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Summer is here and you may be tempted to plan a picnic outdoors with your favorite furry friend in tow. While an outdoor picnic can be a fun experience for you and your pet during the summer months, it can also be risky if you aren’t prepared.
In this article, we’ll explore six pet safety tips you should keep in mind when planning a summer picnic with your pet. Read through this list and familiarize yourself with everything so you can provide a safe and secure environment for both you and your pet.
Listed below are the 6 safety tips for a summer picnic with your pet:
1. Keep Your Pet Leashed in Public Places
If your picnic is happening at a public place, such as at a pavilion or campground, keep your pet on-leash at all times. Some campsites do not require dogs to be leashed when at the individual rented campsite, but rules vary. Always double-check with campsite rules before allowing your dog off-leash.
Pets may become easily overwhelmed during a picnic in a public location, so keeping your pet leashed is best for their safety and the safety of everyone in attendance. This will help avoid unwanted situations if the animal were to get overly excited or scared.
2. Bring Your Pet Inside for Breaks at Home
If your picnic is happening at home in your own backyard, your pet should be much more comfortable in a familiar environment. However, they should still get some breaks and will likely enjoy a chance to rest comfortably indoors during some of the party.
Bring your pet inside to relax if it’s hot outside, too. This way, you won’t risk your pet suffering from heat stroke and it may help them calm down a little bit from all the excitement. Frequent indoor breaks can help your furry friends stay safe and make the picnic more enjoyable for everyone, too.
3. Watch Your Pet around Grills and Fires
Grills and fires can be enticing to pets due to the smell of cooking food. However, they can also quickly cause burns if pets are left unattended around them, so keep a close eye on your pet any time there is a fire or grill in operation.
Ideally, put your pet inside before the grill or fire is started. If this is not possible, keep them crated, tethered, or leashed while there is an open fire in the area. Make sure all your fellow picnic guests know to watch out for your pet while cooking, too.
4. Keep Your Pet Indoors During Fireworks
If you plan to shoot any fireworks, even the smaller home-safe variety, it is best to keep your pet indoors somewhere while this is going on. Even pets who are not normally afraid of fireworks in the distance may be scared of hearing them up close.
If you are camping or do not have access to a secure building or structure, keep your pet crated during fireworks and away from the main source of the noise instead. This is not a perfect situation, but is better than risking an escaped pet.
5. Bring Dogs Only, in Most Cases
It may go without saying, but dogs are the best type of pet suited for picnicking. Do not bring your cat, ferret, rabbit, snake or other type of pet to an outdoor picnic.
There are some exceptions of course. If your pet is very experienced with the outdoors and with picnics, then they might be okay to join you. Service animals can also be welcome guests, too!
6. Do Not Share Human Food or Drinks with Your Pet
During a picnic, it may be tempting to give your pet some human food or drink. If you have family members or friends in attendance, or if there are small children at the picnic, they may also want to share. And of course, there’s always the risk your pet could grab a bite for themselves!
While many types of picnic foods are safe enough for pets to nibble now and then, it’s best to avoid sharing with your pet during a picnic. This way, you can avoid the risk of your animal accidentally consuming a dangerous food item altogether.
Call VEG for Additional Summer Picnic Pet Safety Tips
Most of the time, summer picnics with pets go off without a hitch, and you don’t have anything to worry about. However, preparing for potential hazards ahead of time can help keep you, your pet, and everyone else at the picnic safe and secure. Preparation can also help give you some peace of mind during the event as well.
If anything goes wrong with your pet during a picnic, don’t wait to see an emergency vet. Even if the issue turns out to be nothing major, it’s best to see an emergency vet when you’re uncertain or when there are significant risks involved.
If you have any questions or additional advice on summer picnic safety tips, contact our team at VEG. We have locations all over the country that are open 24/7. Each VEG location is staffed with compassionate team members who are dedicated to making sure your pet is safe and comfortable during any situation or event.