Begin typing your search above and press return to search. Press Esc to cancel.

10 Summer Safety Tips for Service and Working Dogs

Summer is in full swing! As you make your plans for the summer, don’t forget to keep your four-legged friend in mind with these essential safety tips.

1. Don’t leave you dog in a warm car under any circumstances
It shouldn’t even have to be said, but it is important that your dog is not left in a warm car at anytime. Even when you think it’s cool enough, temperatures can rise inside your car quickly. According to the AVMA in just ten minutes your car’s temperature can rise Dogs in hot cars infographicapproximately 20 degrees. In an hour, that temperature can become over 40 degrees warmer than the outside. This means that in just minutes your dog could experience heat stroke or even die! Also, be aware that a well-intentioned passer-by may see your dog and want to play hero by breaking the glass — a practice which can not only harm the animal get a good-Samaritan arrested. Looking for alternatives? Check out this great graphic from Petfinder which offers 5 substitutes for leaving your dog in the car.

2. Watch your dog’s paws
Pavement, asphalt, metal, and other surfaces can cause your dogs paws to burn. Make sure you test the surface with the 5 second rule. Before you walk on the surface, place the back of your hand on the pavement. If you are unable to hold it there for 5 seconds, it is too hot for your dog. Other ways that you can prevent your dog’s paws from burning include: walking on grass when possible, walking when it is cooler outside (such as the morning or at night) or equipping your dog with boots.

Barefoot man, dog in boots

Please read “Service Dogs and Boots and Shoes, Oh My!” to learn about selecting the right boots for your dog.

If your dog has received a burn, or is uncomfortable, they may exhibit the following symptoms: limping or refusing to walk, blisters or redness, licking or chewing at the feet, paw pads are darker in color, or a piece of the pad is missing. Soothe the burn by placing a cold compress or ice pack on the paw(s) affected, keeping the paws clean and then taking your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible. This is important because your dogs paws are a difficult part of the body to heal and may require special treatment or bandaging.

Dog jumping in pool

Prevent accidents by ensuring that you supervise your dog near open water.

3. Never leave your dog unsupervised near a pool or lake
Even dogs who swim well may get into a situation where they are unable to get out of the water. Never leave your pet unattended near open water.

4. Watch out for dangerous plants
Azaleas, Lilies, Chamomile, Chrysanthemums, Daisies and many other popular plants can be extremely toxic and poisonous to dogs. Symptoms can range from diarrhea, to heart failure, and even death! Check out this list from the ASPCA to see the complete list of toxic plants for dogs.


Harmful to your dogs teeth and gums. Photo Credit: Walmart

5. Glow Sticks
Even though glow sticks, glow bracelets, glow necklaces and other similar favors that light up the night say they are non-toxic, if they are broken the chemical inside may prove harmful to your dogs teeth and gums. For safety, keep these out of reach.

6. Campfires and barbecues
Be sure to watch your dog near campfires and barbecues. Your canine friend may attempt to pick up a hot stick from a fire, lick the barbecue or might come in contact with poisonous lighter fluid. As you can imagine all of these are extremely dangerous and should be avoided.

Dog drinking

Make sure your dog has easy access to water, both inside and out.

7. Dehydration
Just like humans, it does not take long for your dog to become dehydrated on a hot summer day. Lethargy, loss of interest in water, sunken eyes and dry mouth are some of the symptoms that signal dehydration. To avoid this, ensure that your dog has unrestricted access to water wherever they are located. Take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible if you suspect dehydration.

8. Sunburn
Believe it or not, your dog can get a sunburn too. Much like when people get a sunburn it can cause pain, itching, peeling and other symptoms. To avoid this apply a waterproof sunscreen that is safe for babies or pets.

9. Fireworks
Some summer weekends call for fireworks. However, the loud noises and flashes of light can scare your dog. Try to keep your dog as far away from the fireworks as possible.

Combat Veteran 4th of July Yard Sign

In addition to being frightening for animals, it’s important to remember that for some veterans, fireworks can be a trigger for PTSD. Often, neighbors don’t even think about it being an issue. Let them know politely that they should use care.

10. Seasonal Allergies
Dogs can sometimes be plagued with the effects of allergies. This can cause your dog to sneeze frequently or become excessively itchy among other things. If you suspect your dog has allergies visit your veterinarian to obtain a canine friendly antihistamine or allergy medicine. Do not give your dog any medication without veterinarian approval. To read more about allergies check out this article.

Hope you have an amazing summer filled with many memories!



  • ilovepuppylove June 8, 2016

    Another possible problem is fertilizer. Some dogs are drawn to the odor & will eat the soil. This can cause serious, even fatal poisoning.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.