With the hot weather we are enjoying at the moment, please take extra care of your dogs.  We all know not to leave dogs in cars and to make sure our dogs have plenty of water to drink, but beware of hot pavements too.  If you cannot keep the back of your hand on the ground for five seconds in comfort, the surface is too hot for your dogs' paws.  Walking on hot tarmac or concrete can cause your dogs paws to burn and blister.

If you see a dog in a car and in distress with the heat, dial 999 immediately, explain the situation and follow the instructions you are given.  If you break a car window without being told to do so by the police, you could find yourself in trouble too.

The summer months are famous for traffic jams.  If you are setting off on any journey with your dogs, please take water and a bowl with you just in case you are held up for a while.

It is great fun to take our dogs to the seaside or to lakes and ponds to let them cool off in the water at this time of year, perhaps retrieving sticks and stones.  Always make sure the location is safe and look out for warning signs for algae, which can be poisonous to dogs.  Also, bear in mind your dog will be drinking a lot of water when they collect those sticks.  Salt water is no better for dogs than it is for us, but fresh water has its dangers too.  Excessive fluid intake causes the dog's body to lose sodium.  This can be fatal if not identified and treated immediately.  Look out for your dog becoming tired or listless and always give him a break after a few retrieves.

Finally - grass seeds.  These will find their way into your dogs' paws and through their skin, so please check between the toes and on top of the paws, their ears and bodies after every walk where grass seeds could be picked up.  Keeping the fur between the toes clipped may help.