Veterinarian - San Diego
1540 Morena Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92110



By Heather Beeson of Morena Pet Hospital
August 16, 2013
Category: Pet Safety
Tags: Untagged


Even though many kids are already back to school and the last day of summer isn’t until September 21st this year; for many, Labor Day always feels like that last hurrah of summer!  However, before you break out the grills and set the tables, it is important to take into consideration your pets, especially since these long, extended holiday weekends tend to be the busiest times for veterinary emergency hospitals.  The good news is that keeping your pets safe is easy to do! Simply follow these guidelines:

Keep Things Cool

Since higher temperatures seem to translate into more time spent outdoors with our pets, it is important to remember that pets have the tendency to get dehydrated quickly.  In order to keep your pets cool, ensure they always have plenty of fresh, clean water available to them at all times and assess to a shady place. Some other things to consider:

  • Know the warning signs of heat stroke in pets. Refer to our Pet Care Library, Heat Stroke in Pets article
  • Never leave your pet in the car (not even for a short period of time!).
  • Pets need sunscreen too! Even though the fur provides some protection from the sun, your pet is still susceptible to getting sunburned.  Apply a pet-safe sunscreen that is formulated especially for pets.
  • Avoid the brutal mid-day sun by scheduling exercise time for mornings and evenings. Keep pets that do not handle the heat well inside (those pet that are elderly, very young, ill, or brachycephalic have a hard time regulating their body temperature, so make sure they stay out of the summer heat!).
  • Avoid blistering, cracked paws by restricting any walks on hot concrete/asphalt, scorching patio, or hot sand.
  • Remember, not all dogs love to swim. Don’t leave a pet unsupervised around a pool, lake, or ocean and if you do plan on taking your dog into the water, best to have your dog sport a pet life preserver jacket.

Avoid Food Dangers

It is important to resist those begging eyes and stick with your pet’s normal diet.  Any table scraps (even in the smallest amounts!) can result in upset stomachs and potential intestinal obstructions in pets.

  • Certain foods, such as onions, avocado, chocolate, grapes, and raisins can be toxic to pets!
  • Keep alcoholic beverages out of paw’s reach. Alcohol is potentially hazardous to pets, so make sure you pet does not accidentally consumer any leftover wine, beer, or mixed drinks.
  • Keep your pet a safe distance from the grill and any citronella candles, neon glow jewelry, matches, and/or lighter fluid.

Travel in Safety

Labor Day may seem like the perfect time to get out of town for an end of summer vacation. A few precautions will make sure that your pets have a great vacation too! 

  • Vacations often mean new faces; make sure that your pet is fully vaccinated to protect him from any potentially contagious disease that may be carried by other pets or by wildlife. 
  • If you are traveling with your pet, be certain he wears current ID tags (consider having your pet microchipped as well and make sure the registration is up-to-date!) and always keep your pet on a leash or in a carrier, especially when traveling in the car (an unrestrained pet not only endangers itself, but everyone in the vehicle as well).
  • Many hotels and campgrounds often allow pets, but it is best to check ahead. 
  • Lastly, if it turns out that bringing your pets along on your vacation is not an option, consult your veterinarian.  Our MPH staff would be happy to extend our boarding services to you, in which your pet will receive the same love and care he/she would get at home and be regularly monitored by our highly trained veterinary staff to ensure his/her health and happiness.

By following the above tips, both you and your pet can enjoy these last days of summer!