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Starting A Pet Business

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Pet Business Start Ups

Your New Business Venture

Britain is regarded as a nation of pet lovers and will spend on their pets. A market now estimated to be worth 8.5 billion, as much as 2.5 billion is spent by owners on pet food and surveys suggest that 2 in 5 pet owners spend as much on their pets as their friends present. (2020).

Pet owners expect bespoke nutrition for their pets, luxury pet spas, best pet grooming, designer pet collars and leads, pet daycare, and pets having their own social media accounts.

Are you considering starting a new pet business?

This year is bringing new opportunities in the way we work and what we expect from our employers and our businesses. New start-ups are imperative for the economy to thrive in challenging conditions and none so than our enormous UK pet market. 

With more than 25 million pet dogs and cats, in the UK, (latest estimated figures provided by The PMFA), and if you already have experience handling pets then this could be the new business start-up venture you’ve been looking for.

Generally, no professional requirements are necessary, when starting up your pet business, however, the British College of Canine Studies do offer a Professional Dog Walkers certificate. A pet first aid course is an important must and volunteering at a pet shelter to gain experience in handling multiple pets is extremely useful. 

Whether it’s a hobby that’s doing well and you want to take it further, or a part-time business currently, there’s plenty of opportunity to expand in this growth market.

What Type Of Pet Business?

It’s essential to create a profitable business as quickly as possible if on a tight budget. 

Pet equipment and business start-up costs can be low in certain areas, such as a pet sitting business, where a shop and store isn’t required, whereas a grooming business requires capital for premises and pet equipment, unless a mobile service, which then only requires professional pet grooming portable equipment and a vehicle.

Insurance is vital with several pet business specialised plans available.

Vehicles need to be sympathetically and carefully adapted to carry pets, and insurers informed that you are using your vehicle for business purposes.

Low-cost popular start-ups include dog walking and pet training services, where they can be set up from home. 

Let us introduce you to more than 17 Pet Business Start-Up Ideas

1. Dog Walking 

Over the past few years, it’s not an uncommon sight to see local parks filled with dog walkers handling multiple groups of dogs during the day. Needs arise where busy owners require help with their pets, particularly if they are out to work during the day. 

The job can range from calling into owners homes, letting dogs run around outside in their private garden for exercise and feeding them, to taking pets out for longer periods of exercise. 

Start-up costs are relatively low and business can often be generated quickly by personal referrals as well as skilful local marketing. Registration with associations such as the National Association of Registered Pet Sitters and dog walkers is helpful to the business, undertaking a first aid course and business insurance vital. 

Equipment needed is a range of spare dog leads, harnesses and different size collars, drying towels, and an equipped van for pick-ups and drop-offs, if servicing an area larger than walking distance and local parks. The owner should be providing any other equipment such as treats for when the dogs return from walks. 

The downside is how to keep a steady flow of customers with a monthly steady income coming in. This would need careful planning of the types of customer contracts being taken on and budgeting an income for marketing. Asking customers to sign your contract can help, by agreeing to details, such as your terms of service, emergency procedures and payment terms. This also helps in case of any disputes that may arise. 

Once generalised costs have been budgeted, you’re able to work out how many dogs you may need to walk and your yearly income. The limit for healthy dog walking set at 6 dogs per walk. 

The RSPCA produces a downloadable 16 page informative pdf about professional dog walking standards expected. 

2. Pet Grooming

This is an area that appeals to many owners of pets because they learn how to take care of the grooming needs of their own pets and can at low cost make a profitable business quickly with a small amount of training. 

Business owners can offer popular mobile services needing less equipment but portable, or work from salons offering dog and cat routine treatments such as nail clipping, washing and grooming overgrown coats. 

Client bases can be those who regularly show their pets at professional events, pet modelling and entertainment industry as well as pet owners with little time on their hands. 

Those who opt for operating out of grooming salons have the added costs of rent, rates and operating costs. Professional equipment is available online from several reputable and experienced stockists.

Training is available by nationally recognised online tutorials providing diplomas and certificates of completion of courses, some companies can offer taking up their local franchises.

3. Pet Training 

Many owners, unfortunately, buy pets without really looking into the necessary care required and with animals such as dogs, how to socialise and train their dogs to fit into their home lifestyle. This is particularly necessary for abandoned and rehomed dogs and cats who may have a past history of several owners. 

Patience is key for training, particularly helping anxious and unhappy pets.
Pet training relies on very little costs other than your professional expertise and time, is an unregulated profession but advise to seek both professional and practical advice before setting up to give the pets the best-care whilst training possible.

There are a number of organisations that can help to train you as well as having a DBS check because of working with animals, and undertaking a recognised pet first aid course. Take care in registering with better, bonafide, and proven organisations.

4. Pet Sitting 

A growing trend by pet owners to have their beloved pets looked after in their absence, short or long term. Pet sitting can involve moving into the owner’s property and taking care of the household during their absence or for just a few hours. Possessing a caring, considerate and helpful personality is essential.
Once you’ve undertaken a couple of jobs well, owners will re-book you and refer to friends. The only requirements are your time, a DBS check is helpful and taking out business insurance.

There are several reliable nationwide agencies where registration is simple and provide work. Better still, if already experienced, consider setting up your pet sitting agency which can be run online and from the home and recruit other locals to join your agency as sitters. 

You may like to consider becoming an International pet sitter and use the global agencies that offer pet sitting vacancies. A great way to see the world at much reduced prices, whilst taking care of someone’s beloved pet and home.

5 Pet Boarding 

Boarding kennels and catteries are important for pet owners who travel. They are generally situated in less residential areas and the business needs to be approved by the local council, obtaining the appropriate licences looking after the animal welfare to the highest standards providing shelter, food, water and plenty of exercises, 24/7. Start-up costs include professional kennel or cattery construction and a dedicated area for preparing pet foods and general care. 

Despite many hotels, and rental accommodations offering pet-friendly hotels and rental accommodation, the PDSA report that nearly 90% of the UK population keep their pets in kennels and catteries when they go on holiday. 

* The kennel and cattery business is valued at more than an estimated 4.3 billion-a-year industry, almost twice as big as the pet food industry. 
6 Pet Foods 

A staggering 2.5 billion pounds is spent yearly with a growing need for special, premium, tailored pet foods as pets become more and more pampered. Talk to any pet food business owner about specialised premium brands and they will tell you it’s not easy to penetrate the tailored pet food market, but clever professional marketing is a must where pet owners are highly critical but appreciative of quality pet products. 

To really achieve in this market, serious funding is required, raising from institutions. However, a one-to-one approach on social media and a well-constructed website is fundamental to explain your tailored products. 

Dog and Cat treats have become a firm pet favourite including hand-baked artisan biscuits, to every flavoured possible dog chews. 

7 Pet Collar and Leads 

This is a vibrant area of the market where owners spend regularly providing their pets with a range of collars, leads and harnesses, with many players already operating offering all kinds of materials worked into collars and leads. If you have something new to offer then this is a low-cost profitable start-up.  

8 Pet Toys 

Toys are used to create interaction between owner and pet, curb animal aggressiveness and to keep pets mentally stimulated. The dog, cat, even rabbit pet toy industry grows every year and looks for new and innovative designs whether they be simple organic designs or highly sophisticated smartphone digital controlled ideas. Toys come in all sizes and shapes, where feeding toys are particularly popular helping to keep a balanced diet whilst creating stimulating puzzles for the pet. 

9 Pet Photography and Custom Portraits

Owners love to spend, spend and spend on their pets, and none more than pictures, whether these are digitised, embroidered, hand-drawn artwork or photography.

New businesses can offer mobile services for photographic sessions, or work from home from the owner’s pictures crafting products.  

Wall painted murals, soft furnishings and individually created wallpaper for the interior designer markets.  

Marketing products for sale can be achieved through dedicated online shops such as ‘Etsy’ or ‘Not on The High Street’, providing a shop showcase. If your start-up budget extends to more available money, some successful franchises are available to buy into. 

10 Pet Franchises 

If you’re concerned about ‘going it alone’ then working with a nationwide franchiser can help where you are your own local boss and a great way to get started with help and support needed to achieve results and profitability. 

Point Franchise has on their books several pet franchise opportunities along with helpful advice such as Friends For Pet Franchise, Pet Stay and Trophy Pet Foods Franchise. 

Online searches will provide several franchise agency websites and all worth reading. 

There are national and local virtual franchise events who have hungry exhibitors looking for possible franchisees. These franchise sites have a stack of useful information, hold virtual seminars teaching franchisees how to run their businesses such as The National Franchise Exhibition Virtual. 

11 Pet Breeding

Breeders must be licenced to operate to sell puppies and kittens and ensure they are born and reared in safe environments.  A Dog Breeding Licence requires breeders breeding more than three litters in twelve months and breeding dogs and selling dogs as a business must conform. 

Dedicated space is needed for successful breeding producing happy and healthy litters along with keeping in contact with various other breeders to perfect your breeding programme producing healthy and financial viable litters conforming to best pedigree Kennel Club standards. Must be able to give time to attend to a large litters and all necessary health checks, jabs, microchipping and paperwork required.

Recent laws intervened to improve the standards of pet breeding in the UK. Lucy’s Law, 6 April 2020. 

12 Interior Pet Themed Designs

Beautiful designer animal interior wallpapers that can help provide a perfect sanctuary for the 25 million or more dog and cat, in their homes and where an it’s estimated that 59% of our homes own a pet. If you have the flair, this is an easy to set-up business with little overheads.

Delightful prints are a must for all dog and bird lovers. Style just one wall making a beautiful feature with a colourful dog print.  

Pet Business Start-Ups Requiring Minimal Finance

Cash Strapped? Low-Cost Pet Start-Up Businesses

If money is in short supply or being able to raise money for your new business then there options open to start a business very cheaply. You may want to try and start-up whilst still working for a current employer in spare time and make sure that your project will work before taking the plunge, going full-time. Service-based ideas generally need less start-up capital and you may have a passion or pet hobby which can be turned into a serious full-time occupation.

13 Doggie Day Care Sitting 

If you’re busy during the day or needing to go to work, Doggy Day Care sitters are an ideal solution for busy pet owners where dogs are dropped off at your home. Sitters take dogs on a regular basis or one-time. Very little costs are needed to start-up but sitters require homes suitable for dogs to spend time safely and healthily. Centres and homes must be suitable for puppies and high-energy, senior dogs, and those suffering from anxiety issues.

Many councils will need to approve homes and in some cases approve a licence for operating a pet-care business. Sitters need to provide meals, provide medication, at least one walk and an area where dogs can play with toys and relieve themselves. Sitters do not need professional qualifications, but pet first-aid qualifications and be DBS checked can help when prospective customers enquire about the business.

14 Professional Pet Blogger 

Become an authoritative pet blogger with virtually no overheads to get started. Use your in-depth pet knowledge to the full. Blogging regularly on your computer and blog or website building up an online audience. To earn you can offer advertising space on your site, find video sponsors, or create an account on a specialised blogging platform.

Have you a wealth of pet experience and some animal-related professional qualifications? If you know your stuff how about sharing it with other people and provide starter packs, online courses and tutoring. Create downloadable instruction guides and videos and offer real-time Skype one-to-one tutorials or virtual classes. 

15 Pet Professional Reviewer 

You leave lots of online reviews for products you buy already and own pets or have in-depth knowledge of the pet market, so becoming a professional reviewer is high up on the list of possibilities.

Companies will provide services and products to professional reviewers and in return, you are expected to leave honest reviews. Companies can pay for your time too. One can easily be started in spare time with virtually no overheads. 

16 Virtual Pet Tutoring And Courses 

Have you a wealth of pet experience and some animal-related professional qualifications? If you know your stuff how about sharing it with other people and provide starter packs, online courses and tutoring. Create downloadable instruction guides and videos and offer real-time Skype one-to-one tutorials or virtual classes. 

17 Subscription Services 

The growing trend of offering service type pet goods to customers provides an opportunity to run this type of business alongside a dog walking business until it becomes fully established and full-time. Companies can offer pet treats, pet treatments, pet foods, sent out to customers on a regular monthly basis on payment of a subscription basis. Little overheads are required to get started, and an online website. 

Cat model
18 Professional Pet Modelling

Pet modelling has become big business and is open to any pet that is well-behaved, obedient and looks cute. Becoming a model pet owner can be lucrative with the right pet model and time to promote through social media. Payment for jobs depends on the type of job being offered, length and the experience required of the pet. 

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What Do I Need For Dog Walking?

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Collars Leads And Id Tags

Does My Dog Have To Wear One?

What Else Do I Need For Dog Walks?

Dogs need daily exercise to keep dogs healthy, lively, and stop them from getting bored.

There’s nothing better than a refreshing early morning dog walk before going off to work for the day or a relaxing walk in the evening, whilst providing your dog with the care it needs for a healthy and happy lifestyle.   

Whether it’s the local park, recreation ground, country estate, field, beach or road walk, your dog needs variety in their everyday lives just as humans do and exercising regularly with varied walks is a must.

Do I Need To Have An ID tag And Collar For My Pet?

Before you step outside with your dog, the ID Tag must be attached to the collar.

A legal requirement since The Control of Dogs Order 1992, an ID tag needs to be worn on the pet’s collar before stepping outside of the home. 

The ID should be engraved with information that can help anyone finding a lost dog to repatriate it quickly with the owner, including the name and address (including postcode) of the owner and telephone number is optional (but advisable).

The fine is £5,000 if your dog does not wear an identification tag.

Thousands of pets still go missing each year, despite wearing an ID tag and collar.

Additionally dogs being microchipped, thousands of pet owners have not kept their details up-to-date on the databases. This simple compliance can help to repatriate lost and found dogs back to their owners quickly.

ID tags can be bought from many online pet stores who will engrave the tag for you. Other owners like a plate to be secured on a collar if they have dogs that constantly keep losing their tags. 

Exceptions include dogs used on official duties by the armed forces, HM Customs & Excise or the police. Dogs used for sporting purposes and packs of hounds. Dogs used for the capture or destruction of vermin. Dogs used for driving or tending cattle or sheep. Guide Dogs for the Blind.Dogs and dogs used for emergency rescue work.

Cats are not required to wear ID tags currently as they are deemed to be feral. However, many owners do opt for a small ID tag as well as a fully retractable fastening collar to be worn by their pet. 

Tip – buy two or three ID tags and have spares ready for when your pets disc goes missing.

What Else Is Needed For Dog Walking?

Being prepared for the Great British weather is essential when out dog walking. Planning your walks are essential with the right kit for the best experience for you and your pet.   

You’ll need these essentials for dog walking

  • Dog collar and ID name tag
  • Dog lead short
  • Dog lead long
  • Dog poop bags and scoop
  • A waterproof dog jacket for wearing in heavy rain or warm dog coat in winter
  • Ball 
  • Dog treats 
  • A waterproof jacket for yourself
  • Dog walking shoes, wellies or boots
  • Torch or headlamp for darker evenings
  • Mobile phone
  • Water bottle, bowl and towels for end of the walk (keep in the car, if driving to park) 
  • Muzzle (optional)

Many new owners do not realise when they buy a dog the amount of work involved in daily care and realise that they cannot cope and sadly, end up abandoning their dogs. It’s important when buying a puppy or dog that you consider all their needs carefully and that includes daily dog walking suitable for their breed and size. 

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Daily Walks

City And Park Walking

Close-by dog-friendly parks are essential for dog walking, as are safe, open spaces and need assessing carefully. Some spaces become very busy at certain times of the day with regular dog walkers, having several different dogs walking routes available is best so they can be mixed up during the week to provide your dog with variety and relieve boredom.

Local parks, especially in cities, can be subject to PSPO orders, limiting the number of dogs being walked and timed restrictions. Check your local authority and council website for animal and pet information if new to dog walking, or the area.

Local google searches such as ‘local dog walk’ can provide sharing websites such as Thegooddogguide.com where one can list favourite walks for free and provide useful information about them for others.

Days off from work or weekends provide the perfect opportunity to take your pet on longer excursions and days out and there are several national sites offering ideas such as The Outdoor Guide, Walks Near Me, and National Trust.

10 Dog Walking Tips

  • Let your dog sniff around, give them time.
  • Don’t throw sticks as they can splinter and injure the dog’s mouth and throat.
  • Keep your dog occupied and don’t let them scavenge for discarded food from overflowing bins, children’s dropped sweets or near bottles that may be broken and broken glass lying around which cut paws very easily.
  • Take a good sized ball for your dog’s size, where they can’t swallow it and throw them.
  • Vary the way you walk to the park walk to alleviate boredom for your dog.
  • Vary the speed with a quick pace and then a slow couple of minutes keeping your pet alert.
  • Take the opportunity to get your pet to exercise as much as possible. Signs of tiredness, stop the games and start walking home and likewise, if your pet isn’t tired when home and still playful then you know they haven’t had enough exercise.
  • Keep dogs on a lead in built-up areas. Let them off only if you think they are safe, making sure your dog won’t be a nuisance to any other dog or person.
  • Keep vigilant, thefts have been known to be made of dogs when in parks and on the way to and from dog walks.
  • Pull your dog away from chewing leaves or other foliage which can cause sickness and diarrhoea. Some plants are highly toxic and can be life threatening.
  • Let your dog sniff around, give them time.
  • Don’t throw sticks as they can splinter and injure the dog’s mouth and throat.
  • Keep your dog occupied and don’t let them scavenge for discarded food from overflowing bins, children’s dropped sweets or near bottles that may be broken and broken glass lying around which cut paws very easily.
  • Take a good sized ball for your dog’s size, where they can’t swallow it and throw them.
  • Vary the way you walk to the park walk to alleviate boredom for your dog.
  • Vary the speed with a quick pace and then a slow couple of minutes keeping your pet alert.
  • Take the opportunity to get your pet to exercise as much as possible. Signs of tiredness, stop the games and start walking home and likewise, if your pet isn’t tired when home and still playful then you know they haven’t had enough exercise.
  • Keep dogs on a lead in built-up areas. Let them off only if you think they are safe, making sure your dog won’t be a nuisance to any other dog or person.
  • Keep vigilant, thefts have been known to be made of dogs when in parks and on the way to and from dog walks.
  • Pull your dog away from chewing leaves or other foliage which can cause sickness and diarrhoea. Some plants are highly toxic and can be life threatening.

Amount of average exercise your dog needs

Below is a list of 30 popular breeds which provides a rough guide to the amount of exercise that’s required by those breeds. Exercising a puppy is less as is a senior dog. Senior dogs may have joint mobility problems, failing eyesight, deafness and heart problems. Their walking and dietary requirements should ideally be talked through with a vet and reduced. Puppies gently build up their time. The exercising aim is to increase your puppy’s walking time by 5 minutes a month starting at three months being 15 minutes twice a day.

30 Minutes or more1 Hour or more2 Hours or more
King Charles SpanielCocker SpanielLabrador Retriever
Miniature DaschundPugBorder Collie
MalteseMiniature Toy PoodleGolden Retriever
PomeranianEnglish BulldogBoxer
Miniature PinscherShetland SheepdogGerman Shepherd
Yorkshire TerrierBull TerrierDalmatian
Bichon FrizeStaffordshire Bull TerrierSiberian Husky
ChihuahuaCairn TerrierSamoyed
PapillionSaint BernardEnglish Springer Spaniel
PekingeseBasset HoundAlaskan Malamute

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How To Hire A Dog Walker

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Hiring A Dog Walker

Does Your Dog Look Forward To Seeing The Dog Walker At Lunchtime?

What Makes A Good Dog Walker?

Would you be happy with an uninsured dog walker strolling out with your dog at lunchtime, along with eight other dogs? Unfortunately it happens.

With more of us returning to work places after the recent pandemic, dog walkers and sitting services are back in greater demand than ever, many of the better firms already fully booked with a waiting list.

Dog walking has seen a huge increase in small businesses offering convenient walking services for busy pet owners but sadly remains unregulated. With nearly one in three UK owners relying on dog walking services, three animal charities have drawn up guidelines to ensure safe animal welfare is of the highest priority, where walkers need not go under any professional checks to start-up a business. 

Don’t get us wrong, there are some brilliant, caring, trustworthy, highly trained dog walkers and dog walking businesses, but there are some important questions to ask before hiring your walker to avoid any pitfalls.

Another important point is to check the small print in your pet insurance concerning dog walkers, where some firms require you to inform them that you are hiring dog walkers (and sitters). Some insurance firms will provide a dedicated list of approved associations and businesses for you to choose from, that have insured and recommended walkers and sitters on their books.

Check these important tips before you hire your walker

15 Important questions to ask a dog walker before hiring

1. Check if your dog walking community rate your preferred choice of dog walking services, costs involved and read feedbacks left about the business.

2. Ask the dog walker to visit and explain their services. Who owns the business. Ask about times of dog walks, likewise your preferred times for your dog walking and services that you expect.

3. Check how many different dog walkers there are and whether one person tries to keep consistency with the dog.

4. Check how long the walks are and how many other dogs would be walking.

5. Have a look at their transport, inside fitments, if your dog is going to be using this.

6 Ask to see legal paperwork such as Business Professional Indemnity, Public Liability cover including Care, Custody and Control Liability insurance, DBS checks, and Personal Accident cover

7. Explain if your dog has any special needs and likewise ask if they can be accommodated.

8. Ask to accompany the walker on a walk to see how the other dogs are being handled.

9. Ask what they do if the weather changes during the walk. 

10. Check what they do when returning dogs from walking in the home, providing fresh water for the rest of the day if there is no water fountain, any treats that may be required to be given, and ensuring the dog is towelled down and dry if muddy and wet after the walk. 

11. Ask for evidence of how they secure your keys to your home whilst in their possession. 

12. Ask if they are Animal First Aid trained and provide sight of their professional completion of course.

13. Check what procedures are in place in case your dog becomes ill whilst in their care. 

14. Check if they offer an weekend services, stop-over services and emergency evening services. 

15. Do they offer emergency overnight stays or weekend says for your dog should the need arise, even care for your dog in your home when on holiday?

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A 16-page comprehensive guide has been produced by The Dogs Trust, Pet Industry Federation, RSPCA and Tailster, and is available online from the RSPCA, ‘Professional Dog Walkers’ providing an essential reading. 

The guide covers areas such as the walker’s understanding of your dog’s needs, the transportation they use, exercising and group walking, returning home, lone walking and emergencies. The leaflet highlights the training of dog walkers, complying with legislation and termination of dog walking contracts.

Dog walkers, particularly in cities and large towns, may be subject to special restrictions using local parks under the PSPO laws and guidelines and may have to pay a fee for the use of payable to the local council. 

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Featured

Dog Walks – Hastings – Winchelsea Beach – Rye – Camber

\\\ Dog Walks

\\\ updated 1 October 2021

The Funicular Railway At Hastings Like Dogs

Dog Walks – East Sussex – St Leonards-On-Sea – Hastings – Winchelsea Beach – Rye – Camber Sands

Taking Your Dog On A Funicular Railway

Perfect Autumn Winter And Spring Time Dog Walking

If you are looking for a day out, a few days away, or a staycation break, the South East Coast Of England holds some very special treasures, including St Leonards-On-Sea, Hastings, Winchelsea, Rye and Camber Sands, East Sussex. 5 very different places providing you with a range of activities where your dog can accompany you and enjoy the local dog-friendly hospitality.

DOG RESTRICTIONS ON BEACHES REMOVED 1 OCTOBER UNTIL LATE SPRING

St Leonards-On-Sea and Hastings are typical British seaside towns, made popular at the height of the new Victorian tourism era offering piers, theatres, wide promenades, and grand homes with balconies ‘to take in the sea air’ overlooking the beaches.

Both are towns that kind of ‘blend into each other’ with no real definitive boundary or differences, however, locals will tell you otherwise!

St Leonards-On-Sea allows dog walking on its beaches all year round and is great alternative to Hastings beaches which do operate the PSPO’s restrictive policy during the summer months, 1 May until 30 September. Hastings council have an informative map which highlights the prohibited zones which really are the main parts of the beach. Signs are posted up around the beach the ‘no dogs on this beach’ by beach promenades and nearby car parks.

The Pelham area is not restricted, the older part of Hastings, towards the east, where you’re find the famous black, tall, traditional smoking houses, left over from the town’s fishing industry days.

Both St Leonards-On-Sea and Hastings beaches are really quite pebbly at the backshore, by the wide, easy to access promenades, but wait a little while for the tides to go out and a shingle and part sandy beach will be exposed. Work your beach activities around the tides going out, to get the longest and best time spent on the beach with your dog.

There are plenty of cafes and restaurants along the seafront where you can take your dog with you. The recent pandemic may mean they can be under restrictions sometimes and shorter opening times during winter months.

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Car parking is fairly good and easy, using town centre car parks at St Leonards-On-Sea, or car parking spaces around the squares and up the side roads, but follow the restrictive advice. Sometimes there’s metered spaces you can find when travelling along the coastal road, A259, through from St Leonards-On-Sea to Hastings, which follows along the seaside promenades and beach, useful if you are just visiting the beach for less than an hour, in some areas, two hours maximum.

Public transport offers frequent train links and you can travel to St Leonards-On-Sea, and Hastings by train from London, London Bridge Station, and Charing Cross terminal.

Rye is accessible using the faster service from Blackfriars and London St. Pancreas International, taking just over the hour, via changing at the Ashford International station. The coastal train services link St-Leonards-On-Sea, Hastings, a small station at Winchelsea, and Rye.

Well behaved dogs travel for free on English trains as long as they are on a collar and lead (and ID tag) with their owner; do check the operators terms and conditions for any special restrictions, and social media for delays or events that may occur delaying your intended train journey.

Hastings is home to not just one, but two fabulous funicular railways, East and West Hill Cliff Railways, two of the dwindling few still working, left across Britain. Splendid Victorian ingenuity lifting pedestrians from ground level up a steep cliff face, a 78% incline, to see the beautiful views from the hills overlooking Hastings. Taking your dog is free. Just watch their faces as the railway starts travelling upwards – or downwards!

The views are spectacular as you travel up and down and there’s room once you reach the top for your dog to romp on open ground. The recent pandemic has caused certain restrictions, so do check in advance Hastings Funicular opening times.

Travelling onto Rye, one passes through one of the smallest, smartest little towns in England, granted Town status but with a population of around 600 people, Winchelsea. This area is steeped with so much history dating back to the 11th Century, and later playing it’s part with coastal fortifications during the 19th Century.

Winchelsea Beach is 1.5 miles away, along Sea Road, leading you to the small village and beach which overlooks part of Rye Bay. The beach is perfect for dog walking with no restrictions, mostly deserted and unknown, and where there are few amenities, so a picnic hamper is highly recommended to take with you unless you plan refreshments when visiting nearby Rye. If you park at Pett Level, this beach does have restrictions where dogs are prohibited from 1 May to 30 September on Pett Level beach – 150m west from the church.

The restrictions at Winchelsea Beach are actually around Dogs Hill (public conveniences) and play areas.

Winchelsea beach is pebbly, leading to shingle and sand, and wide. There’s some smaller posts sticking out of the ground which are old beach erosion defences, but these don’t impede as the tides goes out further, the beach shelving gently.

Looking Towards

Winchelsea Beach

From Petts level

You can carry on walking east, and behind you is The Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. This was where the old community of Rye was actually located hundreds of years ago.

You’ll also come across the Mary Stanhope abandoned lifeboat house serving as monument to rescue crew killed in the 1928 disaster, and then you’ll come to the mouth of the River Rother. The other side of the river is the start of the famous Camber Sands which you can read more about in our Pet Check blog ‘Camber Sands’. You’ll need to turn back here as there is no bridge over to the other side of the river.

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Rye is a quaint old place, always welcoming for a weekend or day out visit all year round. In fact, many an enjoyable winter weekend has been spent here.

Rye was a fishing community but the sea has long receded leaving the town now 2 miles inland from the original harbour and sea with the River Rother partly meandering around it.

The walled small town has an enormous history including for a short while being under Normandy control during the 13th Century, situated on a small hill. Once returned to the Crown, the town became heavily fortified and this adds to the attraction for the visitor along with preserved medieval properties and cobbled roads. There are several well-signed car parks at Rye and no where is really a distance to walk into the centre of the town.

PET CHECK UK Dog-Friendly properties to hire in Rye

There’s a selection of hotels and eateries to suit everyone’s tastes and pockets. There’s no large shopping chains but some eclectic shopping treats.

You can hire this dog-friendly stunning Grade II* listed Tudor cottage (featured picture) in the heart of Rye such as Flushing House, pictured, from Sykes Holiday Cottages who offer thousands of pet-friendly luxury holiday cottages across the UK, the largest holiday cottage rental specialist with lots of helpful online guides to areas. #Ad.

The nearest lifeboat station is at Hastings Old Town, and lifeguards patrol both Hastings beaches and Camber Sands during the busy summer months. Veterinary practices are mostly based around Hastings should you need veterinary emergency care.

There are several Hotels, B&B accommodation which makes Rye a delightful weekend getaway, taking you back into some old-fashioned charm. There’s a useful local Rye tourist website.


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PET CHECK UK Beach restriction notice 1 May to 30 September on promenade

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Useful tips before leaving home

  • Check if your preferred beach has any local issues flagged up on social media. This is normally the quickest way to check if anything unusual may prevent you from dog walking on that day.
  • Check tide times for the beach.
  • Take a look at the RNLI local website for any news about the beach.
  • Prepare by taking plenty of freshwater for your dog and a collapsible bowl for the end of the walk.
  • Take lots of drying towels particularly to help remove excess salty sand from your dog’s coat and paws.
  • Take dog poop bags.
  • Take short and long leads ( and muzzle which may be needed).
  • Check your dog have their ID tag and collar, and GPS tracker when worn.
  • Remember your mobile phone.
  • You may consider buying a buoyancy dog jacket if your pet loves swimming. Particularly useful if your pet tires in the water helping your dog to swim back to you.

Tips on the beach

  • To take lots (more than usual) of fresh water and a collapsible bowl for your thirsty dog. Seawater is salty and will make your dog even more thirsty.
  • Be considerate of others.
  • Stay clear of crowded areas.
  • Have old towels to dry your dog if they’ve been swimming. Provide them with towels to sit on, rather than the sand and shingle, and towels help to clean off the sand before going home!
  • A sun canopy or umbrella shade is important, not just for you, but also for your dog who can catch sunburn as much as you can. Check out Pet Check Shop for supplies.
  • You may need to use a short and/or long dog lead during restriction times, and take a dog muzzle if you prefer your dog to wear one on busier beaches. Dogs can act out character in new, unknown places often feeling anxious.
  • Please remember to take your rubbish home with you. That includes dog poop which is your responsibility to clean up at all times. 

The recent pandemic has bought about new changes to the ways we do things. Post lockdown restrictions may require households not to travel in certain areas of the UK. Read latest government advice. It’s advisable to check with your local council and social media websites before making special journeys. You may find that you are required to pre-book vehicle entry into popular UK beaches during the summer months.

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Featured

Dog Walks – Dog-Friendly Beaches In Wales

\\\ Dog Walks

\\\ Updated 1 October 2021

Dog

Beach

Restrictions

LIFTED 1 OCTOBER

Staycation, weekend break or special day out with your dog?

Planning a visit to one of Wales’s finest beaches? Check there are no dog bans in place.

Pet Check provide a list of the popular Welsh beaches where bans or partial bans may be in place.

What Are The Dog Bans?

Most dog walking bans on beaches operate from 1st May to 30 September, however, there are a minority of beaches around the UK that impose longer bans sometimes starting as early as Easter of 1 April, or beach events may force sudden unexpected closures.

DOG RESTRICTIONS ON MOST BEACHES REMOVED 1 OCTOBER UNTIL LATE SPRING

The ‘No dogs on this beach’ signs are posted up around beach promenades, nearby car parks, and the maps on council websites provide more detailed information for visitors, showing where and where dogs can and cannot be walked.

Local seaside dog owners love1 October each year and through the winter and spring months, when dogs are allowed onto most beaches to walk, play and swim weather permitting.

Busier beaches may see red flag warnings raised by local lifeguards, from time to time, which should be adhered to for your and your dog’s safety. Take care not to swim, generally because of bad weather and fierce high tides expected. You can find out more about the flags at the RNLI beach safety page.


NORTH WALES DOG BEACHES WITH BANS OR PARTIAL BANS

Avoid disappointment and extra journey time trying to find a non-ban beach

Plan in advance of your journey. Check now.

Anglesey

Dogs are allowed onto certain parts of these beaches

  • Beaumaris
  • Benllech
  • Cemaes Bay
  • Llanddwyn, Newborough
  • Llanddona
  • Trearddur Bay
  • Porth Dafarch

Dogs additionally to be kept on leads whilst promenade walking during summer

  • Benllech,
  • Cemaes Bay
  • Trearddur Bay
Conwy

Full ban

Small Sandy beach at Rhos Point, Rhos on Sea

Dogs are allowed onto certain parts of these beaches

  • Rhos on Sea beach
  • Colwyn Bay beach
  • Pensarn beach
  • Kinmel Bay beach
  • Llandudno north shore beach
  • Llandudno west shore beach
  • Penmaenmawr beach
  • Llanfairfechan beach
Ceredigion

Full ban – both beaches are run by The National Trust

  • Mwnt
  • Penbryn

Dogs are allowed onto certain parts of these beaches

  • Aberaeron south
  • Aberporth
  • Aberystwyth north
  • Clarach
  • Aberystwyth south
  • Borth
  • Llangrannog
  • Tresaith
  • New Quay-Harbour

Denbighshire

Dogs are allowed onto certain parts of these beaches

  • Rhyl
  • Prestatyn
  • Barkby Beach, Prestatyn

Gwynedd

Dogs are allowed onto certain parts of these beaches and some beaches completely banning dogs

  • Aberdyfi
  • Tywyn
  • Fairbourne
  • Barmouth
  • Bennar
  • Llandanwg
  • Harlech
  • Morfa Bychan – Black Rock Sands
  • Criccieth – promenade beach
  • Criccieth – marine beach
  • Pwllheli – Glan Don
  • Pwllheli – Marian-y-De
  • Abersoch
  • Aberdaron
  • Porth Oer
  • Porth Towyn
  • Morfa Nefyn
  • Dinas Dinlle
  • Nefyn

RECENT BEACH BLOGS

SOUTH WALES DOG BEACHES WITH BANS OR PARTIAL BANS

Beaches can partially ban dogs – Dog Exclusion Orders

Look for the signs at beaches – Council websites provide detailed plans

Carmarthenshire

Dogs are allowed onto certain parts of these beaches

  • Cefn Sidan
  • Llansteffan
  • Pendine
Neath Port Talbot
  • Aberavon
Pembrokeshire

Dogs Banned from these parts of the beach

  • Tenby north beach
  • Whitesands, St David’s

Dogs are allowed onto certain parts of these beaches

  • Lydstep
  • Newgale beach and promenade
  • Saundersfoot beach and promenade
  • Tenby Castle and south beach
  • Amroth beach and promenade
  • Poppit Sands
  • Broad Haven (north)
  • Dale
Porthcawl

Dogs are allowed onto certain parts of these beaches

  • Rest Bay
  • Town Beach
  • Coney Beach
  • Trecco Bay
Swansea

Dogs are allowed onto certain parts of these beaches

  • Swansea Bay
  • Port Eynon beach
  • Bracelet Bay
  • Limeslade Bay
  • Rotherslade Bay
  • Langland Bay
  • Caswell Bay
Vale of Glamorgan
  • Whitmore Bay (Barry Island)
  • Cold Knap
  • Penarth seafront
  • Dunraven Bay (Southerndown)
  • Cwm Colhuw (Llantwit)

PET CHECK UK Dalmatian walking out of the sea on sand

Beach doggie tips to remember –

  • To take lots (more than usual) of fresh water and a collapsible bowl for your thirsty dog. Seawater is salty and will make your dog even more thirsty.
  • Have old towels to dry your dog if they’ve been swimming. Provide them with towels to sit on, rather than the sand, and towels help to clean off the sand before going home!
  • A sun canopy or umbrella shade is important, not just for you, but also for your dog who can catch sunburn as much as you can. Check out Pet Check Shop for supplies.
  • You may need to use a short and/or long dog lead during restriction times, and take a dog muzzle if you prefer your dog to wear one on busier beaches. Dogs can act out character in new, unknown places often feeling anxious.
  • If a regular visit, buy your dog a buoyancy jacket and avoid visitng the beach when there are rough seas.
  • Please remember to take your rubbish home with you. That includes dog poop which is your responsibility to clean up at all times. 

To get the very best out of a special day trip, plan in advance.

  • Pre-book your car park space if necessary.
  • Check all local social media before setting out including if there are traffic build-ups in the area so you are not wasting time sitting in a hot car.
  • Check tide times for the best times to be on the beach. We recommend two hours after high tide allows the tide to be going out, sand and shingle drying out and gives more space on the beach.
  • Remember to buy sun block for you and your pet before its too hot weather, apply before leaving home.
  • Ensure your dog has ventilated space in your vehicle and also sunshades protecting them from direct sunlight whilst travelling.

REMEMBER

TAKE HOME YOUR BEACH RUBBISH AND DOG POO when there’s no bins

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Featured

Dog Walks – Kent – Greatstone – Littlestone – St Mary’s Bay – Dymchurch

\\\ Dog Walks Kent

\\\ updated 1 October 2021

Dog Walks – Kent – Greatstone – on – Sea – Littlestone – on – Sea – St Mary’s Bay – Dymchurch

Kent’s Sandy Dog-Friendly Beaches

Millions of us will be taking staycations in the UK, weekend breaks, or special days out this year with our dogs

Pet Check’s reader’s favourite dog walks

Choose the best dog-friendly UK beaches

Kent is the most south eastern county of England and just an hour or so drive from London making this a fabulous location to visit for days out, weekend breaks or staycations with your dog. It doesn’t matter whether its summer or winter, there’s plenty of space to have a great day out with your dog.

The Kent coastline including the famous ‘White Cliffs Of Dover’ look out over The Straits of Dover, part of the busy shipping lanes of the English Channel. Not all the coastline are cliffs, Kent has many beautiful, nearly flat, dog-friendly, sandy beaches waiting for you to visit.

DOG RESTRICTIONS ON BEACHES REMOVED 1 OCTOBER UNTIL LATE SPRING

The beaches from the Dungeness peninsula, home to Lydd airport and the partly decommissioned Dungeness Power station, across New Romney to Hythe, are some of the finest and tranquil spots you can find, a coastline stretch of around 12 miles (20 kilometres), along dog-friendly sandy beaches of Hythe Bay.

Greatstone Beach For Local Water Sports

Greatstone Beach is well known for local water surfing activities, including kitesurfing and stand up paddle boarding, and is patrolled by lifeguards during the busier months. The beach like most of the 12 miles or so of Hythe Bay is shingle and sandy when the tide goes out, leaving you about a half mile walk to the sea edge. It’s great to visit this beach with your dog when the tide has turned and on its way out where the sand has had some time to start ‘drying out’.

The back shore of most of the beach are the famous Greatstone sand dunes, that are similar to the formation of many English beaches, providing separation from the land to sea, also a Site of Specific Scientific Interest. A wide variety of rare plant species grow on the dunes and the area supports a strong population of small animals and insects.

Dogs are banned on two areas of the beach from 1 May to 30 September each year, the busier areas, where there are signs indicating this. The first area is from opposite The Jolly Fisherman southwards to opposite no. 17 The Parade and the second from no. 114 The Parade southwards to no. 172 The Parade. There’s plenty of room elsewhere for you and your dog on this beach during summer months.

Littlestone Glorious Sandy Shingle Beach

Littlestone-on-Sea Beach is just a couple of miles further east, a quieter, tranquil, small village with a beach, just across from the coastal road. The beach is a shelving shingle beach with sand dunes. When it’s low tide, there are expanses of sand and mud flats making a distance to walk to the sea. There are few amenities, but a pleasant day can be spent here.

Dogs are banned on the main centre area of the beach during 1 May to 30 September only. (Madeira Road to Clark Road).

St Mary’s Bay Dog-Friendly Beach

St. Mary’s Bay Beach is predominantly shingle with wide shallow sand flats exposed at low water. You’ll notice old posts sticking up out of the sand and these are some of the old groyne system that the south of England beaches use as sea defences to help protect local communities from being flooded, being so low lying and flat land.

The ‘Bay’ as it is known locally does have a promenade where dogs can be walked during the restricted summer season. Dogs are restricted on the main part of the beach during summer, 1 May to 30 September, which is signed.

Dymchurch 4 mile Promenade And Beach

Dymchurch Beach has grown into a sizeable village with seasonal holiday traffic and local camping and nearby caravanning park. It also provides visitors with cafes, restaurants and gift shops.

These newly built flood defences now offer the opportunity to walk the length of the four mile promenade by the beach. There are steps down to walk onto the beach. High tide sees the sea reaching these defences, so it’s important to check tide times before making a special journey, especially if you want to spend a few hours on the beach, and pick times to dog walk about 2 hours after the high tide, this allows the sea to be retreating and start exposing shingle and sand which starts drying out.

Dogs are restricted usually from 1 May to 30 September on the beach, between Sycamore Gardens and The Martello Car Park.

More Information

It’s highly recommended to take a picnic with you if you intend to spend a few hours on these beaches as there are not many facilities actually located on the beaches, particularly out of season. There are several dog-friendly cafes and restaurants when driving along the 12 mile Hythe Bay coastal road, and Dymchurch village.

Car parking is very accessible all the way along the Bay, being able to park at the side of the roads in many places.

You may prefer on some days to walk the Kent Coastline Walk – a walk starting at Camber Sands and snaking around the Dungeness peninsula, around the Kent beach coastlines finishing at Dartford. You can pick it up at Dungeness point, along Greatstone Beach through to Romney, and on to Hythe, being mostly flat and manageable for your dog, a walk of around 13 miles. Ideal when the seas are rough during winter months, and beaches may look a little cold and bleak.

The Dungeness National Nature Reserve provides a fabulous haven for wild life which you can easily spot. There are areas restricting your dog walking in the RSPB Nature Reserve, signposted.

You can also feel safe as the area has a local manned RNLI lifeboat available for launch at Littlestone, and offer some useful online reminders about dog walking beach safety before you visit.

Should your dog suffer an injury there are veterinary surgeries available at Hythe and along Hythe Bay.

Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway have a popular train linking the villages together, with stations at Hythe, Dymchurch, St Mary’s Bay, Romney Warren, New Romney, Romney Sands and Dungeness which allows dogs to travel on with their owners.

You may like to read more about dog walking the renowned Camber Sands, just 11 miles or so from Greatstone Beach around Dungeness, famed for its miles of golden sands and typically exposed rippled sands as the sea retreats at low tide, as the picture below illustrates.

Accommodation Pet Check partners with Rural Retreats and Sykes Home who offer a selection of holiday lets in the area all year round.

The Kite Surf Centre has a useful local page of accommodation. B&B’s, self catering and camping opportunities and local recommended hotels.


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Beach doggie tips to remember –

  • To take lots (more than usual) of fresh water and a collapsible bowl for your thirsty dog. Seawater is salty and will make your dog even more thirsty.
  • Have old towels to dry your dog if they’ve been swimming. Provide them with towels to sit on, rather than the sand, and towels help to clean off the sand before going home!
  • A sun canopy or umbrella shade is important, not just for you, but also for your dog who can catch sunburn as much as you can. Check out Pet Check Shop for supplies.
  • You may need to use a short and/or long dog lead during restriction times, and take a dog muzzle if you prefer your dog to wear one on busier beaches. Dogs can act out character in new, unknown places often feeling anxious.
  • Please remember to take your rubbish home with you. That includes dog poop which is your responsibility to clean up at all times. 

To get the very best out of a special day trip, plan in advance.

  • Pre-book your car park space if necessary.
  • Check all local social media before setting out including if there are traffic build-ups in the area so you are not wasting time sitting in a hot car.
  • Check tide times for the best times to be on the beach. We recommend two hours after high tide allows the tide to be going out, sand and shingle drying out and gives more space on the beach.
  • Remember to buy sun block for you and your pet before its too hot weather, apply before leaving home.
  • Ensure your dog has ventilated space in your vehicle and also sunshades protecting them from direct sunlight whilst travelling.

NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG UNATTENDED IN THE CAR – OUTSIDE SHOPS – OR ON THE BEACH

PREVENT DOG THEFT

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The recent pandemic has bought about new changes to the ways we do things. Post lockdown restrictions may require households not to travel in certain areas of the UK. Read latest government advice. It’s advisable to check with your local council and social media websites before making special journeys. You may find that you are required to pre-book vehicle entry into popular beaches during the summer months.


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Featured

Dog Walks – Dorset – Durdle Door

\\\ Dog Walks

\\\ updated 1 October 2021

PERFECT FOR AUTUMN WINTER SPRING WALKS

Durdle Door Dorset

Picture taken busy Summer Bank Holiday

Choose The Best Dog-Friendly Beaches Around The UK

Is Durdle Door dog-friendly? Yes, but to be avoided during busy times

Are there facilities on the beach? No

Does Durdle Door have Wheelchair access? No

Are there baby changing facilities? No

Does Durdle Door have a car park? Yes, it’s operated by Lulworth Estate with opening and closing times

Durdle Door

Dorset is situated on the south coast of England facing the English Channel. It’s possibly more famous for its World Heritage Jurassic coastline, stretching 96 miles from East Devon to Dorset than anything else you know about Dorset.

Some of the most beautiful rocks, cliffs, bays, coves, are accessible to the public and their dogs including Durdle Door, all year round, without restrictions.

But would you want to take your dog in the height of summer to this magnificent beach?

It’s a pebbly, shingle and part sandy cove that is flanked on all sides by cliffs where the only access is by 134 steps and a further 15 minutes or so, walk from the car park. Your dog must be healthy and active to manage those steps down and back up as they are the only access to this beach. During busy times, you will have to wait to join the queue to walk down, so your dog needs to be patient and really kept on a lead until all the way down the steps and on the beach.

As soon as the sun shines during peak times, Easter, bank holidays, and summer weekends, the car park run by Lulworth Estate becomes full by mid-morning and the beach becomes restricted to more visitors due to its enclosed size. One cannot see the beach from the car park so you are not aware visually of how packed it may actually be. The car park opens at 9am summer months and operates until 9pm making a fabulous long day to be enjoyed on the beach, but this possibility is too long for your dog.

Dogs can become anxious in strange environments and irritable in hot conditions, just like humans, so you need to consider if it would be wise to take your dog with you for the day.

NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET IN A HOT CAR UNATTENDED – EVEN FOR A MINUTE

Before you set off making any special journey, it’s important to check the news for road updates as these can become blocked with heavy traffic and social media latest news about the beach.

One needs to take everything with you for the time you’ve planned to spend on the beach and be able to carry this down the many steps.

Walking Down To Durdle Door Beach

Pictures courtesy Dorset Echo and Visit Dorset

There’s no natural shade so it’s important to take shade such as umbrellas and dog canopies to ensure your dog doesn’t suffer from sunburn along with plenty of freshwater supply for both you and your pet and a collapsible bowl.

There aren’t any facilities on the beach including a cafe or even public rubbish disposal and dog poop dustbins. Visitors must take all rubbish back to the car park where there are bins.

The backdrop is the famed Jurassic rocks that form the Dorset coastline, and one has to be extremely careful not to walk directly under cliffs at any of our UK coastal areas at any time and at Durdle Door, to particularly not sit close up to them as rockfall can happen anytime.

When walking into the sea, you’ll find that it becomes deep very quickly, due to a steep shelving seabed. Whilst this limits a huge high and low tidal range coming in and out of the cove area, it is very dangerous for those who are not confident swimmers and your dog.

Practising social distancing due to the recent pandemic can be difficult but should be maintained.

When is the best time to visit Durdle Door?

Pet Check would thoroughly recommend you visit with your dog anytime between 1 October and 1 April but car park closure times become earlier.

During warmer, summer months, picking the days that may be less sunny and quieter weekdays are more suitable, except during the high, holiday season, during school holidays when we’d give it a thumbs down.

Whilst there are no restrictions for dogs at any time of the year, the practicalities of enjoying a long day out are difficult. Dogs may react in a different way when confronted with new, noisier, and busy environments and can act totally out of character. One would need to take a lead and even a muzzle for those dogs that can be prone to snap. Visitors can ask you to put your dog on a lead if they feel concerned or have a young family sitting nearby and that really isn’t fun for you or your dog when trying to enjoy a lovely day out.


Map also available by Open Map


There are local vets should any emergency arise situated at Weymouth, Dorset, Wool, and Wareham, the nearest just over 3 miles away.

The lifeguard service doesn’t support this beach but there is a lifeboat rescue service nearby stationed at Weymouth in case of emergencies. Do take time to refresh yourself with water safety tips on the RNLI website.

Beach doggie tips to remember –

  • To take lots (more than usual) of fresh water and a collapsible bowl for your thirsty dog. Seawater is salty and will make your dog even more thirsty.
  • Have old towels to dry your dog if they’ve been swimming. Provide them with towels to sit on, rather than the sand, and towels help to clean off the sand before going home!
  • A sun canopy or umbrella shade is important, not just for you, but also for your dog who can catch sunburn as much as you can. Check out Pet Check Shop for supplies.
  • You may need to use a short and/or long dog lead during restriction times, and take a dog muzzle if you prefer your dog to wear one on busier beaches. Dogs can act out character in new, unknown places often feeling anxious.
  • Please remember to take your rubbish home with you. That includes dog poop which is your responsibility to clean up at all times. 

To get the very best out of a special day trip, plan in advance.

  • Pre-book your car park space if necessary.
  • Check all local social media before setting out including if there are traffic build-ups in the area so you are not wasting time sitting in a hot car.
  • Check tide times for the best times to be on the beach. We recommend two hours after high tide allows the tide to be going out, sand and shingle drying out and gives more space on the beach.
  • Remember to buy sun block for you and your pet before its too hot weather, apply before leaving home.
  • Ensure your dog has ventilated space in your vehicle and also sunshades protecting them from direct sunlight whilst travelling.

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The recent pandemic has bought about new changes to the ways we do things. Post lockdown restrictions may require households not to travel in certain areas of the UK. Read the latest government advice. It’s advisable to check with your local council and social media websites before making special journeys. You may find that you are required to pre-book vehicle entry into popular beaches during the summer months.

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Dog Poop On The Beach

\\\ Dog Walks

\\\ updated I October 2021

Q. Can I Leave Dog Poop On The Beach?

A. No

More than 1,100 tonnes of dog waste is dropped a day by dog walkers and their pets according to pet statistics, 2019. Since then, Covid-19 has introduced an estimated 3 million more dogs into our pet community adding to this enormous burden placed on UK local councils to clean up.

Poo bins are placed in accessible parks, playgrounds, and pavements for dog owners to deposit their dog’s mess when out walking. This became normal practice since 2016, when The Dog Fouling Act 2016, placed responsibility on “the person in charge of the dog” at the time of the misdemeanor. Fines currently imposed are up to £80.00. Some councils impose fines if you come out walking your dog without poo bags or pooper scoopers.

Just because one is visiting the beach with your favourite companion, your dog, this doesn’t make any difference, which is a common misconception by many beach visitors.

Visitors are under the impression that it is OK to leave your dog’s mess on the beach as the high tide will wash it away into our oceans.

Unfortunately, this is often not the case as Metro’s article, April 2021, astonishingly shows the kind of beach clean-up necessary, where local volunteers generously donate their time to clear beaches regularly, ready for visitors to enjoy, helping their business community.

PET CHECK UK Metro / Brixham Beach

The picture shows more than 100 black sacs full of litter debris including dog muck left on just one Devon beach. It’s not just polluting our oceans, but our shorelines and is not visitor-friendly.

It continues with Cornwall Live highlighting a new campaign, launched by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), explaining how water quality can be affected and pose a risk to public health because of the high levels of bacteria contained in dog mess.

Dog restrictions are placed up and down the UK’s beaches where owners cannot take dogs onto popular beaches, either from 1st April, Easter, or 1st May each year. One of the main reasons why there are beach restrictions is because of the problems of owners not picking up their dog’s poop.

Beaches become unrestricted 1 October to 30 April in most UK areas, but this doesn’t mean that there is any relaxation of the Dog Fouling Rules.

PET CHECK UK Dog clean up info

PET CHECK UK - Dog Poop - dog poop being scooped

About Your Dog Poops

About Your Dog Poop

Dog poop and urine affect water quality and could threaten the Blue Flag status of a beach. Blue Flags are very important to the tourist industry for local towns to gain and maintain every year, bringing in high visitor footfalls, helping the local economy.

Dog poop is generally meat-based excrement which can cause the risk of Toxocara in humans, and in severe cases, where humans have come into contact with dog poop, can lead to blindness. It used to be quite common to hear about young children that accidentally touched dog poop become blind. Fortunately, with more restrictions in place, this danger is now less so, damaging human health.

Dog poop bins on popular public beaches are placed at entrances to beaches, beach car parks, beach promenades, beach walkways, and along the actual back shores of the beaches.

It’s important to ensure all your dog poop is cleared up and put in these bins. If you cannot find a dedicated bin, then a general waste bin is acceptable. If you cannot find a general waste bin, then you must take it home and dispose of it in your normal way.

It is illegal to leave dog waste in the majority of UK public places and parks, but you can avoid fines in agriculture and woodlands, rural common land, marshland, and motorways areas where traffic is above 50 mph.

More than 1,100 tonnes of dog waste is dropped a day by dog walkers and their pets. UK local councils must keep public areas like parks, playgrounds and pavements clear of dog mess. Dedicated bins are provided for dog owners to pick up their dog’s mess and place this in the bins.  

The Dog Fouling Act of 2016, places responsibility on “the person in charge of the dog” at the time of the misdemeanour. Fines currently imposed are up to £80.00. In some council areas, you can be fined for forgetting to carry poo bags or pooper scoopers when out dog walking.  

Councils encourage residents to be responsible, where they see a dog owner who is continuously breaking the dog fouling laws, to report them, and usually have a simple online page on their council websites. The few exceptions made are for those who have mobility and disabilities, working dogs such as sheepdogs and police dogs whilst on duty.  

If you have a garden then it’s possible to create an area for your dog to relieve themselves and keep dog mess in one area which can be picked up quickly. Use a material like small pebbles or bark (not cocoa bark which is toxic to pets) and where it can be frequently hosed down to keep the area hygienic and topped up with fresh bark when it requires it.

Most owners don’t like the smell to linger in their back gardens, nor their dogs walk in their poops, so there is absolutely no reason why we, the public should leave dog poops on beaches for other visitors.

Always make sure you teach young children never to touch poop as it can be dangerous to human health even causing blindness.

Horses and donkeys are allowed to walk on beaches accompanied by their rider as they only eat grass, so any excrete left on beaches, or in the sea, is not harmful.

The Best Dog Poop Biodegradable Bags

If you need to top up your dog poop bags try using the best biodegradable bags now made of cornstarch which are now freely available in the UK. Being a natural alternative to plastic bags, durable and strong, compostable, with some claims they break down within 90 days of use being the most environmentally friendly rather than the usual 10,000 years quoted for some of the dog poop plastic alternative bags on the market.

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Featured

Should I Walk My Dog On Summer Beaches?

\\\ Summer Beach Dog Walks

\\\ updated 1 October 2021

Dog Walking In Hot Weather

Should I Change My Dog Walking Times During Summer?

Dog walking during the summer months brings new challenges for dog owners up and down the country whatever the location.

Owners who go out to work have set routines and these times can be hard to change, but when the sun shines and temperatures start rising it’s important to consider your dogs’ needs.

Walk times need to be changed so that dog walks are taken when it is as cool as possible, earlier in the morning and, later in the evening.

Dogs get very sore paws walking on concrete paths and roads, due to how these surfaces retain heat. It is best to try and find some grassy areas, even roadside verges are better for your pet to walk on than tarmac paths, helping your pet’s health.

Beaches, especially sandy beaches can become very hot during the midday and afternoon and if you find it hot walking without shoes on a beach, then you will know what it must feel like for your pet.

Walking at midday has to be avoided. Shorter dog walks in shadier conditions are better and with lots of water available at the end of the walk. However, if you hire dog walkers, this is when they are most active.

Your dog walker may suggest a change of venue more suitable in warmer weather and should explain the reasons why. Some dog walkers can alter walking times by being flexible depending on how many charges they have and work with you to get the best for both your dog and their business. This includes coastal dog walkers who walk dogs on beaches for their owners.

Breeds that suffer the most in hot sunshine are long-haired breeds and those dogs with flat faces. These pets need extra care and attention, as well as senior dogs.

Should I Walk Dogs On Beaches During The Summer?

The simple answer is yes. The midday and early afternoon sun are at their strongest and most fierce. Dogs can easily suffer heat exhaustion and sunburn just as humans do and need to be in the shade at these times. This becomes difficult when on holiday, perhaps with your family and friends where you want to enjoy days out around our beautiful coastlines. A balance has to be struck, coupled with some beach shore locations being better to walk at low tide when there is more sand and shingle exposed than at high tides, where at high tide some beaches may be pebbly. Tide times do need checking daily to get the best out of your holiday locations.

Providing dogs with shade on beaches is a must if staying a few hours, and provide them lots of fresh drinking water in a bowl. Seawater is very salty and only adds to your pet’s quest for more freshwater if they’ve been swimming.

There are pet companies now producing dog canopy’s especially for your dog to lie under on the beach, or if out walking in exposed areas for the day. If you cannot purchase one of these, then a large shade umbrella on the beach is an alternative where they can share space with you. It is ideal to let them lie on a rug or old towel so they keep off the hot sand underneath them.

Other coastal areas operate strict dog control, preventing dogs from being on beaches during summer months, generally 1st May to 30 September, in popular locations. The alternative is often to walk them along the promenades which are generally constructed of concrete which become extremely hot and should be avoided.

YOu can read more about beach restrictions

PET CHECK UK Beach restriction notice 1 May to 30 September on promenade

What Are UK Beach Coast Restrictions?

No dog walking restrictions on selected beaches, promenades. Seaside summer dog walking restrictions. Beach restrictions for dog walks. dogs on leads, sandy beach dog walks. Beach dog walking. Beautiful coastal beach dog walks. Petcheck.UK Blog

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Finding sand dune areas that often are situated at the back shores of our beaches can be fun where they are not flat, undulating, providing some areas when you can sit in shade with your dog.

Before you go on holiday, it’s a great idea to give your dog a good, long extra brush to get all the excess hair out and to take brushes with you. Long-haired breeds suffer far more in hot weather than short-haired and after swimming and frolicking about in salty seawater will need a good bath afterward. Once your pet is dry give them a good brush to help keep their hair thinned down during hot weather.

If you are staying in rented holiday, coastal, beach, accommodation, you may not want to keep your dog on its own, in the new, strange property whilst you are out and about enjoying yourself. Each dog reacts differently in these circumstances and it may be a difficult decision whether you do this. Leaving your dog means making sure they have a cool and safe space in the home with accessible fresh water and toys available and not leaving them too long, especially on the first couple of occasions. Dogs should never be left in conservatories that act similar to cars and cause severe overheating.

Signs of heat exhaustion are seeing your dog panting heavily, that’s when you know they are likely to have heat exhaustion, getting up and down from where they are sitting, in a bid to try to stay cool. The best way is to lower the temperature and if that means moving off the sunny beach and being in the shade for an hour or more, then it’s best for your pet’s health. Continued restlessness, panting, and drooling become a pet emergency, and important to talk to a vet.

Parking your car in shade at a beach location can be a premium, not only keeps your steering wheel cool for you but lowers the temperature for your dog who may be travelling in a confined rear space when boarding.

Being on a beach for a few hours means most likely eating a lunchtime picnic on the beach which is always fun, however, your dog may not need to be given a big meal at lunchtime. During hot weather, it’s better to feed your pets earlier in the day and later. We all know dogs love to sniff your food and it does become difficult not to feed them with your titbits, but this really isn’t good for your dog. Packets of dog treats can be useful where they chew for a little while to keep them busy as you eat, and then when back at home, they can enjoy a bigger meal in more comfort.

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What Are Sunday Big Dog Walks?

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\\\ updated October 2021

What Are The Big Dog Walk Events ?

Organised as a Sunday stroll at 6 fabulous venues around the UK, The Big Dog Walk starts again this year, at the beginning of June 2021, with special events running alongside.

A great day out for you, your friends, and your best pet visiting some of the most beautiful gardens and estates, whilst you can raise much-needed money for your favourite charity.

Locations currently include

Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire – Loseley Park, Surrey – Borde Hill, West Sussex – Harewood House, Yorkshire – St Clere Kent – Hylands Park Essex, Glasgow

With
Pick Up Treats –  Have-a-go Activities – Shopping –  Expert Advice – Fun Dog Shows – DogStacle Course –  Refreshments

Pictures courtesy The Big Dog Walk

  • 5 Staggered dog walks throughout the day
  • Choose a route that suits – a 2km, 5km, or 10km walk
  • Puppy socialisation
  • Pandemic Precautions put in place
  • Dedicated shopping area
  • Personal Assistant Tickets available

For more information visit the Big Dog Walk  website, or email BigDogWalk@dogstrust.org.uk.

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Does My Pet Need To Be Secured In My Car?

Is Pet Insurance Important?

Many new pet owners are unaware of the requirement to harness pets whilst travelling in a car, not realising that this is a requirement when they go and pick up their new pet from a breeder, pet shop, or shelter home, arriving unprepared for their pet’s journey back to their new home.

Puppies and dogs need a space in the car where they can be accommodated safely either using a seatbelt harness, dog carrier, crate, or rear seat grills. It is the driver’s responsibility to make sure they are safe and the pet will not cause a distraction to them or could endanger any passenger whilst travelling.

There are a number of specially designed dog crates to fit rear seat boots, including those that slope, crates that the airlines use for pet transport can be safely used, grills to fit many differing car recesses and a number of seat belt harnesses sized to fit all kinds of shapes and sized pets.

Read about different carriers available

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Cats need to travel in a cat carrier which can be harnessed into the back seat, as can pet rabbits. Even tortoises and small pets such as mice and rats need to be carried in a safe container and not allowed to run around the vehicle.

The Highway Code has a number of specific Rules and Regulations, Rules 47-58, that drivers must follow regarding animals including –

Rule 57 of the Highway Code states: “When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves if you stop quickly. A seatbelt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars

Why Isn’t My Pet Insured When I Travel To My Staycation By Car?

As we travel on millions of staycations this year, weekend breaks or gorgeous days out with our pets, you may be forgiven if you think you are all insured if you’re involved in an accident whilst travelling to your destination by car. Your passengers may be, your beloved furry friend may not be.

Fully comprehensive car insurance is unlikely to give all the protection you may like, quite simply, your pet is not seen as a passenger.

Your cover may include personal property, which includes pets, however, if you are involved in an accident and your pet dies because of the accident, you may be paid only their ‘market value’. If your pet suffers injuries and requires veterinary care, then it’s unlikely that you’re claiming for veterinary care bills will be successful, possibly leaving you out of pocket by hundreds or thousands of pounds.

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What Is Holiday Pet Insurance?

Pet holiday insurance. Do you need pet travel insurance for staycations?
Pet holidays in the UK and abroad travel insurance. Items covered and not covered in pet travel holiday pet policies. Handy tips what to look for. Pet overseas travel and at home. Boarding fees, rental property damage, pet house sitters included in pet travel policies. Read more. Petcheck.uk Blog

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Does Pet Insurance Cover Travelling By Car?

Do I Need Pet Insurance?

This is where a pet insurance policy could be a consideration, knowing that your pet is covered if they suffer injury. There are more than 80 UK pet insurers that offer varying cover including pets travelling in your motor vehicle, whether you are on a staycation or simply going to the local park for a daily walk.

So before you head off to pick up your new and loveable pet or driving anywhere in the UK on public (and some private) roads, check your policies, and if you haven’t cover then consider a pet insurance policy.

If you know you’ll be purchasing a pet, don’t leave to the last minute to find out insurance policy details and sign up as policies do not take immediate effect, requiring generally two weeks before commencement.

Read more about insurance policies being offered

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Travel Rules To Northern Ireland And EU

Pet owners will need to follow new requirements before taking their pet in their vehicle to the European Union or Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021.

The recent pandemic has bought about new changes to the way we do things. Post lockdown restrictions may require households not to travel in certain areas of the UK. Read latest government advice. It’s advisable to check with your local council and social media websites before making special journeys.

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What Is Holiday Pet Insurance?

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Should I Buy Pet Holiday Insurance Cover?

Millions of us will be travelling this summer in the UK on staycations, short breaks, long weekends or taking a special day out with our pets.

One of the most forgotten policies can be holiday pet insurance where a pet either accompanies you, may be placed in kennels or a cattery, or looked after by a trusted house sitter whilst you are away.

The recent pandemic has seen millions of new pet owners, who may not be aware of the benefits of taking out holiday pet insurance until an unfortunate eventuality costing many hundreds of pounds in veterinary fees has to be put right or paying for an unexpected event that your pet has caused.

Pets in strange surroundings act quite differently, may bolt and stray off. They may feel anxious and can attack other pets for no reason at all.

As you book your holiday and check your holiday insurance policy, remember to do that for your pet.

The starting point is to check your existing pet insurance cover and household contents policies to see if either, or both, offer some sort of pet holiday cover.

Vehicle insurance generally does not cover pets for travelling other than assistance working dogs, such as guide dogs.

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Pet Domestic Holiday Insurance

Trusted House Sitters

If you are relying upon a trusted house sitter residing in your home taking care of your pet(s), then your current Home Content policy may include selected pet cover.

It is worth checking with your house sitter that they have taken out some form of insurance cover and present you with these details when you agree to the sitting along with other necessary checks, such as a DBS check. You are effectively allowing a stranger to look after not only your home but your beloved pet. Retain copies of all documents given to you, particularly if the agreement is informal and not made through the dedicated pet sitting agencies.

You need to check your cover with the insurance company ensuring that you, your home, and your pet sitter residing in the home are covered for unexpected eventualities.

If your trusted house sitter tries to sue you as the owner for a pet attack or causes an incident, costs may also be covered in your home contents policy, covering liability. Likewise, if your pet sitter causes damage to your pet, then this may be covered.

Generally, the insurers require the pet owner to buy a more expensive policy or ‘bolt-on’ extending their policy cover. 

Boarding Fees

You should check prior to booking your pet into boarding that the owner is legitimate with adequate valid business insurance, such as comprehensive insurance for the pet business that includes employers’ and public liability, veterinary fees, animal in transit, loss by theft, or straying, custodial responsibility, professional indemnity, and negligence cover as standard all of which should be displayed prominently at the booking-in office when receiving your pet, with reputable businesses providing you with a copy of the policy details when taking charge of your pets.

Most pet insurance policies will cover boarding your pet, for example, if you have to cancel the booking at short notice, or partway through the boarding period. Again you need to check the policy wording. However, if you are abroad and need to break your holiday to fly back urgently to attend to your pet, this may not be covered unless you have emergency pet holiday cover ‘bolted on’ to an existing policy or a separate Pet Holiday Insurance cover.

Renting a pet-friendly property in the UK

Your pet on holiday may unusually cause damage to a property and you would be liable to meet the payments for repairs. This cost maybe just a small manageable amount or much larger for serious damage. You will find in most good rental property agreements clauses that detail how damage and destruction are assessed and how you would be charged for these. For example, Sykes holiday homes, one of the UKs largest holiday home rental companies, provides a useful q&a page about pet damage.

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Pet Overseas Travel

If travelling abroad, your home contents policy is unlikely to cover you travelling with your pet and you will require Pet Overseas Insurance Policy to be purchased, or an existing holiday policy extended if your insurance company allows this.

Most insurers will cover vet fees if your pet is in good health before travel. Holiday Cancellation normally covers you if you cancel your trip or cut it short because your pet dies, or needs emergency treatment and can no longer travel. If your pet is lost or stolen and goes missing you must report this in the country abroad.

It’s essential to prepare well in advance of travel, by reading policy terms and conditions and taking the details with you whilst travelling.   

Time-restricted

Policies can vary where insurers allow pets to be covered for a maximum of 90 days overseas, during any one year. Other insurers only allow a certain number of trips to be made with time restrictions or a combination of both. 

Extra Benefits 

Extra benefits may include quarantine costs if your pet is unable to travel due to illness.

The new AHC regulations must have been complied with if making claims within EU countries or Northern Ireland, (read The Royal Veterinary Information page about the AHC regulations that apply for travel to Northern Ireland and The EU).

Loss of your PETS Passport now referred to THE AHC Certificate (effective 1.01.21) and/or Health Certificate, insurers may also cover costs if lost during your trip abroad.

If your pet becomes ill you may be able to claim emergency repatriation with some insurers. This is likely to include the extra costs of getting your pet home if your pet falls ill or becomes injured. It may also cover additional accommodation costs if prevented from travelling if your pet is too ill to travel. 

Staying longer than anticipated, you may be able to claim repeat tapeworm treatment for dogs if your departure is delayed.  

\\\ Insurance Excess and Limitations

Paying Pet Insurance Excesses

Most pet insurance policies are likely to carry some form of excess.

  • Most pet insurers won’t pay the first amount specified as the excess in any claim; this could be for the specific condition excess, or entire policy excess.
  • It’s possible to reduce cat, dog, and rabbit pet insurance policy quotes by reducing the excess that you are willing to pay.
  • The breed of your cat, dog, and rabbit affects the policy price. Pedigrees costing more to insure. 
  • Policy costs increase with older pets. Some may not be eligible. 
  • Vet fees are more expensive in cities and the South East of England, so policy prices can vary from region to region.
  • The level of cover you choose for your pet alters policy costs.
  • Certain dog breeds banned in the UK cannot be insured.  

Some Items That Pet Holiday Policies May Not Cover

  1. 1. Replacement documents needed prior to travel.
  2. 2. Replacement pet travel documents if you don’t report their loss, theft, or destruction to the vet that issued them within 24 hours.
  3. 3. Costs where you have tried to obtain monies for trips and veterinary care abroad where the condition has already been known before travel.
  4. 4. Faulty pet microchips you knew about before you travelled with your pet.
  5. 5. Treatment without official receipting abroad, including veterinary address and mobile number.
  6. 6. Treating your pet abroad unless a vet has agreed that your pet is too ill to travel home on the scheduled date.
  7. 7. More than a number of stated days extra accommodation / daily allowance stated.


Covid – The pandemic has brought new updates with regard to health issues whilst at home and abroad and the cost of kennelling if you are delayed due to Covid. Check your existing/new policy updates carefully and always take the details with you when travelling.


Best Pet Policy Tips

  • Always check the policy wording carefully. If you cannot find the information, then call the insurer.
  • To get the right policy that fits your household and pet(s) you may need to shop around and sometimes pay a little more. 
  • Check the policy wording for things that are covered. 
  • If you require liability, your pet insurer may offer this in their policy package.
  • Look for a policy that provides you with online vet care by video 24/7.

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