Ahhh…summer in the Pacific Northwest, is there anything better? When our great weather appears, we all head outside. While you’re making plans, don’t forget that including your dog might require a little extra preparation. Keep these tips in mind as you make your summertime plans.

Remember to keep your pets cool as temperatures rise!

Our favorite part of summer is, of course, the sun and warmth, but if you’re taking your pup with you, bear in mind that even if you are just “running in for one thing,” leaving your beloved furkid in the car for as little as 10 minutes can have deadly consequences. Every year, hundreds of dogs die when left in hot cars even with the windows cracked. The temperature inside your vehicle can rise almost 20º F in just 10 minutes. If it is already 80º F outside, that means its 100º F in your car. Don’t risk it! And while traveling to your fun destinations, make sure to properly restrain your dogs in a pet seatbelt or by using crate straps to keep their crate from moving around in the car.

Besides hot cars, don’t forget that the pavement and sidewalks can burn a pet’s pads. Here’s a quick test to see if it is safe to even take your pet for a walk. Put the back of your hand on the pavement, and if you can’t keep it there for five seconds, it’s too hot for your pup’s feet.

When you do venture out in the hot sun, make sure that you have plenty of water for your pet. And if your dog has a pink nose, a white or light colored coat, or very short hair, you should consider using sunscreen to prevent sunburn. Animals can get skin cancer too!

The warmer weather brings out all sorts of wildlife, so be aware of your surroundings and keep your dog close by. You don’t want your dog getting too close to a porcupine or a wasp nest. And make sure that your pets are protected from fleas and ticks when they are outside, too. Insects thrive in warm, dry weather.

Other summer hazards to our pets are fertilizer, weed killer, and other lawn and garden supplies. Just because you don’t use toxic products in your yard, don’t assume that everyone avoids them. Keep your pets from munching on grass or plants in a strange yard, and don’t let them drink out of random containers.

Make sure to bring plenty of water for you and for your pets!

We love our picnics and barbecues during the summer months, but watch pets around the food. Too much of anything can be bad, but keep in mind that lots of foods that we enjoy can be toxic to our pets. Pits and seeds are always bad news for dogs, so are chocolate, avocados, and alcohol, just to name a few. And as much as we enjoy firework displays at the end of the day, many pets are terrified of the loud noises.

Our pets are a big part of our families and we want them to be with us as much as possible, so take a little extra time to consider what steps you can take to make sure that your summer activities are safe and fun for both the two-legged and four-legged family members!

By Annette Lanker, Holy Cow Critters

Learn more about Holy Cow Critters here.