Memorial Day weekend is the official launch to summer. Consisting of cold brews, volleyball, barbecue, and relaxation, this is the weekend where we launch into summer food and fun. While we appreciate this holiday weekend, it’s important to keep in mind that pet safety becomes an issue when you combine food, alcohol, and plenty of distractions.

With a few precautions, though, you and your furry pals can party it up this weekend – without putting them in danger. To learn more about how to have a great long weekend with your pet, read on.

5 Pet Safety Tips for Memorial Day Weekend

  1. Splash time hazards – Sure, you may love to take a cool dip in the pool or lake (still chilly, yes!), but your pet may also be tempted to ride the waves at their peril. Pools and pets can be deadly combos, with an estimated 5,000 drownings each year. To keep your pet safe, we recommend designating a puppy (or kitty) lifeguard to supervise your fur friend around pools, lakes, and other bodies of water.
  2. Grill wisely – While you are grilling up delectables like steaks, burgers, and hotdogs, don’t fail to notice that your pet is noticing the feast too. Barbecuing around furry friends poses a few dangers, first of which is the risk of burns. It’s easy to assume that your pet won’t get close to a hot grill, but the smell of sizzling food may just inspire him to try for a taste. Keep the grill closed when you are away from the station, watch your pet if he is around during cooking, and don’t forget that those drippings may cause stomach upset or pancreatitis.
  3. Trash terrors – Along with the grill, many pets get into uncovered garbage or compost cans. Since these often contain pet toxins, like garlic, onions, and avocados, as well as choking or obstruction hazards, such as toothpicks, kebab skewers, and meat packaging, vigilance is required. Don’t assume that your fur friend will stay away. Place garbage in a tightly covered bin and remove all leftovers immediately.
  4. Things that go ‘BOOM!’ – Many pets experience stress when exposed to loud noises. Holidays often entail loud music or  fireworks, which can frighten animals and create an escape risk. If you are planning on shooting off fireworks during the long weekend (or turning up the bass), take extra precautions for your pet. These precautions include bringing cats indoors, ensuring all pets are microchipped and have up to date ID tags, and finding a quiet place within the home for your fur friend to take refuge. Turning on a white noise machine, tv, or radio can also help muffle the sounds of the season.
  5. Feelin’ hot, hot, hot – We may not be in the official throes of summer, but dehydration and heat stress can affect those with fur more than us. Be certain to keep a fresh bowl of water for your pet on hand at all times and make sure shade is available during the festivities.

While there is a lot to keep in mind, if you let common sense prevail, fun can be had by all. If you have further questions or concerns about holiday pet safety, please talk with your family vet about how you can keep your pet safe and sound. However, if you find yourself faced with a pet emergency, please remember that OVRS is open and ready to help 24/7 over the holiday weekend.

We hope you and your four-legged pal have an incredible holiday!