Summer provides a variety of endless and fun opportunities for the entire family, including your pets. Activities like swimming, outdoor parties, and barbecuing can present some dangerous consequences for your pets, but they don’t have to be excluded from your summer activities. Planning and taking appropriate precautions can lead to a safe and fun summer with your entire family, including the members with four legs.

1: Protect your pets from things that go boom

Fireworks and thunderstorms are common summer occurrences that frighten many dogs, who will try to distance themselves and hide to escape the loud noise. This can result in dogs breaking out from your yard and getting lost, so ensure your pets are properly identified with collared tags or a microchip to have a good chance of being returned home quickly.

You can also work to reduce your dog’s fear and anxiety. First, create an area or room in your home that is calm and secure for your dog and includes her own bedding, treats, and favorite toys to give her comfort. A crate will also help your dog feel hidden and protected. You should close the crate door when your dog is feeling anxious or attempting to leave the property. Second, create a peaceful environment by playing soft, calm background music to muffle the scary sounds and using a pheromone spray, like Adaptil. Third, if your dog is constantly frightened by fireworks, thunderstorms, or other loud noises, call our hospital team at 828-754-4545 to discuss options that will reduce your dog’s fear.

2: Protect your dog while in the water

Swimming is a great summer activity to cool down your dog while he also gets exercise, but take some precautions before allowing your pup to dive in. Some dog breeds, including bulldogs and basset hounds, may need assistance to stay safe in the water. Dogs with dense chests, docked tails, or short noses, such as brachycephalic breeds, may find swimming difficult, so watch these dogs closely.

Always supervise your dog when she is in or near the water. Be aware of your surroundings and watch for toxic algae, and for changing water currents and weather patterns.

Always closely monitor your dog’s overall well-being. If she becomes thirsty, she may be tempted to drink the swimming water, which can be dangerous if it is salt water or water with toxic algae. Do not let her become fatigued, and ensure she responds to obedience commands.

3: Prevent your dog from chowing down on toxic foods

Barbecues are popular holiday events for families and friends, but all the delicious people food can be dangerous for your dog and cause digestive conditions, such as gastroenteritis and pancreatitis. Keep your dog away from corn cobs and cooked bones, which can become choking hazards or lodge in the digestive tract and require surgery.

4: “Leaf” pets alone

Your pet’s safety involves not only your home’s interior, but also the exterior. When planning your garden and landscaping, you can take steps to make your yard beautiful and also safe for your dog. First, consider eco-friendly alternatives to pesticides, which are mostly poisonous to pets. Eco-friendly alternatives include insecticidal soap and corn gluten meal, which prevents weed seeds from germinating. Second, use shredded leaves, straw, or pine needles for mulch. Third, find alternatives to toxic slug-bait products that contain iron phosphate. Visit the ASPCA website or the Pet Poison Helpline for more details on toxic plants and products.

We want you and your dog to have fun and be safe this summer. Contact our team, and we will help you get your dog summer-ready.