10 Memorial Day Pet Safety Tips for Dog Owners

Fireworks, barbecues, and hot weather are some of our favorite things about Memorial Day, but for our dogs, they can be life-threatening.

This year, whether you’re hitting the beach or just the backyard, make sure you’re keeping your pet’s safety in mind. Here are 10 important reminders for every pet owner.

10. Don’t share your snacks.

Barbecuing is one of the best parts of Memorial Day, but remember that the food you eat may be poisonous to pets. Raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate, and avocado are common barbecue fare and are toxic to animals. Remind well-meaning guests not to sneak pets any table scraps.

Dog with raw food.

9. Keep alcohol out of reach.

It may seem obvious, but alcohol is extremely dangerous to dogs. Even small amounts can cause them to become dangerously intoxicated, go into a coma, or even die from respiratory failure. This includes beer.

Photo: Pixabay

8. Stay hydrated and cool.

Pets are quick to dehydrate. If you’re spending time outside, be sure to carry plenty of fresh water and stay near a shady retreat. Keep in mind that animals with flat faces (like Pugs and Persian cats) are more susceptible to heatstroke since they can’t pant as effectively.

Dogs lying down in the shade.

7. Secure the I.D.s.

Time spent outdoors comes with increased stimulation and stress for your pet. Increased stress means an increased risk of bolting or escaping. If you haven’t already, make sure your pet is fitted with a microchip or ID tag with identifying information including your phone number.

Photo: Pixabay

6. Prevent unsupervised swimming.

Not all dogs are swimmers! Never leave your pet unsupervised around a pool or lake. Introduce them to water gradually and, if they haven’t swum before, fit them with flotation devices when on boats.

Dog struggles to swim in pool.

5. Watching fireworks? Leave pets at home.

The combination of large crowds, loud noises, and bright lights can really scare your pet. While lit fireworks are an obvious burn hazard, the potentially toxic substances in unused fireworks can be hazardous as well. It’s best to keep your pet safe at home while you enjoy the show.

Photo: Pixabay

4. Keep them calm.

The Thundershirt is recommended by thousands of dog trainers as a drug-free way to soothe and calm anxious pets. It applies gentle, constant pressure to make them feel safe and secure, similar to swaddling an infant. It’s particularly effective during loud events such as parties or fireworks displays.

Photo: The Animal Rescue Site Store

3. Skip the bug spray.

Unless specifically designed for animals, insect repellants and sunscreen can be toxic to pets. Be aware of the signs of toxic ingestion like drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and lethargy. DEET, a common insecticide, may also cause neurological problems in dogs. If you’re spraying, do it far from your dog. Consider protecting your dog from biting pests with natural bug repellant from The Animal Rescue Site store.

Photo: The Animal Rescue Site Store

2. Avoid citronella.

According to the ASPCA, oils, candles, torches, and other citronella-based repellents are irritating to dogs. Inhalation can lead to respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, and ingestion can harm your pet’s nervous system. If you run into them, be sure to keep them far from your pet.

Photo: Amazon.com

1. Don’t Leave Dogs In Cars.

It’s hard to overstate the danger of leaving pets alone in hot cars, even just for a couple of minutes. Cars can quickly rise to dangerous temperatures, subjecting your beloved pup to suffocation, heatstroke, and/or death. It might be tempting to leave your pet in the car with the window cracked while you run into the store for last-minute BBQ supplies, but this is a dangerous gamble. Your pet’s health and safety just aren’t worth the risk.

Photo: Pixabay


Follow the essential pet safety tips above to ensure that everybody (including your dog) has a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!

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