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Summer Time = Party Time!

Summer is here and the temperatures are heating up, so what could be better than firing up the barbecue and getting together with family and friends to enjoy the great outdoors.

This is the time of year when we tend to get together for picnics, barbecues and other outdoor events but it’s not usually a good time to bring your favourite four legged fur ball along. During the heat of the summer your pup can get stressed and become agitated being around a group of people he may not know and this will ultimately spoil things for both of you.

So this is the time you need to leave your pup at home and we need to try and reduce his stress and anxiety while you are away. Take your dog for a good walk or run, weather permitting, so he will be somewhat tired before you leave. Always be sure that your pet has a comfortable place to stay-- either a nice soft doggy bed or large cushion or, if your pup is crate trained, that may be his comfort zone. Be sure you leave the house cool enough for your pup or have windows open so a nice breeze can flow through. He should also have access to fresh water but don’t fill his bowl too full.

Before you leave, try to find things to keep your dog busy. You could leave him with some treats, a Kong toy filled with peanut butter, a chew toy or a blanket he may find comforting. If he’s used to playing hide and seek, hide some small treats or kibble around the house and tell him to go seek as you’re leaving. Leaving a radio or a television on so there is sound may also help comfort your dog.

If you end up staying away longer than you expected and didn’t arrange for someone to come in and take your pup out for a “potty break”, you could come home and find your pup has had an “accident” or found a slipper to chew on. Don’t lose your cool and get angry with your dog. The damage is already done and chances are by the time you get back your dog will have forgotten about it and will not understand why you are angry with him. You need to take the responsibility for “pet proofing” your home before you leave just like you would do with children.

Most importantly, don’t make a big fuss about going out and leaving your pup. Sometimes it causes your pet to get more anxious and stressed when we give them extra hugs and kisses when leaving. You should just get yourself ready, take out whatever you need to bring with you and make one last check that your dog is happy and secure, and then just leave without any further ado.

Planning ahead and making sure that your best friend will be safe and comfortable while you’re away will make things easier for both of you and give everyone peace of mind. So keep cool and comfortable and enjoy the summer with family and friends and leave your pup at home.

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