What you need to know about summer patio season and your pets
After a long winter, everyone is eager to enjoy warmer weather, dinner on the grill and spending time with their best furry friend outdoors. Before you get the summer fun started, make sure you have done a summer safety check!
BBQ food is for people only
There are common human foods that can cause pain and serious digestive issues for dogs and cats, such as chocolate, grapes, onions and raisins. The artificial sweetener xylitol, which is used in certain barbecue sauces, ketchups, drinks and cold summer treats, can be toxic in high amounts. Beverages containing alcohol should also be supervised and kept away from curious critters.
Check out these DIY summer treats you can make at home to keep your furry companion occupied and away from the picnic bench.
Keep doors and windows secure
Those balmy summer breezes can be fantastic at night, but be sure to keep all unscreened doors and windows secure at all times. Even the most drowsy dog or content cat may be enticed to stray from home if given the chance, or if given to fright. Always secure windows on higher floors to keep your best buddy safe as well.
Store chemicals safely
We tend to use a variety of products during the warmer months that may be harmful to our furry friends. Lighters, propane tanks and grill cleaners can all pose a threat to animals, and should be kept up high or stored in a safe location away from teeth and paws. Decorative items such as tiki torches, insect repellents and citronella candles may also be tempting but unsafe for cats and dogs to investigate.
Other safety tips for the summer months
Protect those paws
Hot surfaces can irritate and even scald your animal’s paws on a hot summer day. This could include any of the following:
- Road surfaces (concrete or asphalt)
- Poolside masonry
- Synthetic playground surfaces
To give your furry friend the best paw protection, consider walking your dog in shaded areas during early morning or later in the afternoon/evening. During the hottest parts of the day, keep walks short.
Fresh water is best
There are lots of ways to keep your furry friend comfortable during the summer months, but providing access to fresh, clean water at all times helps animals stay healthy and hydrated. Place outdoor water bowls in shaded or covered areas when possible. Metal bowls can heat water up quickly when placed in direct sunlight on a hot day.
When summer holidays call for fireworks, be sure to keep your fuzzy companions indoors. In addition to risk of injury, fireworks contain chemicals and other compounds that are dangerous for animals. The loud noises can also startle and confuse animals, so keeping them in a quiet and secure location where they feel comfortable is best.
For more tips on firework safety for animals, check out our handy safety guide.