Memorial Day Weekend is the official kick off to summer! If you are like most Americans you probably have a weekend of barbecuing, hanging by the pool, the beach or out on the boat, and perhaps firework viewing planned. With all the fun to be had it’s important to stay safe and keep your pet’s safe as well, especially if you plan to have your furry friend besides you enjoying the festive weekend as well. Below are some basic safety tips to follow this weekend to ensure that you and Fido have a safe and happy weekend: Tip 1 Sunscreen. Are you and your buddy going to be enjoying some time in the sun? If you plan on being out in the some be sure to apply the sunscreen to both you and your pet, BUT remember never use products meant for you on your pet. Many sunscreens made for humans can have ingredients that are toxic to our pets. You need to apply a sunblock that is made specifically for your pet. Tip 2 Bug Spray. You will probably be spending a lot of time outdoors this weekend and to keep your pet safe from nasty pests and bug bites you need to apply a repellant. Remember, just like sunscreen you can not use bug spray meant for humans on your pet. DEET, which is commonly found in human bug spray is toxic to pets when it is licked or ingested. Look for an all-natural spray like our Ultimate Outdoor Protection made specifically for dogs. In need of something a little stronger? Try our naturally formulated Flea & Tick Spray for Dogs, not only will this spray ward off pests it will kill fleas and ticks on contact. Tip 3 No Booze. Whether you plan to bring your pet to a barbecue or you’re hosting one of your own, you need to watch them around alcohol. Dogs get curious and will eat and drink just about anything and people at parties tend to leave half finished drinks lying about just in perfect reach of your furry friend. When pets drink alcohol they can become dangerously intoxicated, causing them to go into a coma or, in severe cases, die from respiratory failure. Keep a good eye on your pet, even a beer can be toxic. Tip 3 No Scraps. Your friend may beg, but resist the urge to give them food off your plate. Don’t assume you can just feed your dog a burger or a hot dog off the grill, any change in a dog’s diet, even for just one day, can give your pet severe indigestion and diarrhea. Keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to our furry friends. Learn more about what foods can be harmful to your pet on ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control page. Tip 4 BYOFW. Bring Your Own Food and Water for your four legged buddy. Tip 3 brings us right to tip 4, if you are going to be out all day be sure to pack food and water for your pet. Water is especially important in the hot summer months when your pet is at risk of heat stroke. Tip 5 Leash and ID Tag. We love bringing our pets places, it means we get to spend more time with them! However, when you bring your pet to an outing, be sure your furry friend is wearing their collar with up-to-date ID tags. It’s best to keep your dog on a leash at all times if possible, exciting sights, scents, noises, critters and people running around, not to mention, exciting new places to explore can tempt your pooch into wandering off. You never want to lose your pet because he became distracted in an unfamiliar environment or became afraid of a loud noise. Tip 6 Water Safety. Will you be hanging by the water this weekend? Whether you will be hanging around the pool, going to the beach or your local swimming spot, or out on the boat you need to take precautions. A day of fun can easily take a turn if you are not prepared. To ensure you and Fido have a safe time splashing around in all types of water read our blog post “Summer Safety Tips: Water Safety for Dog Parents”. Tip 7 Fireworks and Pets Don’t Mix. Unlike people though, pets aren’t the biggest fans of fireworks, some pets are actually terrified of fireworks and often panic when they hear the load booms. Fireworks are also harmful to pets even when they’re not lit, as they contain hazardous chemicals. Best to keep your pet’s indoors if possible, BUT never put your pet inside a car to avoid the booms. It can take minutes – yes, MINUTES – for a pet to develop heat stroke and suffocate in a car. Most people don’t realize how hot it gets in parked cars, even during the summer evenings it can still be quite hot out and even hotter inside a vehicle. We hope this tips were helpful, but the number one way to keep your pet safe during the holiday weekend is to keep them at home. We know that is not ideal, or that much fun, for everyone, but know that your pet will appreciate the safe, quiet and cool spot at home over the loud booms, noises, masses of people and the heat. Whichever you decide, we hope that you and your furry friend have a happy and safe holiday weekend!