for your home. Contact Rouken Glen Vets on 0141 620 2580 if you are at all concerned about your dog – we wish you a Merry Christmas!

Pet Proof Your Home This Christmas

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