Your Ultimate Summer Pet Safety Guide

A golden retriever drinking from a tap

Our summer temperatures may be considered mild when compared with other areas, but make no mistake, summer is here! Because pets are usually (if not always) a part of warm weather  festivities, it makes sense to think about how to prepare for them to have a great time, too.

Let Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital guide you on a journey to ensuring your pet’s health and safety all summer long with our summer pet safety tips.

Mercury Rising

Heat stress and heat stroke are common summer emergencies that affect dogs, cats, pocket pets, and birds. Keep everyone safe with the following tips:

  • Prevent dehydration by providing fresh, cool water at all times
  • Supply ample shade
  • Have fans and air conditioning units running
  • Keep pets in a cool room with a cross breeze
  • Draw curtains in the morning to prevent the sun from beating in
  • NEVER leave your pet unattended outside or in a parked car
  • Walk your dog at the coolest parts of the day (early morning or evening)

Seek emergency medical care immediately if you feel your pet may be suffering from heat stress/ exhaustion

Water Safety

Water can be great fun for pets. Before you take your best buddy out for a dog paddle, it’s best to keep the following in mind:

Swimming – Not all dogs are natural swimmers, so make sure your dog knows how to swim before taking her out. In rivers and lakes, avoid blue green algae, which is toxic to dogs. Make sure your dog has a strong recall so you can call her back from danger if needed.

Boating – Pets should always wear a properly fitting life jacket while boating. It’s also wise to make sure you (or someone you are with) has the strength to lift your pet out of the water and back onto the boat in case of a fall (or, jump!)

Beach play – Life’s a beach for many dogs, but when the day is done be sure to rinse off all that salt and sand to avoid skin irritation. Always provide plenty of freshwater for drinking, and know how to read tides, currents, and how to identify underwater hazards. Most importantly, never take your eyes off your dog at the beach!

In general, a basic pet first aid and CPR course (available through the local Red Cross) is a good idea. Your quick actions could potentially save a pet’s life!

Summer Pet Safety in the Yard and Garden

Lots of summer fun happens in your own backyard. Here are a few precautions to take before you dive into summer festivities:

Safety and security – Walk your yard and check for any escape routes and broken fence boards. Clear brush, leaves, and debris piles to prevent ticks and other parasites.  

Plants and yard maintenance – Check the ASPCA list of toxic and non-toxic plants to avoid a sick pet. Keep all pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers out of the reach of your pets, and supervise them when they are in the yard. Also be aware of other common dangers in your yard.

Shade – Maintain areas of shade in your yard for your pet. Large trees, vegetation, an umbrella, sun shade, or even an attractive wooden dog house can all make lovely areas for resting.

A Word About the Fourth

With summer comes wonderful fourth of July celebrations. Here are some tips for keeping pets safe on this holiday:

  • Many pets are stressed by fireworks. Keep them contained inside, and use music or other soft noise to distract them. Plan to have your pets microchipped in case they do escape. Contact us if you feel medication would help your pet.
  • During barbeques or other parties, give your pet a way to retreat from the commotion if they need to. Remember that table scraps, alcohol, and rich foods can all put your pet at risk for food toxicity or a foreign body obstruction.

As you’re planning your summer, we hope these tips have given you a good foundation to include your pets in the preparations. If we can answer any summer pet safety questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.