Our pets want to run around and enjoy the warm weather as much as we do — long walks, water play, naps outdoors. And while it’s easier to take our pets places during the summer months when we’re not as held home-bound by snow and ice, we have to keep in mind that our animal BFFs need special attention during this season, too.
We have a whole section of our website dedicated to pet DIY projects, but over here, we’re talking about safety, and more specifically, summer safety tips for your pets.
- Provide plenty of water. You can’t have too many available bowls of water in your house during the summer. I top off my dog’s bowl 3 times per day. If you leave your pet at home for a long work day, you might want to consider investing in a refillable dog bowl like this, which holds up to a gallon of water.
- Don’t leave your pet in the car, ever. Leave him at home if you’re running to the store, and make sure he gets plenty of time to stretch his legs and cool off when you make rest stops during long car trips.
- Protect against fleas and ticks. Deer ticks are experiencing a big upswing in parts of the country (most notably, my backyard!). It’s a little scary when you find a tick on your pet, so we keep ours safe with K9 Advantix II, which guards not only against fleas and ticks, but also those pesky mosquitoes, lice, and biting flies.
- Make frequent brushing a habit. My Bernese Mountain Dog is a heavy shedder, and having his belly groomed and his back and shoulders brushed free of his winter coat really helps to keep him cool.
- Designate a shady spot in your yard for your pet. It doesn’t need to be a dog house (those will actually heat up like a little greenhouse!) but a comfortable spot — with water — in the grass or on your porch.
- Make your dog cool treats. (Like DIY frozen snacks!)
- If your dog is a water-lover, invest in a doggie life jacket, because anything could happen when he’s jumping off that dock or chasing tennis balls through the waves.
- For long road trips, know how to travel safe with your pet. Make a DIY dog hammock for the backseat of your car to keep him comfortable.
- Train your pet to stay in your yard. In a new house this year? If he can’t be trusted, consider installing a fence, or an underground electric fence. It’ll be way easier to install either this time of year than in the middle of winter.
- Buy dog-formulated sunscreen to help keep them protected. Short-haired dogs are more susceptible to sunburns and skin cancer.
- Practice fire safety. Keep your pet on a short leash when around a grill or a campfire.
For more tips on keeping your pet safe, happy, and entertained this summer, check out the pet section of DIYNetwork.com. And see below for some great toy ideas for your dog or cat.