Enjoy the weather safely with your dog

Heatstroke in dogs

As we approach the summer time and increase in temperature, it is important to remind ourselves of the ways we can enjoy the weather safely with our dogs. Heat waves and temperature extremes are becoming more prevalent and subsequently the Veterinary industry are seeing an increase in heat stroke victims.

There are some dogs that are higher risk of overheating and should be carefully managed in the heat

-The young and elderly. These dogs fine it harder to regulate their own temperature and may not be experienced, or mobile enough to move to a cooler area themselves

-Brachiocephalic breeds, like French bulldogs, Pugs, Shih tzu. Their shortened noses and elongated soft palletes reduce their ability to cool themselves and they overheat significantly faster

-Overweight dogs and those with a pre-existing medical condition

-Dogs with an untidy, matted coat and thick coated dogs.


  • Don’t walk your dogs in the day time. Wait until the temperature has dropped significantly before taking them for a walk, consider this walk being on a lead and reduced in length
  • Allow access to shade and indoors. Many dogs can over heat in the garden if playing with toys or another dog. Encourage indoor time. A lot of dogs will be more lethargic in the warm weather and there are lots of indoor enrichment games that can be played without the need to over exert. Many of these games can be more tiring than a walk if played correctly. Provide adequate ventilation such as a fan
  • Cool water can be used to cool the feet and body of a dog that is too warm. Ice can be offered in a water bowl or with veg and treats inside for them to play with and eat, there are lots of frozen treat ideas
  • Wet towels can be put out for your dog to sit on. Do not lay wet towels over the dog as this can have a warming effect as it traps air
  • Keep your dogs coat groomed and free from dead hair. Clipping a long coated dog only exposes their body to more direct heat from the sun. As long as a coat is maintained well, the air can still get to the skin to cool it, and the hair helps block the UV rays

Signs of heat distress;

Consistently panting without being able to close mouth

Staggering / unsteady on feet


Vomiting and/or diarrhoea


Less known signs of heat distress in dogs;

Squinty eyes

Pulled back ears

Drooling, thickened saliva

Wide mouth panting (back teeth showing)

Not listening to instructions when they normally would

Pacing / restless

Racing heart

Bright red gums and tongue


This is a veterinary emergency and it is critical you get your dog to the vets in a timely manner to give them the best chance of a full recovery.

If you do need to transport your dog to the vets, the new advice is to cool first, transport second. Do your best to cool the dog down before transporting in an air conditioned vehicle

Summer is a great time to enjoy time with your dog, and can be done safely and enjoyably.

Rebecca Wilkinson RVN


Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy

What is PEMF?

PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field) therapy is a safe and non-invasive method of influencing cellular activity through low frequency fields. Originally approved by the FDA in 1979 for treating non-union fractures in horses, PEMF has a proven history of success in veterinary and clinical use.

Our unique Petspemf mat make it easy to bring the power of PEMF therapy into your home, providing effective regeneration and healing for your pets. Scientifically backed, Petspemf products provide pain and inflammation relief without any adverse side effects, making them the safest and chemical-free option for your pet’s health.

PEMF has been scientifically proven to:
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Encourage relaxation
  • Increase the body’s anti-inflammatory response
  • Reduce swelling
  • Improve mobility
  • Ease stiffness
  • Increase energy
Pain Relief
PEMF therapy uses low-frequency electromagnetic pulses to relieve pet pain by stimulating cells and improving circulation, reducing inflammation and swelling. It’s non-invasive, boosting the body’s anti-inflammatory response for improved mobility, reduced stiffness, and increased energy. A natural and effective way to relieve pain in pets.

The Petspemf mat can be rented from our Beverely centre. Please discuss your requirements with our therapists. A smart phone is required to control the pad.

As this product is safe for at home use you can also purchase one using the following link; https://petspemf.com/?ref=FQ_HdpFKniY4Az

New Site for Operation K9

Beverley’s leading canine hydrotherapy and rehabilitation centre Fit4Dogs has a new owner.

Rebecca Wilkinson, a veterinary nurse who has run Operation K9, a canine wellness business in nearby Scarborough since 2014, has taken on the business from founder Kirsty Skeates.

The centre will be renamed Operation K9 Beverley and will continue its dedication to providing care for dogs in the region who need treatment following surgery, injury and conditions such as arthritis and to improve dogs’ fitness and well-being.

Rebecca said: “I’ve worked with Kirsty from the beginning of her hydrotherapy business so I’m really looking forward to meeting dogs and their owners who are already using the facility and learning what they need and how I can help them.

“As a vet nurse and rehabilitation specialist, I’m planning on bringing innovative, state-of-the-art equipment and delivering specialist training for the existing team.

“We’ll also be tailoring the treatments to meet the specific needs of each individual dog, working alongside the referring vets and supporting pet parents.”

Former owner Kirsty added she was thrilled to be handing over the business to her long-standing colleague and mentor.

She said: “I have every confidence that Rebecca and the team will continue to provide clients with exceptional care and service.”

The new Operation K9 branch, on Annie Reed Road, is equipped with a water treadmill and hydrotherapy pool and is soon to introduce new aquatic massage therapy. It also offers treatment rooms for dogs in need of physiotherapy and laser therapy.

Rebecca and the team of four hydrotherapists are registered with IRVAP, the Institute of Registered Veterinary and Animal Physiotherapists, and the Beverley site is set to host training events for pet professionals and owners.

“We hope to make Operation K9 the go-to place for people looking to improve the health, fitness and well-being of their dogs across Beverley and East Yorkshire,” Rebecca explained.

“As a leading rehabilitation centre, we also plan to be an education hub for pet professionals looking to improve their understanding of small animal complementary therapies.

“We’re looking forward to continuing the work Kirsty has done in caring for dogs in the region and supporting existing and new clients who want the very best for their pets.”

To find out more, visit www.operationk9.co.uk, follow us on social media or call 01482 888509


Christmas with the Older Dog


As the festive season is upon us, plans are being made for family and friends, but how much do we need to think about our canine friends.

Although some dogs can relish and enjoy the excitement of Christmas and all it brings, many dogs do not. Now is the time to consider your dog and how they will cope with the festivities to come. Older or infirm dogs have different needs and considerations. They may have pain, reduced mobility or impaired senses. These can reduce the tolerance for changes and cause distress or anxiety.


  • The decorations are up! and often furniture gets moved around to allow for the tree. Dogs eyesight can deteriorate as they age and they will have a mental map of their some and immediate surroundings. Try to make changes to the outlay of the home minimal and keep the floor as clear as possible so there are less obstacles to navigate


  • Visitors, human and animal. With friends and family traveling to see you they may bring their own pets with them. Your dog may not appreciate this, especially if they are not used to having other pets in the house. Allow space for both pets to get away from each other. Utilise baby gates, crates and breaks from each other. With all the other fuss going on, don’t expect a usually sociable dog to welcome another into it’s home. The extra stress of the season may heighten anxiety and create behaviour changes. A dog that is not used to noise or young children for example may be frightened. Ensure quiet time and try to keep fuss to a minimum – it’s their home too


  • Travelling – if you are the one travelling with your dog, ensure there is a safe, comfortable area for them to reside in the vehicle. A firm memory foam mattress is ideal for the boot, and a non slip surface if they are on the back seat. Lifting in and out of the car can help avoid arthritis flare ups. Ensure there are comfort breaks on long journeys. Familiar bedding from home would also be appreciated


  • All the food! – With the extra food around at Christmas, try not to adapt their diet too much. A few extra’s here and there are to be expected, but foreign foods can often cause tummy upsets which is less than ideal if you are travelling or visiting. Try to stick to the same feeding routine and food best you can. Don’t forget about the Christmas foods that are toxic to dogs. If in doubt…leave it out!


  • Routine routine routine – as dogs age they thrive on a daily routine. You hay have noticed your older dog knows exactly when feeding time is and may put themselves to bed! Their tolerance for change reduces so try to ensure their routine is stuck to as much as possible to reduce distress


  • Exercise – again with their routine, they will be used to a certain amount of exercise. During the holidays this often changes. Dogs that suffer with arthritis need little and often exercise, a big beach walk on Christmas morning may sound romantic but it could be detrimental to your dogs condition. On a cold day also consider a coat to help keep the muscles and joints warm

Christmas should be an enjoyable time for all so while considering all of the above, both human and animal can have a pleasant experience.

Rebecca Wilkinson RVN NCert(AnBeh) ICH

Canine Massage – why, how and who?

How does massage help your pet?

Massage increases circulation throughout the skin, muscles and joints –helping to bring fresh blood and nutrients to the area, which is needed to keep the bodies tissues healthy, the increase in blood flow helps bring up the tissues temperature, which helps to relax muscles and aid circulation.
Along with helping to bring fluid to the soft tissues massage can influence lymphatic drainage – which removes toxins and waste from the body and helps to stop infection.
When muscles become tight and restricted this has a knock on effect on the rest of the body. It can cause poor mobility, pain and exercise intolerance. By working to release areas of tension and increasing muscle fibre length massage can help improve many aspects of a pets life and create a positive cycle.
Many pets enjoy massage treatment, as it is a calming environment, which can help them to relax, reducing tension, slowing the heart and breath rate, while releasing feel good endorphins.

Who benefits from massage?

Many of the dogs I see are senior pets that are starting to feel the effects of aging. 1 in 5 dog’s has arthritis that can cause discomfort when moving, inflammation in joints and compensatory changes tightening their muscles.
Massage therapy can help to release muscle restriction allowing better mobility in limbs and joints. Along with the physical effects it can be a relaxing experience for older pets, helping to release endorphins and lower pain responses.
Another condition that benefits from massage is dogs with hip and elbow dysplasia, which can cause reduced range of movement and compensatory issues in other areas of the body. Using massage and simple exercises alongside other therapies such as hydrotherapy can help improve muscle tone and target areas of unbalance (such as increased loading going through a limb) improving rehabilitation outcomes.
Many more conditions such as;

  • Soft tissue injuries
  •  Pre & Post surgical cases
  • Luxating patella
  • Spondylosis
  • Stiffness
  • Skin issues
  • Palliative care
  • Sporting and working conditioning

How often should my pet have massage?

Initially I advise 3 treatments around 7-10 days apart. During the 1st treatment we will discuss your pets needs, home environment, exercise and any other information that will help my treatment plan.
At every session I will complete a massage treatment on your pet. Though I believe in giving the dog a choice and will never restrain a patient causing them distress. Most patients accept the treatment, though this can take a little time- I try to make massage appointments a calm and relaxing experience for the dog (& owner!)
Along with the massage treatment, I can advise owners on simple techniques to do at home, exercises that will help with the pets progress and changes that can be made at home to improve their comfort and well being.

‘Treating the whole dog, includes the owner.’

At Yorkshire Canine Massage I believe in working closely with owners to achieve the best possible outcome for their pet. This includes looking at changes they can make at home to enable their pets
to stay independent and mobile (such as putting in ramps and mats). We can also talk about enrichment ideas for pets that aren’t able to exercise like they used to, this can include using food puzzles and training for mental stimulation.
I also like to give clients techniques they can use at home on their pet in-between treatments – these are simple but effective massage techniques thatcan help relax your pet, reduce discomfort and strengthen your bond with your pet! For more active pets there are several ‘functional exercises’ that I can show you that can help with targeting how they move and increase body awareness

Please contact Freya at Yorkshire Canine Massage to discuss your dog’s needs or if
you are unsure whether they would be suitable.

Clinics are available at Operation K9 and home visits also available


Laser Treatment – A Game Changer for Arthritis

Lasers have been used for many years in many different formats, intensity and wavelengths. Class 3 and 4 lasers are used medically and can penetrate cells of the body to create a chemical reaction called photobiomodulation.

This process of using carefully created medical lasers helps relieve pain by releasing endorphins, stimulating injured cells to regenerate, increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation. There is a lot of evidence in human medicine that it can reduce chronic pain, as well as reduce joint inflammation and promote healing. There are few studies yet confirming this same effect in dogs, but it is now a well recognised treatment option for conditions such as wounds, arthritis, muscle strains and sprains and pain

In this simple treatment, a laser wand is used on the affected arthritic area. As the light is emitted across your pet, they often enjoy the experience. The laser gives a warm, comforting sensation and can potentially give instant relief.

A hand-held wand delivers the treatment (goggles protect the eyes of practitioners and patients) and the dosage is applied with a sweeping motion or by using back-and-forth movements as though following a grid while treating one small area at a time. Ideally the pet is sat or laid down on a comfortable mat.


  • What about the other medications my pet is on?

Laser can be used safely alongside any other medications. You may even find pain medication can be reduced once the effects of the Laser kick in

  • How do I know if my pet is in pain?

Pets don’t show pain symptoms like we do, they rarely cry out or moan. Some signs to look out for are lameness/limping, changes of behaviour and/or appetite, difficulty settling, and changes in body posture. If in any doubt please see you vet.

  • Does my pet have to be shaved?

No, the laser can be used over the coat. Different setting are used for different coat thicknesses and colour to apply the correct dose

  • How long will a session take?

This depends on the size of the pet, coat type, areas treated and dosing. It can be between 5 minutes for a small wound to 45 minutes for a large dog with multiple areas to treat

  • Will my pet insurance pay for it?

Most pet insurance companies will pay out for Laser but check your policy before booking


Laser treatment is often started with 2-3 weekly sessions then dropping in frequency as the patient responds. Many patients can then be ‘maintained’ less frequently to maintain the results.

Each patient will be assessed and a treatment plan will be created to achieve the best results. Laser should only be carried out by a Vet, RVN or trained animal therapist

Contact us today to book in 


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