Pet Care Tips for Summer and Beyond

Dog on owners shoulder

With summer in the air, your family pets are probably itching to get outside. Follow these six steps to keep them happy, safe, and healthy.

Do a safety check. Weather can take a toll on fences, so before letting your dog roam free around the yard, look for any damage or gaps underneath the fence that your dog might be able to slip through. Likewise, as you throw open the windows, make sure the screens are secure and free of holes — and be particularly mindful if you have a cat that loves to climb while bird watching.

Get your pet spayed or neutered. Did you know that this safe process can actually help protect your pet against serious conditions, like cancer, and curb bad behaviors, such as marking and howling? It can be relatively inexpensive, too — many local animal rescues offer low-cost spay and neuter programs.

Practice safe lawn care. Before using a traditional lawn fertilizer, consider these safer alternatives. Why? Going the traditional route can be dangerous for your pets, especially if they inhale or eat the fertilizer, or absorb the chemicals through the pads on their feet. And don’t forget to choose flowers for your garden that are safe for your furry friends, too.

Protect against insects. Warm weather spurs the resurgence of fleas, ticks, and other insects, so now’s the time to talk with your veterinarian about the best methods to keep your pet safe year-round. Remember to use gloves whenever handling flea and tick prevention products, always check the dosage, and ensure the product is made for the type of animal you have.

Preparing for friendly interactions. As the weather warms up, you and your dog will probably see more people and animals when you’re out and about. Consider enrolling in a refresher obedience class for your dog — positive reinforcement can help remind your dog to behave politely. You can also sign your dog up for group walks or go for walks with your neighbor and their dog. Just keep social distancing requirements in mind for yourself and your furry companion! On the other hand, if you have a dog who’s skittish around new people and/or other dogs, this might be a good time to get a “do not pet” or “please give me some space” vest to make people aware of the issue.

Check collars and ID tags. Whether you have a dog or a cat, make sure their collar still fits properly. Double check your dog’s rabies information and your contact information, too. And if you haven’t already done so, get your dog or cat microchipped — even if they’re indoor pets. This is a safe, pain-free, and inexpensive process that can make it much easier for you to find your pet if they get lost.

With these steps out of the way, you can get out and enjoy the great weather with your pet!