Following the Met Office Red Weather Warning announcement this week, NarpsUK would like to give some guidance to members regarding carrying out your bookings over the next few days. Temperatures throughout the UK, but especially in the South and South East are expected to hit close to 40 degrees, which will make walking dogs and caring for them more challenging.
We believe that the pet’s welfare must always come first, so whilst your day may look a little different this week, it is important to still be offering services to your clients during the hot weather. In a lot of cases the owners may have chosen to work from home anyway, so you may find some of your bookings are cancelled. However, where your clients will still be out of the house, or still need your services, there are some steps to take to ensure the dog’s health is put first.
1. Move the time of your service to a cooler part of the day. If you have a client who wishes for you to walk their dog, firstly think about moving this to the morning or evening when the temperature is cooler. The hottest part of the day is 11.00am – 4.00pm. Walking before 10.00 or after 6.00pm will be a lot more comfortable for you and the pets you are looking after.
2. Walk in shady areas – being outside in direct sunlight should be avoided. We recommend walking in woodlands or shady areas to avoid the direct sun. The floor in these areas is also a lot cooler so you reduce the risk of any pets burning their paws.
3. Reduce walk times – if your client insists on the dog being walked, reduce the amount of time that you walk for. Just a ten minute walk in the shade to give them a potty break and some interaction should be enough to get them through to the cooler evening time.
4. Take pet care essentials with you. Ensure you have a good supply of water with you for the pets to drink whilst you are out.
5. Think about offering a different service. Whilst it may not be suitable to walk the dog as you usually would, you may want to offer a pop in service instead where you can let the dog into the garden, put water down, play with them indoors for a short period of time and therefore break their day up.
We are aware that some businesses have chosen not to operate over the next few days and this is entirely at your discretion. Whilst we understand that there are risks to undertaking bookings, we feel that there are also risks to leaving dogs indoors on their own all day whilst owners are at work so we will just ask our members to apply common sense and work in a way that is most beneficial to the pet’s welfare.
If you are looking for more information regarding walking and caring for pets in hot weather, there are some fantastic resources on the following links:
We hope you all manage to keep cool over the coming days, and remember to look after your own welfare too by keeping hydrated and protecting yourself from the heat and sun.