Summer Pet Safety for the Homeowner



A lot of new homeowners get their first dog or cat when they get their first white picket fence. Whether this is your first pet or your fiftieth, it’s important to remember some pet safety tips in the summer.

Protect your pet’s skin, like you do your own. Skin cancer is actually common in dogs and cats. Even though fur provides some protection from the sun, you should apply a pet sunblock every 3 to 4 hours on your pet’s belly and other places where they don’t have fur to protect them, like their belly, ears or nose. Use sunscreen made especially for pets.

Keep their coats long. Don’t cut your dog’s long hair. It provides better circulation and helps regulate their body temperature,” according to Rene Carlson, DVM, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Walk your dog at the coolest time of the day. And let him walk in the cool grass when the pavement is too hot.

Never leave your pet in the car. Even if windows are cracked, the interior temperature can rise to 120 degrees in no time. Every year, pets die in hot cars.

Look for heat exhaustion. If your dog shows signs of heat stress – heavy panting, dry or bright red gums, thick drool, vomiting, diarrhea wobbly legs – move her to a cool place and put a cool damp towel over him.

Keep it cool indoors. Turn on the AC in your home, especially if you’ll be out of the house for several hours. If it’s too warm for you, it’s too warm for your pet.

And make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water inside and outside!

Get a life jacket. Is your dog learning to swim or are you bringing him on a boat? There are life jackets made especially for dogs! Get one for your dog! And keep your dog leashed and away from rushing water, like rivers that are flowing heavy from rain or snow melt.

Act life a lifeguard. Never leave your dog unsupervised near an uncovered pool and train your dog how to get out of a pool, by making him climb up the the stairs 5-10 times in a row. And if you’re out in nature, keep him away from rushing rivers. 

Don’t share your barbecue’s table scraps. Even though you’re enjoying the food at your barbecue doesn’t mean your dog should. People food is not made for dogs. Foods like onions, avocado, chocolate, grapes and raisins can be toxic to pets. Don’t feed them anything but their pet food to keep them from getting sick. Never let your pet have alcohol, which can also be dangerous. And things like corn cobs can be choking hazards.

Check for poisonous plants in your garden. Lilies are dangerous to cats and can cause kidney failure. Remove these plants from your yard if you let your cat out.

Make sure your dog is microchipped in addition to wearing a collar with your info on it. Collars are meant to be worn so pets can slip out in an emergency. A microchip is always on your dog. Keep your contact information current.

And as we move toward Fourth of July keep this in mind – Dogs and fireworks do not mix. A lot of dogs are terrified of the loud noise and will try to run away from these, making Fourth of July one of the most dangerous times for dogs. Keep your dogs inside on this holiday. Click here for more tips on keeping your dogs safe on the Fourth of July.

Make sure summer fun is fun for and your pets by following these simple tips.