Keeping Your Pet Safe: 5 Summertime Dangers

Merritt Milam | May 2, 2023

Summertime dangers for our furry friends don’t just come with hot temperatures. While it’s critical to make sure your pet stays hydrated and cool in the hot, humid days of summer, it’s also important to be aware of other serious dangers that more frequently appear this time of year.

Here are some ways you can make sure your pet has a fun-filled summer and stays safe in the process.

Snake in the Grass

Snakes become more active during the summer. As the weather heats up, they start looking for food and warmth. If you take your pet to the park, lake, or just for a walk in the neighborhood, be snake aware. Pets are curious; they might see a movement in the tall grass and want to investigate. A bite from a poisonous snake may not be fatal but these creatures can cause lots of pain and serious injury. If your pet is bitten by a snake seek medical attention immediately. The sooner you do, the better chance they will recover without significant trauma.

Fleas, Ticks, and Mosquitoes…Oh My!

It should go without saying – make sure your pet is on year-round flea and tick preventative! Often, pet owners feel there is no need to treat during the winter. So, when spring arrives, they sometimes forget to start Fido back on his meds, leaving him unprotected as insects become more active and prolific. Insect parasites are not only a nuisance but can cause additional problems beyond initial bites. Fleas can cause allergy dermatitis, an allergic reaction that can lead to prolonged scratching, severe itching, and even fur loss.

Ticks can transmit deadly diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

A mosquito bite can carry immature worms called microfilaria into your dog’s bloodstream. Unless detected early, disease progression will lead to heart failure (often noticed as an appearance of an extended belly). Dogs can develop sudden blockages of blood in the heart that lead to life-threatening heart failure, called caval syndrome.

Don’t Drink the Water

Standing pools of water can breed bacteria and parasites that can sicken your pet if they drink the water or simply walk through it. For example, giardiasis is a disease that affects the intestines and causes upset stomach, diarrhea, and dehydration; the parasite responsible can be found in stagnant water during warm months.

Similarly, leptospirosis is an infection caused by bacteria that affects a wide range of animals, including dogs and humans, and can lead to kidney or liver damage or failure. To reduce the chance of these illnesses, avoid standing water whenever possible and refresh your pet’s water bowl frequently.



Just like people, pets can suffer from seasonal allergies. Many pet allergies are caused by food, dander, and as noted earlier – fleas.  Pets also experience allergic reactions to seasonal triggers from grass and tree pollen; reactions include sneezing, respiratory problems, red and watery eyes, excessive scratching, along with fur loss.  Even if your dog is not an outside pet, it can still be affected by grass and tree pollen transferred from your shoes, clothes, and body.

For more information on helping your pet deal with seasonal allergies check out PetMD’s article and call us to schedule your pet’s grooming and daycare needs in our grass-free, indoor play area.

Cookout Chaos

Your backyard cookout can also offer dangerous challenges for your pet. Backyard barbeques are a favorite event, even for pets. However, along with the fun, cookouts also offer a variety of food options that are not definitely “pet friendly” and can be unsafe for them. From seemingly harmless table scraps to surfing the garbage can, lots of foods are off-limits to your furry friend. Garlic, grapes, onions, food with bones, and even barbeque sauce can all cause your pet issues like diarrhea, choking, pancreatitis, and other serious problems.

Pets can still be a part of the outdoor fun and family time with just a few simple precautions.

  1. Make sure all harmful foods are out of sight and reach of your pet.
  2. Instruct family and friends to avoid giving your pet any scraps – no matter how much they turn on that sad face look.
  3. If necessary, kennel your pet in a crate or a quiet place where they are not tempted by guests or scraps.
  4. Provide pet-friendly treats and plenty of water to keep your pet happy and a part of the fun.


Wags hopes you and your pet have a happy and healthy summer. Don’t forget, we offer great “stay-cation” and daycare options when you need to travel or give your pet some “me time”. Make sure you reserve their boarding and daycare early. Space is limited and we book up very fast during the summer months. To schedule any Wags service, sign up (if you are not already), or log in by clicking on the appropriate link on our website welcome page here.

Have a great summer and we look forward to seeing you and your pet at Wags!