Summer Safety Tips for Pets

Summertime means fun in the sun ­­— for both you and your pets. Whether you are poolside or heading down to the lake or beach, it’s imperative to know these summer safety tips to protect your furry friend.

Summer Tips for Cat and Dog Safety:

1. Provide water and shade. Pets that experience long exposure to heat and sunlight can quickly become dehydrated or overheated. Keep a full water bowl outdoors at all time, and make sure your cat has access to plenty of shady, cool areas. Driveways, brick, or any other type of pavement can get especially hot in the sun and burn your cat’s paws, so provide pathways to avoid these areas if at all possible.

2. Wear protection. That’s right —  dogs and cats can get sunburned, too! Cats are especially vulnerable at the tips of their ears and on their nose. There is sunscreen made especially for cats and dogs that can be used to protect against harsh UV rays.

3. Protect against poisonous plants. There are many plants, bushes, and insecticides that can be very harmful to your pet if direct contact occurs. When using any kind of outdoor pesticide, make sure to limit your pet’s access to the area for the specified wait period. Additionally, check to make sure any garden plants or natural shrubbery is pet-safe. The ASPCA provides a list of any and all toxic plants commonly found outdoors.

4. Wear identification. Outdoor cats should always wear a collar with tags. These types of cats have a greater risk of becoming lost or ending up at a shelter, so tags can be a very helpful way to locate your pet in case of an emergency.

5. Easy indoor access. Pet doors allow your cat or dog to easily venture indoors, whenever need be. Outdoor pets may need to escape the heat, avoid potential danger, or come inside to grab a bite to eat. Make sure your cat doors and dog doors are easily accessible and provide a quick exit from the outdoors. Lastly, we encourage all pet owners to carefully monitor their pets when outdoors. This is the best way to practice safety and keep your pet happy and healthy!

Here are 4 Summer Water Safety Tips for Dogs:

two dogs in water - teach dog to enter water - best swimming dogs

Dogs also love to play in the water! Many popular breeds are the best swimming dogs in the world! This love for the water also comes with added risk. Be sure to keep track of your dog in water areas likes lakes, rivers, and pools. Here are 4 more Water Safety Tips you'll want to keep in mind!

  • Start Slowly. Know how to introduce your dog to a lake or the ocean.Start small with something like a pool before going big. Teaching dogs to swim with you can be difficult, but will come with time. If you are venturing into a river or ocean, start out in a shallow area. Never force a dog into the water! This can easily intimidate and frighten any dog, and cause them to be hesitant in the future. Once your dog seems to adjust well to the shallows, gradually continue to introduce them to deeper water. Don’t worry, dogs are natural swimmers, but it’s a good idea to swim with your dog — just in case!
  • Create an Escape. Always make sure your dog has an easy escape. Look for nearby steps or a shallow end where pets can easily exit. If you own a pool, you may want to consider a pool ramp. These can be effortlessly installed over pool stairs and are generally easier for dogs to navigate the stairs. Ramps also come in portable versions for those who take their dogs swimming in lakes or ponds. In case of an emergency, an easy escape route, such as a pet ramp, can save their life.
  • Keeping Hydrated. You shouldn't allow your pet to drink from a pool, lake or pond. Pool chemicals and chlorine can be harmful, and there are many unsafe elements in natural rivers or oceans that can also be detrimental to your pet’s health. Always bring along a clean water bowl to be safe.
  • Safety First. It’s important to implement certain safety measures to ensure your pet’s poolside safety. Monitor cat doors or dog doors so that pets cannot easily access an open pool, and utilize gates or other methods to minimize the chance of an accident. You can also check out our Springtime Safety Tips, which has a list of toxic materials your pets could be exposed to—even during summer. Stay safe this summer!


Nick Pullano

Written by

Nick Pullano


Pets: I have a half border collie, half angel named Mikey.
Fun stuff: My dog's tongue is slightly longer than her face, so frequently her tongue sticks out a little even when her mouth is closed.

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