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Summertime Safety for Your Pooch

A yellow labrador puppy looking up at a person.

The summertime offers many opportunities to have outdoor fun with your canine companion. However, it’s important to do so safely. The outdoors include many potential risks for your dog. Here are some things to consider.

Weather Risks


Temperatures are soaring this year, with records highs being recorded throughout the US. These temperatures can harm your dog, or worse. Remember to monitor your dog when outdoors and look for signs of overheating. Keep plenty of water nearby and limit outdoor time. Dogs should also have plenty of shade when outdoors.


Some dogs pay no attention to thunderstorms, but for many others, storms create great anxiety. There are numerous ways that this anxiety can be minimized, but it’s not one size fits all. Finding a quieter place in the home, such as a room without windows, or a basement can help. Using white noise can help block out the sound. A thunder shirt or DAP diffuser may provide some relief. Medications can help, so speak with your veterinarian about those options.

Holidays and Events

The summertime always involves fun holidays, complete with food and entertainment. But what may be good for humans may not be good for dogs.


Fireworks are commonplace on several summer holidays and can be heard randomly in neighborhoods before and after organized events. These can be extremely scary to dogs and can result in a dog hiding in panic, or even running away. Keeping your dog indoors in the evenings and in a secure location away from windows will help. And just like with thunderstorms, speaking with your veterinarian about possible medications can help. Several medications can be administered in the short term and may only be needed at certain times.


Summertime is a great time for festivals but think twice before bringing your pooch along. Your dog will feel the heat much quicker than you will and this discomfort can stress them and quickly escalate. There are often loud noises such as music that your dog can frankly live without. In addition, there is always food which may not be disposed of properly and could end up in your dog’s stomach.


While commitment to your dog’s health should occur year-round, there are certain needs specific to the warmer months.


Your dog may have a coat that is better off shaved in the warmer months. Depending on their coat and activity level, shampooing a bit more frequently may be necessary.

Flea & Tick

While this protection needs to be provided year-round, there is a greater risk in the warmer months as parasites are more prevalent. Monitor your dog regularly by checking their coat and skin for any abnormalities or parasites, and keep your lawn cut.


The warmer months allow for a whole new set of activities. Here are some ideas for safe and fun summertime activities.


While not for all dogs, many love to take a dip in the pool or other body of water. Be sure your dog is always supervised while swimming.

Kiddie Pool

Sometimes you just want to sit in a cool pool and chill. This is a great way to help your dog enjoy the outdoors! In the cooler months, the water can be replaced with tennis balls.

Cool Treats

Your dog will enjoy (the occasional) summertime treat. Ice cubes, frozen Kongs, and Pupsicles are especially good this time of year. You can also look up recipes for making your dog other frozen treats, such as freezing sugar-free yogurt with fruit. Be sure to only use ingredients safe for dogs.

Indoor Activities

There are some particularly hot days when running your dog in and out for quick potty breaks is enough. There are many fun indoor activities that can keep your dog cool and entertained. Scent work, obedience training, tricks, agility, and hide and seek are just a few ideas. How many can you come up with?

There are many ways to keep your dog entertained, cool, and safe all summer long. Enjoy the season – it always flies by!