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Checklist of 10 Ways I've Found to Keep your Dog Safe This Summer

Susanna Sisson's picture
Beautiful Lavender Dog

Pets are family for most people and some people even consider their fur babies children. Keeping them safe is as important as keeping our human kids safe. Here my summer checklist of 10 ways I’ve found to keep your dog safe this summer. Most of these suggestions go for other pets as well as dogs.


1. Avoid overheating and sunburn – Pets get hot just like humans, so, if your dogs are not inside dogs, provide them relief by placing fans outside, having a wading pool they can get cooled off in, and shade from the sun. Light colored dogs especially can get sunburn and the sun can also cause eye damage. If going to the beach or around water put sunscreen on the underbelly so the reflection doesn’t burn that delicate skin. "A dog pool is an accessory that actually doubles as a bathtub for your young child. Choosing the right dog pool is crucial to help ensure optimum cooling fun for your pet," writes Olivia Williams from MyPetNeedsThat.com in her review of 12 types of dog pools.

2. Avoid walking your dogs on hot pavement – Dogs paws can actually burn on pavement or asphalt. Have you seen the commercial where someone fries an egg on the sidewalk? Now imagine your poor pups paws.

3. Dogs need fresh water every day – Mosquitoes and other insects lay eggs in water so to cut down on bug bites for not only your dog but your human family, make sure to fill up your dog's bowl with fresh water every day. Dogs can get heartworms from the bite of a mosquito so it’s wise to keep them on preventive heartworm medicine.

4. Drowning – Small dogs need help around pools to get out and if you’re not around they can easily drown. If you boat and your dog happens to fall out or in the event of an accident away from shore, your dog could drown if not wearing a life jacket designed for pets. Dogs can’t swim forever; they get tired and get cramps just like people.

5. Poisoning – Most people are trying to beautify their lawns in summer but don’t ever leave chemicals where your curious pup might get into them whether on their skin or ingested. Don’t leave antifreeze or coolant where dogs have access to lick. This chemical is sweet and can cause liver failure and death. Remember if you have moles and are using poison, if you dog catches one and eats it, you’ve just poisoned your baby.

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6. Burns – If you have a fire pit or use campfires, don’t leave coals burning. Your dog might run through the coals looking for food before and get burned. They may also eat something they’re not supposed to and get sick.

7. Ticks and fleas – Fleas cause parasite infections and ticks can cause a multitude of dog diseases including Lyme disease. Most vets recommend flea and tick medicine in summer if not year round so you and your dogs are safe, but many commercial products contain organophosphate (OP) compounds, which can have toxic effects and can even cause cancers in humans as well as dogs. Try making your own repellent using natural ingredients or find one from a pet store.

8. Snake bite – Most snakes won’t kill your dog but a few are highly poisonous like rattlesnakes, copperheads, coral snakes and water moccasins. If your dog is bitten, keep him calm and seek the help of a veterinarian.

9. Fireworks – Fireworks and other loud noises scare most dogs and it hurts their ears. Don’t take your pet to a fireworks show and make sure he’s inside and protected if left at home. Dogs sometimes jump fences and run thinking they can get away from the noise and might get hit by a car so kennel your dog if possible or leave them inside while you’re enjoyed your 4th.

10. Summer storms – Like fireworks summer storms can cause your dog anxiety. If your dog gets nervous try a Thundershirt which is a tight coat for dogs which makes them feel more secure. If you live in a tornado or hurricane prone area, have a plan to remove your dogs and other pets from harm’s way as well as your family.

Pets provide so much love and enjoyment it’s no wonder we love them like family. Hopefully with this checklist of 10 ways I’ve found to keep your dog safe this summer you and your pet will not only stay safe but have a memorable summer without mishaps.

Updated on August 14, 2018.