*This post is sponsored by Petplan but all opinions are my own as usual
We share our home with three cats – Oscar, Lex and Luther. Oscar is our huge ginger cat (honestly, he’s the size of a small dog) and has been my wingman for the last ten years. In that time, we’ve had our fair share of adventures together.
Like the time he decided to jump through the spindles at the top of my staircase when he was eight weeks old (luckily, this resulted in nothing more serious than a bruised ego) or the time I rushed him to the vets after finding a lump on his tummy, only to find out that he was overweight and the lump was made up of fatty tissue; he was swiftly put on a specialist diet after that one.
Lex and Luther both joined us when they were just a few weeks old and had been cruelly abandoned in a skip. I offered them a forever home with us and Oscar slowly got used to the idea of having two adopted siblings! After a trip to the vet’s for a check-up, we found out that Lex is also a runt so taking out a pet insurance policy for him was an absolute must in case of any future health issues.
As much I love living with cats, I do occasionally wish that I could hang out with them somewhere other than the sofa or my back garden but sadly, they’re not quite as eager to go for walkies as their canine friends are. Due to our current lifestyle, owning a dog isn’t a possibility for us right now, however, there are still plenty of ways to get your doggo fix and enjoy the ‘pawfect’ summer day out if you are in a similar situation:
Dog walking at a local animal sanctuary
My wonderful local animal sanctuary is always on the lookout for volunteers to help out in various ways, including dog walking. Obviously depending on how hot the pavements are etc but if the conditions are suitable, what better way to spend an hour than making friends with a dog and no doubt making their day just a little bit brighter too?
Cake and coffee at a dog cafe
Again, despite not actually owning a dog myself, that doesn’t stop me from hanging out at various dog cafes and fawning over all kinds of furry visitors. Just like I have with Oscar, my friend, Sara, also has plenty of stories to tell about her dog, a cross-bred named Poppy.
During a visit to a pup cafe, she ordered a slice of chocolate cake for herself and ‘pupcake’ (dog-friendly cupcake) for Poppy. While Sara was distracted, Poppy snaffled the chocolate cake from the table. One panicked trip to the emergency vets and all was well, bar Poppy being slightly ashamed of herself. Luckily, Sara had dog insurance and now doesn’t take her eyes off Poppy quite so easily!
Picnicking in the park
In summer, one of my favourite things to do is take a picnic, book and blanket to the park and bask in the sunshine. Last time me and Adam this did, as soon as the food came out, we attracted the attention of no less than three dogs within a few minutes of cracking open the Scotch eggs One of them even managed to leg it with a cocktail sausage, followed by the owner running by and apologising profusely.
Although the weather has been admittedly rather grim in Manchester this summer, we have been enjoying beautiful 31-degree sunshine recently and have the promise of more good weather ahead so here are a few pet summer safety tips from Petplan to keep in mind:
- You should always test the pavement with your hand before going on a walk with your dog, and if it’s too hot for you then it’s too hot for them.
- Try leaving your dog’s collar in the freezer for a few minutes. When you secure it back around their necks the leather and buckle will be nice and cool.
Hazardous Summer Food
- A common summer treat is grapes, either fresh or chilled in the fridge or freezer. While this cold sweet treat is okay for us, but dogs are deathly allergic to them and cats don’t really enjoy them anyway.
- BBQs in the garden and the park are a staple of British summertime, but discarded bits of bone can be a dangerous choking hazard for pets. Make sure they’re disposed of correctly to avoid any mishaps.
Holidaying With Pets
- Once on holiday, it’s easy for your pet to become overwhelmed by all the new sights, sounds, and smells. For this reason, it’s important to keep an eye on them at all times and watch out for any unusual behaviours.
- While small changes to our pets’ routine may not affect them too much, our pets are creatures of habit and a complete break from any routine can be harmful to their mental and physical health. Try to keep walks and feeding times as close to those you have at home to mitigate any stress.