Summer is full of fun events, and more and more of them are welcoming pets! Always check first to make sure your dog will be welcome, and if they are, here’s what you need to know before you go to keep your dog safe and happy.
Top Tips for Summer Pet Safety
1. First thing’s first! Don’t leave home without… 4-ft. leash (NOT retractable), portable water dish + water, pet formulated sunscreen, ID tag with your cell phone number, poo bags
2. Parked Cars – Even on mild days your car gets HOT, which can turn fatal in as little as 15 minutes. Never leave your dog in the car, even with the windows cracked. If he’s not feeling the festival, you need to call it a day.
3. Sunshine – When temperatures are peaking, take frequent breaks in the shade. It’s also a good idea to bring along a spray bottle so you can deliver a cooling spritz whenever your dog needs it.
4. Beer Tent – Nothing refreshes like a cold beer on a hot day, but never share your brew with your bud. Alcohol is toxic to pets, even in seemingly “harmless” amounts.
5. Food Truck – Chicken wings, Mexican street corn and funnel cake, oh my! They may be staple fare at summer fairs, but they don’t belong on Fido’s plate. Bones, cobs and greasy fats can cause intestinal blockages and pancreatitis. Pack fresh veggies for a healthy treat.
6. Your trash is a dog’s treasure – Fairgrounds are a smorgasbord of dropped food and wrappers—so you’ve got to think one step ahead of your pet! To prevent accidental snacking, use a Gentle Leader to control roving noses.
7. Other Dogs – It’s always fun to make new friends, but remember that dogs can easily become overstimulated in a busy environment. Keep meetings with other animals brief, and if you see either pet stiffen, growl, or give a hard stare or side eye, end the introduction and take a time out.
8. Children – The youngest among us can be unpredictable, loud and unaware of how to properly approach a dog. Small children who are running around can activate your dog’s instinct to chase. Give your pup space from playing children so he doesn’t perceive them as a threat.
9. Fireworks – A summertime favorite—but your dog may not always enjoy them. Avoid events with explosives if your pup suffers from noise phobias (if he doesn’t like thunderstorms, that’s a good clue). If you do bring your pet to a festival with fireworks, hold on tight to his leash; a startled pup may try to bolt from the blast, and you don’t want to lose your dog in the crowd!
10. Music – Keep an eye on your dog when your favorite band takes the stage, and remove him to a quiet area if you notice any signs of discomfort. If your pup is trembling, barking, cowering, or trying to bolt, he may not be ready to rock and roll.
11. Campfires – A crackling campfire feels quintessentially summer, but can tempt curious noses and cause accidental burns. Keep furry friends a safe distance from the flames. If you’re making s’mores be sure chocolate, wrappers and roasting sticks don’t fall into the wrong paws.
12. Puddles – If a “rain or shine” event turns soupy and soggy, be sure to keep your dog from drinking from puddles. Leptospirosis and giardia lurk in standing water, and can cause nasty illnesses that will rain on your parade.
13. Crowds – Unfortunately, there may be times when furry festival goers behave better than two-legged guests. Stay away from rowdy crowds and avoid letting intoxicated people hound your dog.
Whether you’re sun worshipping or stargazing, summer fairs and festivals are fun for the whole family. With your best friend in tow, there’s more to prepare for, but with a little planning it’s easy to put safety first. We hope that you have a fun summer, and don’t forget to follow these tips from the Petplan expert.