Summer Pet Safety Tips

We Coloradans love sharing our favorite summer activities with our pets—whether that means spending time outdoors, traveling or simply relaxing at home. With the dog days quickly approaching, here are a few tips and reminders to make sure our pets are as happy and relaxed all summer as we plan to be.

Let’s see some ID. Make sure your pets (cats included!) are wearing collars and ID tags with your contact information. If you haven’t updated their microchip registration in a while, now’s a good time to make sure their info is current. Warmer weather means more open doors and windows, and escapes can happen to even the most responsible pet owners.

No parking zone. We all love to have our dogs with us when the sun is shining, but this time of year you should never, ever leave your co-pilot in the car. Not even in the shade. Not even if the windows are down. Not even for five minutes. Cars heat up fast, and heatstroke can be fatal to your pet.

Exercise safety. If your dog likes to tag along while you’re running, biking, ‘blading or boarding, understand their physical limitations and do so safely. Being on wheels while attached to a galloping dog can be dangerous—prevent accidents by training your dog to not pull on the leash. It’s also important to monitor your dog’s physical exertion to ensure you’re not pushing her too hard—owners should take into consideration their dog’s size, age and energy level before hitting the pavement. Flat-faced dogs in particular can have difficulty breathing, and short-legged dogs can’t move as fast as you can.

Street smarts. When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Sensitive paw pads can burn easily. It’s best to walk your dog in the early morning or evening instead of the middle of the day when it’s hottest. This is especially important for dogs with short snouts, such as bulldogs, that can’t pant as efficiently due to their narrowed nostrils and windpipes.

Party animal. Summer is a great time for hosting parties and cookouts with friends and family. Be sure and keep BBQ supplies like charcoal, matches and lighter fluid out of reach of pets at the party. Discourage guests from feeding Fido people food that can cause stomachaches or worse, and keep some dog treats on hand as an alternative.

Fear less. Summer is the season for thunderstorms and fireworks—so if your pet is upset by loud noises, view helpful behavior tips on our website for ways you can help ease their anxiety. There’s a reason that July 5th is the busiest day of the year at animal shelters.

Swim safely. Before taking your sidekick on the water, make sure she can swim (not all dogs can). If you’re swimming for the first time with your dog, start in shallow water and work your way up. Never throw your dog into the water!

Water, water everywhere. Seems like a no-brainer, but make sure your pet stays hydrated by keeping plenty of water available at all times.