Pet Safety Guidancefpsadmin2019-07-15T20:34:12+00:00
If your pet is coming along with you, make sure they’re safe in the car. Pets that aren’t strapped in could be a distraction to the driver and could be badly hurt if you’re in an accident.
A pet seat belt or a secured pet carrier will help to keep everyone safe.
Remember that under no circumstances should a pet be left unattended in the car. Temperatures and humidity inside can rapidly reach extremes, preventing dogs from panting their heat away and leading to heatstroke. “Not long” is too long, even on cloudy or cooler days and even if a window is left open.
Injuries, incidents and first aid
As well as looking out for the first aid tent for humans, make sure you know where to find our pet first aiders too. If your dog has any signs of illness or is acting unusually while at the event, check in with our veterinary staff at the Natural VetCare stand. In an emergency, always seek veterinary attention straight away. It’s also a good idea to carry the phone number of your local vet with you.
During the excitement of the event, don’t forget to keep an eye on your pets. Make sure they don’t pick up, chew or swallow anything that could cause them problems such as discarded food, rubbish from bins, or anything sharp. Alcohol is dangerous for pets, so keep your drinks out of reach of thirsty pooches.
There will be plenty of other pets to make friends with at the show, but even if your pet is friendly it’s important to bear in mind that other pets, especially if they are different species, may be more nervous or wary when approached by a stranger (pet or human). Always check with the owner of the other pet before allowing yours to interact.
If you have a dog, do not allow them to interact with cats or other small pets at the show. Dogs are predators and we don’t want anyone to be made into an accidental snack. Even if your dog or cat is friendly it can be stressful to the smaller prey species pets so respect any areas where a certain type of pet aren’t allowed – this is for the safety and comfort of other types of pet. There will be marshals who can keep an eye on your pet for you if you do want to explore these areas.
If you are concerned your pet is nervous or may react badly to being approached then don’t worry about asking other owners to make sure their pets steer clear. You can also get a collar, lead or tabard that explains that your dog is nervous, or use a ribbon or notice on your carrier or harness for other pets, so other owners know to stay at a polite distance. If you know your pet will find the busy environment of the event super-stressful, it may be better to arrange for them to stay at home with a pet sitter while you soak up the atmosphere – they’ll get half the story in scents when you get back anyway.
Make sure your dog has a secure collar with an ID tag and a strong lead. Dogs can easily pull out of loose-fitting collars; make sure they are secure so there are no escapes! Some dogs and other pets might prefer a harness.
There are a few areas where only certain types of pet are allowed: in this case you can safely leave your pet with one of our marshals to explore these areas. Someone should stay with your pet at all times – don’t leave pets tied up and unattended in any area, as they could be an easy target for thieves.
Please keep your pet suitably under control while you are at the event. For dogs, this will generally mean being on the lead at all times. For smaller dogs, cats and other small pets, you could have them on a lead or you could choose to carry them in a secure and appropriate buggy, carrier or bag.
And don’t forget to pack the poo bags – any poo must be picked up. Pop outside regularly so your furry friend can relieve themselves too, and be aware that cats may not be sure where to go to the toilet outside the house.
Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. Pet-friendly areas will have a lot of pooches and other pets passing through, so the risk of the spread of infectious diseases is higher if your pet is unprotected. Treatment for fleas, ticks and worms is highly recommended too, so you don’t bring any stowaways home!
Subtle signs of stress
The exciting atmosphere of the show and meeting lots of new people and pets might be overwhelming to some pets. Even if your pet is usually sociable, make sure to plan regular breaks in one of our quieter areas to allow them some down-time.
Subtle signs of stress in dogs include licking their lips, yawning, turning their gaze away, and a low and slow tail wag. Other species such as cats show much fewer outward signs of stress, but flat ears, a swishing tail or trying to hide are all signs your cat might be feeling overwhelmed.
If you see any of these signs in your pet, it may be best to give them a time out from socialising. After showing these subtle signs, dogs can quickly progress to more obviously expressing their discomfort e.g. growling, snapping or even biting. Similarly cats can lash out when they feel threatened. For everyone’s safety and happiness, we never want a pet to feel threatened enough to bite so spotting warning signs early and withdrawing so your pet can calm down can help to stop escalation.