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  1. If your going on holiday and you have decided to take your dog with you this time (rather than having Animal Care on the Hills care for them for you), have a read of Holly's article on being prepared.

    Taking your dog away with you this Bank Holiday? Here’s everything you need to know

    With summer almost upon us, many of us are thinking about what we’re going to do with regards to our holiday this year. The weather has been kind to us so far, and this means that excitement is starting to brew knowing that walks on the beach or in the countryside are only just around the corner. It is a great time to start thinking about your plans so that you can book your holiday for summer 2017. 

    If you have a dog, you may wish that you could take them with you – yet many people don’t know how to make this wish a reality. If you leave them at home, whether with a family member or in kennels, not only would you miss them, but you are also likely to take time out of your holiday to get in touch with people at home and ask about how they’re doing. Not only would it put your mind at rest if you took them with you, but you would also be able to save money on kennel fees too, which is an added bonus.

    Pre-Holiday Preparation

    When you’re taking your dog on holiday with you, preparation really is key. You need to make sure that you are both ready for anything that might happen. This is even more important to consider when you remember that your dog is going to be experiencing an unfamiliar routine, in strange surroundings, so make sure to use this to your advantage to pack for anything which may cause a hurdle in your break away:

    - The weather makes all the difference. Have a look at the forecast before you go, and think about what you would do to keep your dog entertained if the weather decided to take a turn for the worst. Nothing is worse than a bored and energetic dog in a confined space.

    - Take a look at the facilities that are available. Is there somewhere dedicated to dog walks on site? Will you be given food and water bowls?

    - Make sure you have enough of everything. Running out of bags whilst on a walk makes for embarrassing and sometimes costly situations. You should also make sure you have a spare lead and collar in case something should happen to your only one whilst you’re out for the day. Take plenty of towels and sponges, as seaside trips always urge the temptation for a quick dip.

    - Don’t forget your dog’s medication if they have any. It can be easy to let this slip your mind, but it is important that they are able to keep up to date with any treatment that they might be having while they are away.

    - Ensure that you take enough food with you for your dog. A change in food could result in your dog having an upset stomach, which will put as unpleasant spin on both of your holiday.

    Keeping your dog safe and secure

    When you and your dog are at home, you will be confident that they are safe, and you will be knowledgeable about any potential dangers that could be in the vicinity. However, when you’re on holiday you don’t have this knowledge to your advantage, and this means that you need to take extra care to make sure that they’re safe. Dog’s love to explore new surroundings and this comes with the risk of them getting lost or wandering out of sight.

    Before you leave, you should be confident that your dog comes back to you when called – no matter what might be distracting them at the time. If you’re not completely comfortable in the knowledge that they will come back to you, it might be a better idea to put your dog on an extendable lead if they are a smaller breed, as they will still be able to roam, but you will know that they are still within your control. If you have a larger breed of dog, make sure to let them off in an enclosed area, large enough to have a good run around but without running the risk of losing them. Make sure to take a photo of your dog with you, so that if he or she decides to run off, you will be able to ask for help to find them.

    Many of us forget just how hot our British summers can get and how this heat can affect our dogs. When out for the day, you should take a water bowl with you for your dog, and make sure that you always have some bottled water with you on walks in case they need a drink. This will help to prevent dehydration.

    Additionally, in the countryside, particularly in summer, there are lots of things around that could sting your dog. Therefore, you should pack suitable treatments prior to your trip so that you have them to hand if this happens.

    When you’re planning your routes, you should take a look at main roads, dangerous cliff edges, and anything that could catch you out. Remember that your dog is completely new to these surroundings, and may not understand where they should and shouldn’t go.

    Making the most of your time away

    It often seems as though the build-up to a holiday drags, but then the event itself is over in a heartbeat. It can be frustrating to get home and realise that you hadn’t made the most of the time you had – so for this reason you should make a plan.

    Doing some research about where you’re going is essential. You should think about any days out that you’d like to go on, and make sure that anywhere you’re visiting allows dogs. It’s a good idea to pinpoint dog-friendly pubs in the area, so you will always have somewhere to go if you need a break. There will be many different events going on during the holiday season, lots of which your dog will be able to enjoy by your side. For this reason you should make sure that you have done your research, as this will mean that you won’t have to miss out on anything.

    A dog is very much a member of the family, and for this reason they often add a huge amount of enjoyment to your holiday while you’re away. You will be able to enjoy watching them explore their new surroundings – something that is very exciting for dogs – and you won’t have any of the worry about what might be happening while they’re at home. With a little bit of forward planning, you should find that you can have a wonderful holiday with your dog, that you will all be able to enjoy.


    By Holly Barry 

  2. I've recently been doing a few courses, which I felt where really important to do, with my line of work, so I have done not one but two first aid courses!

    One was an online theory course in Advanced First Aid, which covered a huge array of ailments, illnesses and emergency situations. I passed this one with a higher Distinction.  And I did a short practical First Aid course, so I could do a bit of hands on CPR practise with a dummy called Cassie.

    First Aid2


    I have also completed a Pet Sitting Diploma, which was also an online course and covered a huge array of different animals and how to run my business professionally.


    And I have also recently done a Level 3 dog training course.



    This one has really enthused me and has helped me to make a few decisions, on how I would like my career to progress.  I would really like to become a dog trainer.  There actually isn't a recognised qualification for a dog trainer, so anyone can be one (which does cause a bit of concern, as I have already watched a few YouTube videos of "dog trainers" teaching some really dodgy methods, some are cruel, using equipment such as choke and prong collars in a harsh manner).  I plan to use the positive reinforcement method, where you reward the good behaviour and ignore the bad, I believe this theory works well, although I think in some instances a dog needs to know when it is doing wrong with a firm "No".

    Most trainers gain their recognition through years of experience training dogs and get their reputation through word of mouth, especially if they get positive results.

    I have already started working with a couple of clients, either offering advice on such things as heel work, stopping dogs pulling, basic training and how to stop your dog eating your furniture.  Or actually doing some training sessions, funnily enough both are 9 month old labradoodles.  I am hoping if we can get some positive outcomes, this will lead to lots more dogs being trained with me and their owners.

    17190637_603878276403436_5633506973111443187_n 17622079_615611565230107_6939516168854964861_o

    If anyone would like some help, let me know.  I can help you to teach your dog to be a well balanced family pet, I'm not talking agility and crufts standards yet.  And in return they will be teaching me too.