Follow these tips to keep your pets safe and out of the vet’s office this summer.

You love your pups, and naturally, you want to include them in as much of your life as possible. In the summer, that means bringing dogs along on family vacations, barbecues, hikes in nature, and other fun activities the whole family can enjoy. In new or busy environments, it’s easy for pets to get into something they shouldn’t have. PACT staff members have compiled a list of things to avoid or watch for while you and your pet are catching some rays this season.

  • Clearly label your canine: If you’re traveling and bringing your animals, make sure that they are always wearing a collar with ID tags attached. The tag information should always include the dogs name, the current owners phone number/email and name. Please also make sure that if your dog or cat is microchipped, the information you have on file is 100% accurate and up to date.
  • Know the locals: Are you taking a road trip? Make sure you do a little research in advance if you’re bringing your pup. Your destination-state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife will have a helpful list of things to keep a look out for while camping or walking such as venomous snakes or biting insects.
  • Keep it barbe-cute: We all know that chocolate is famously poisonous to dogs, but did you know common barbecue food such as avocado, garlic, onions, grapes, raisins, mushrooms, apples, cherries, and walnuts are all toxic to dogs? Alcohol and Xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in many candies, should also never be given to dogs or cats. If you suspect one of your pets has gotten into a food that they shouldn’t have, contact your nearest emergency vet immediately for assistance.
  • Tick tock: 2017 is an irruption year for ticks, meaning we’ll be seeing a lot of ticks this season, and a higher chance of contracting tick-borne illnesses. Protect your pet with topical parasite drops, and feel free to double up with a flea and tick collar if you’re frequently outside with your pet.
  • The floor is lava:  Watch out in the heat of the summer – asphalt, cement, and sand can quickly reach dangerous temperatures. Keep in mind that your pets toe pads are made of sensitive flesh, and they could easily get a contact burn from hot surfaces. A good rule of thumb is to feel the ground with your palm before walking your dog on it – if it’s too hot for you, it’s definitely too hot for your dog. Dog booties are sold in most pet stores, or you could pour a little water on the sidewalk to quickly cool it down. If all else fails, stick to grass!

We hope these tips come in handy! All of us here at PACT wish you and your pets a happy and safe summer vacation.