Ali Taylor is head of Canine Welfare Training at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Battersea cares for nearly 10,000 animals each year across its three sites in London, Brands Hatch and Old Windsor, and aims never to turn away a dog or cat in need of its help. Ali's role encompasses training staff and volunteers on dog behaviour. She regularly attends events on behalf of Battersea to educate people about dog ownership and share training advice, and is often accompanied by her ex-Battersea Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Squirt. Ali has worked at Battersea for 19 years and lives in North West London with her four dogs. Ali has owned 19 dogs and fostered hundreds more.
Ali's top tips for keeping your dog happy and safe when out about
Ali Taylor, Head of Welfare Training
- If you let your dog off the lead make sure he has good recall, and keep practising it to ensure you can recall him when there are tempting distractions around. You do not have to put your dog on a lead on public paths, as long as it is under close control. But as a general rule, keep your dog on a lead if you cannot rely on its obedience
- Your dog will thank you for packing useful items for days out. Remember water, a bowl, treats, toys, and possibly even dinner, if you'll be out for a full day
- Be aware of your dog's needs, for example, consider if your dog will get anxious if you visit somewhere busy with lots of traffic and noise
- If you visit a farm or the countryside, consider if your dog will be happy around larger animals such as horses, cows and sheep. It is often wise to keep your dog on a lead around them if you are unsure how he will behave, and always ensure you stick to country side rules around farm land
- Make sure your pet is protected against fleas, worms and ticks, especially if you spend time in rural areas
- If your dog travels in your car, get a harness or crate to keep him safe. Never leave your dog in a car as temperatures within the vehicle can soar, even if they are left in the shade with a window open.
- During the summer avoid going out with your dog between the hours of 11am and 3pm as this is the hottest time of the day. If your dog has white hair ask your vet about an appropriate sun cream which you can apply to your dog to prevent burning
- Remember it’s a legal requirement for your dog to wear a collar and tag, and you can be fined if they don’t wear one. Make sure your pet is microchipped too, and ensure your contact details are up to date with your chip provider
- Always carry poo bags and clear up after your dog to avoid penalties
- If your dog is an assistance dog remember to include ‘down time’ in your day out so that your dog can have a rest on what could be a busy day
- Check ahead to see that the place you are visiting is dog friendly. There are lots of good online guides with details of pubs, restaurants, and attractions that welcome our four legged friends
- If you’re thinking of going abroad, check the latest guidance from DEFRA on pet passports
Find out more about Battersea Dogs and Cats Home at www.battersea.org.uk