Your Pet And Summer Safety

By Christine A. Bournias

dog in car trunk trip adventure

Have Fun. Pack For Safety.

If you think you’re excited to get out and enjoy the sunshine, you can only imagine how your pet feels. But, before you dash out the door, remember safety first when it comes to you and your family’s best furry friends.
While you venture out with your pets this summer, keep your pet’s well-being as your number one priority. Health, wellness, and safety are on the top of the list when it comes to any new or outdoor adventures.

As you pack up and get ready to take ​exciting adventures ​with your pets, be sure to pack common sense and a few reliable measures with you.

small white fluffy dog packed in suitcase

Your Pet’s Safety. Your Priority.

Pet Parents have a responsibility to care for and monitor their pets. Safety comes to mind, particularly with adventurous and curious pets of all kinds.

Unexplored terrain on rugged trails have different levels of elevation and dangerous interruptions. With unpredictable peaks, valleys, sticks, and stones on your route, your pet is at more risk of getting hurt.

cute dog laying on trail in forest

Animals have a way of finding things to get into when you’re not looking. As your pet discovers new trails, scents, and scenery, have lots of fun—but take precautions.

pet dad with dog playing fetch on beach

Sharp objects buried in a sand castle while you frolic together by the lake, can quickly turn a fun day at the beach to a long day at the Veterinarian’s office.

While you can’t predict what might be thrown in your path, you can carry with you a few emergency essentials and basic safety knowledge in the event of an unpredictable snake bite, bee sting, or unfortunate slip and fall. As you head out the door, consider packing a ​pet first aid kit​.

dog playing in tunnel

4 Safety Tips For Your Pet This Summer

1. Monitor Your Pet

Some pets are at more risk based on their activity level—or occupation. Military, hunting, herding, or field animals are at higher risk for injury than pets that prefer sitting on their owner’s laps. Regardless, accidents can happen. It’s not only service or canine officers that get injured.

military officer with dog and American flag

If you own a pet, you are responsible for their safety, health, and well-being. It only takes a second for an emergency to occur. Even the best dogs—or cats—can get into mischief.


An accident can happen anywhere. Best Friends Pet Hotel has trained Pet Professionals on staff who know what to do and who to call in case of emergency. Your pet is family, and reputable pet establishments take every needed precaution to ensure that your pet is safe at Camp, while cared for in 1:1 Individual care, in puppy playgroups, and/or all overnight stays.

two dogs running playing with ball in field

An Average Fido Can Get Into Mischief

The risk of pet accidentals also depends on the part of the country that you’re in and what your pets are exposed to. Do you have many different kinds of pets in the same household? Are they courageous and curious? Are they more active than the average fluff muffin? Are they enrolled in agility? Do they compete in rally sports? Are they jumpers? Do they climb fences? Are they exposed to heavy wooded or prevalent insect areas? Do they spend most of their time outdoors? Do they frequent pet care facilities?

dog sitting on mound on trail in forest

Summer = Holiday Pet Safety

Please keep a close eye on your pets, during the summer months—and always.

The fourth of July is a time to celebrate with picnics, family gatherings, and firework displays.

Fireworks can be dangerous and traumatic for pets. Some pets are skittish, hiding under tables or jumping into the arms of their Pet Parents. However, many animals get so frightened by fireworks that they often pull away and get loose.

4th of July dog with American flag


Due to loud fireworks, many pets get spooked and escape. In efforts to seek refuge and escape, many pets dart across the street and get hit by a car. Sadly, shelters across the United States are flooded during the summer months with preventable intakes. In fact, July is one of the busiest months for animal control.

To prevent deadly accidents, always look after your furry family members, especially during these summertime holidays.

If your pets stay with you for holiday festivities, know how to keep them safe. And if you’re travelling out of town during the summer, consider contacting an expert boarding facility ​or professional Pet Sitter.

Take Safety Precautions:

  • Keep identification tags with up-to-date information on your cats and dogs at all times.
  • Consider having a conversation with your ​Veterinarian about microchipping your pets. The microchip procedure can improve your chances of getting your pets back if they are lost. If your pets are currently microchipped, confirm with the microchip company that you have up-to-date microchip contact information and registry in place.
  • Professional behavioral therapy can help desensitize your pet and reduce risk of danger. If your pet needs medication, consult with your ​Veterinarian or Animal Behaviorist for alternate safety options.
  • Photographs are great for fun grooming contests,​ but they’re important for your pet’s safety as well. Take a recent photo of all your pets in the event they get lost.
  • Keep your environment secure with escape-proof rooms or crates.
  • Keep horses and livestock in fenced areas and far away from loud noises. Horses should wear breakaway halters with your correct contact information.
  • Remind your guests that you have pets that you care about. Place caution notification notes on exit doors and gates for your guests to remain vigilant.
  • Keep sparklers, charcoal, and food skewers away from curious pets.
  • Don’t let your pets get near your barbecue grill while in use or if it’s still hot.
  • After any summer holiday celebrations, check your yard for harmful explosives or debris before allowing pets outside to play. Even if you didn’t set off fireworks yourself, harmful debris can make its way into your yard.
    Leave your pets at ​​a safe place during firework displays, parades or other festive gatherings.

Emergency Matters

Emergencies can strike at any time and ‘snout to tail’ prevention, health, and wellness is critical. Be prepared by keeping a comprehensive pet first-aid kit, as well as human healthcare supplies in your luggage.

“35 years as a Paramedic, I’ve been confronted with about every human emergency medical situation possible. I was approached by members of our local Police K9 Unit Officers, expressing their interest in proper emergency K9 medic options for their police dogs in the event of a serious medical or traumatic situation. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
 (CPR) and first aid training for our four-legged Officer is in great demand. Our services help train our Police Officers in pet first aid and emergency care.” ​—Mike Burket, EMTP/K9 Medic/Instructor Pet Medics 911

Learn how to detect pet vitals and determine injury situations that require immediate veterinary care. Within critical seconds you’ll need to know whether or not to move your pet and/or how to restrain them if needed. At the very least, you need to know what to look for so you can seek immediate help.

dog playing with frisbee in ocean

Common Medical Conditions + Emergencies:

  • Bleeding
  • Breathing
  • Choking
  • Cuts
  • Extreme Temperatures
  • Food and Allergies
  • Injuries (hot or cold, extreme or minor; sprains, tendons, ligaments, bones)
  • Insect Bites Or Stings
  • Poisonous Plants or Substances
  • Raw or Rough Paw Pads
  • Snake Bites
  • Sunburn

dog jumping to catch frisbee

Be ready to respond in the unfortunate event of an emergency. Keeping an essential basic first aid or medical emergency kit on hand is a smart idea.

Smart Pet Investments:

  1. Pet First Aid Kits: Learn how to use your kit in the event of an emergency.
  2. Pet first aid certification of completion: Knowledge is power.
  3. Pet insurance: Get the policy that’s right for your pets. Evaluate their age and current health pre-conditions. A puppy may need more comprehensive wellness exams, but your senior dog may be faced with pre-existing conditions that you need to review ​before​ an incident occurs.

dog giving paw to vet

This list will help you assemble a general first-aid kit for a pet medical emergency or health issue. Include important paperwork, including a copy of your pet’s medical records, vaccination records, and emergency phone numbers too.

Comprehensive First Aid Kit Contents:

  • Adhesive Wrap Rolls (1″ and 3” width)
  • Antibiotic Cream
  • Bite/Sting Relief Pads
  • Blanket
  • Gauze Sponges (Large & Small)
  • Surgical Gloves
  • Syringe (10cc)
  • Peroxide Contact Solution
  • Providone-Iodine (Betadine) Topical Solution
  • Saline
  • Splints
  • Spare Collar and Leash
  • Thermometer
  • Triangular Bandage
  • Tweezers

two dogs playing in grass

“Seconds count when it comes to saving a life. Basic practical cardiopulmonary resuscitation
 (CPR) and first aid preparation is a must. Summertime safety includes both humans and your four-legged furry friend. In the event of a pet emergency, studies show that your dog has a better chance of surviving with general canine CPR, choking, and basic first aid knowledge.” —Amanda Zimmerman, EMT-P/AHA/Red Cross/ASHI Certified Instructor, Owner/Founder Save 1 CPR

two dogs playing in lake

2. Supply Good Nutrition and Hydration

Safe Foods

Provide your pets with healthy fuel and proper nutrition. Follow good hygiene practices and safe food handling to protect your family pets. Holiday parties and picnics usually include human food goodies, but avoid the urge to feed your pets people food or table scraps. Keep your pet(s) away from common toxic foods, unknown food allergies, or potential pet danger.

peanuts and peanut butter

“I never knew that lilies and tulips were poisonous to pets. My neighbor has a full flower tray on their deck. They sure are pretty to look at, but I steer my curious cats and rambunctious dog far away.” —​ Susan D .

two dogs eating knocked over plant

Fresh Water

Fill up your pet’s dog days of summer with lots of playtime, frequent rest breaks, and proper hydration.
Extreme temperatures (hot or cold) can affect your pet’s ability to keep their body’s internal core temperature regulated, particularly in the warm summer (or frigid winter) months. Refreshing water keeps your pet hydrated and replenished.

dog drinking fresh water in bowl

Don’t wait until your pet is hot and thirsty to drink water. While drinking* times can be monitored much like feeding times, cool, fresh water will benefit your dog’s health during every season.

*Always be sure to clean out their feeding bowls daily. If you have a puppy and excess urination is an issue, try keeping them on a regular drink and dinner schedule or feed ice chips to keep them cool and hydrated.

fresh water

3. Provide Activity, Mental Stimulation + Rest

You’ll jump through hoops to keep your dog happy and ​active​. However, like children, your pets need frequent breaks from strenuous activities, especially in the heat. Designate a safe resting spot and adequate resting times. Don’t overload your pet in efforts to keep busy. Ten minutes of moderate exercise and mindful games and interactive tricks ​will suffice.

dog with ball jumping through hoop

“Healthy rest is good for all animals, particularly our hard-working agility, heriding, rally or competing performers. Performance and show dogs need to be on their game, but it’s important to have a healthy balance of work and rest.” — T​erry C., Canine Handler, Trainer

two dogs sitting together in sun playground

4. Avoid Extreme Temperatures

Too much sun, heat, and humidity are dangerous for pets.

Keep your pets indoors when it’s hot. Period. Don’t leave them outside for extended periods of warm weather. Know the warning signs of heat exhaustion or overheating. Make sure your pet has access to shady spots to relax.

two dogs in backseat of car

Pets + Automotives

Going on a road trip? Running errands?

Never leave your pet in your vehicle when it’s hot (or cold) outside. Remember, our bodies respond quite differently to extreme temperatures than our furry counterparts.


With an outside temperature of only 70 degrees, a closed vehicle can heat up to 89 degrees in 10 minutes

A window opened a crack isn’t going to keep your pet safe.

A short time in a locked car is dangerous to pets—and children. Vehicle interiors heat up fast. The temperature in your vehicle increases in minutes. Even if you think that it’s only going to take you a few minutes to run in for an errand, that’s all the time it takes for your pet to get overheated.

If it’s slightly too warm for you, it’s way too hot for your pets. If it’s below zero wind chills, it’s too cold for animals.

When in doubt, leave your pal at home.

two dogs looking out car window at beach

According to Jan Null, CCM: Department of Geosciences, San Francisco State University, the temperature in your vehicle increases rapidly. Take a look:

vehicle temperatures for dogs

Resource: ​Trupanion​; Medical Insurance for your pet
Many domestic pets aren’t accustomed to extreme temperatures. In these severe weather conditions, keep your pets safe at home, or seek out your local and trusted Pet Hotel ​to watch your pets while you’re out and about. Designated pet care time can be convenient for both long bouts of time or quick errands.

5. Seek A Safe Place For Pets

As you come out of shelter in place restrictions and when you’re ready to venture out for fun this summer, take note of pet safety measures at your Pet Hotel:

dogs playing outside at doggy day camp
Photo Credit: Breanna Elizabeth, Best Friends Pet Hotel (Willow Grove)

Discover pet care offerings that provide you the opportunity to design your pet’s own stay. Discover local Pet Professionals that know pet behavior and will assist you in finding the ideal play and/or stay environment for ALL your furry family members.

cat packed in suitcase

Owner Of A Pug, Parrot, Or Pocket Pig?

Do you have a multi-pet family? Cats, dogs, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, birds? There are essential Pet Professionals that can help you care for them. Look for a place that caters to many different kinds of pets—dogs, cats, ​and p​ocket pets.

dog peeking out of suitcase

If you own a dog, ​Doggy Day Camp ​may be a nice outlet for your dog. Dogs of all shapes, sizes, and ages enjoy size, temperament, and carefully monitored playtime with dog pals. Themed parties are loads of fun and can benefit your dog’s mental well-being, allowing for safe exercise.

​Pack Your Bags For Fun. Sunshine & Safety!
Keeping your pet safe is a Pet Parent’s top priority and responsibility.
If you can’t watch them yourself during a holiday firework display, seek out a pet facility that has trained Pet Professionals to watch your pet.

Best Friends Pet Hotel ​is here to help keep your pet safe. Every pet guest is treated with care with monitored play yards and expert trained staff. Reading books to pets, playing catch, catching bubbles, splashing in pools, or hide and seek games are just some of the activities on the agenda.

dog and cat sitting on suitcase

Plan for your pets to play and expect safety. Prepare your pet’s ​vaccinations and book an appointment for an interview today.

Ready to keep your pet safe this summer? VISIT: ​ ​Best Friends Pet Hotel ​or call your local center.



About The Author:

Christine A. Bournias resides in Michigan with her 2-pack; two new beautiful adopted miracles. As her “Angelwriter”, Nicodemus (1997-2010) is the wisdom behind the stories she shares. Christine champions the magnitude of building the bond between a dog and their person(s) by means of respectful communication and enduring admiration.

Doggy Day Camp: Ready For A New Adventure For Your Dog?

By Christine A. Bournias

happy do our car window road

​Is Your Dog Ready For A New Adventure? Perhaps It’s Camp Time!​

So, you and your dog have been cooped up in the house. If you think you’re restless, can you imagine how your dog feels?

dog in hammock

As the weather turns nice outside, it just might be time for you and your dogs to venture out of your normal routine. Maybe you’re ready for an adventure — something new in your pet’s busy schedule?

Doggy Day Camp Provides A Favorable Outlet For Dogs

Current dog camp regulars may need to be reacquainted to their normal routine. And, dog owners that have never tried a ​Doggy Day Camp ​might find today an ideal time to try one out.

Whether your dog functions best with individual playtimes, or if they thrive in a canine group setting, Doggy Day Camp allows your dog the opportunity to be their own dog.

dogs running and playing outside

7 Doggy Day Camp Tips

1. Take Medical Responsibility

Keep current with your pet’s vaccinations before entering any populated dog park or canine group setting. Before you venture out into a new place with your dog — regardless if it’s Doggy Day Camp or a beach just for dogs — it’s your duty as a pet owner to make sure that your dog is up-to-date on their vaccinations.

dog vaccinations veterinarian

Whether your dog is a young pup, or an aging senior, you owe it to your furry friend(s) to take special care of their medical needs. For your health and well-being of your pet, ​regular medical check-ups, conducted by your Veterinarian or trustworthy veterinary clinic, are a critical part of responsible pet ownership.

Be sure to consult with a ​trusted Veterinarian for medical care that’s appropriate for your pet.

2. Ask Questions, Consult With A Pet Expert

It’s beneficial to explore all of your boarding and daycare options.

Your dog may be the life of the party while other dogs may not. They may need more space from other people or dogs during playtime. Your dog may be a curious puppy transitioning into society or they might be an older dog that has little tolerance of rambunctious dogs.

In a Camp setting with other dog guests, they may even become possessive of a furry family member from the same household. ​Resource guarding ​can be minimized and/or avoided within an ideal environment and with properly trained staff.

“Once I allowed my dog to have a few days away from the house, Butch was calm and content with the whole family when he returned home.” ​—Tom D.

Within a different pack at Camp, dogs have a language all their own. Proper introduction and socialization into this new world is required for a well-adjusted pet at Doggy Day Camp—and at home as well.

Determine If 1:1 Care Is Right For You

Your dog may be different. That’s okay. Every pet is extraordinary and they should be cared for
as such. They may excel with individual care instead of within a large group setting.

dog peeking through heart cutout in fence

Dogs that need extra attention—or owners who prefer to have their pets play as a family—may find that a crowded play area is not right for them. Find a Pet Hotel that caters to your individual dog’s needs. True pet professionals are trained for safety and thrive on creating a happy, healthy experience for your pet.

You owe it to your furry friend to ​ask questions and explore the best route to take. Ask for an interview at various times of the day, slow days—and at peak hours. If you know your pet well enough, you’ll immediately know if this is the place for your pet. You may both determine that individual play is more appropriate for your dog and his behavior. See what options are available for your pup to be engaged on an individual level and what that would mean.

dogs puppies playing with ball in grass

3. Get An Assessment First

Look for the best environment for your dog to play or stay.

Determine if the facility is an ideal environment for your pet well in advance—not the day before you hop in the car or board an airplane to leave town. Your dog is family and they need a safe, healthy place to stay. Investing this time upfront is critical.

A thorough interview process or assessment needs to be conducted ​before​ attending any Doggy Day Camp activity. If your dog hasn’t attended Camp (or never stepped paw) in a boarding facility, it’s important to get your dog evaluated by​ leaders in the pet hospitality business. Pet Experts are trained to assess your pet for proper size and temperament​ during their initial visit.

Scheduling an interview for your dog well in advance of your drop off date will give you and your daycare provider time to make appropriate accommodations for your pet. In addition, reintroductions are necessary for Camp “regulars” to get back to normal at their local daycare provider or Pet Hotel.

dog friends hanging out at camp
Photo Credit: Breanna Elizabeth, Best Friends Pet Hotel (Willow Grove)

“If your dog has been away from boarding or Doggy Day Camp for more than a year, it’s time to schedule an interview to reevaluate your pet’s profile at Camp. As your dog adapts back into their canine group routine—and to ensure safety measures—we like to observe your dog’s behavior, check for up-to-date vaccines, and assess their overall demeanor when attending an area with new dogs and people. Our goal is to make sure all dogs have a fun, yet safe experience.” —​ Jessica H., Hotel Area Manager, ​Best Friends Pet Hotel

4. Ease Into Camp

Your pet needs plenty of physical activity, mental stimulation, and training time throughout all stages of their lives. But make sure you don’t do too much too soon.

dogs meeting each other, becoming friends

While dogs like variety, they’re creatures of habit and often become anxious with sudden changes to their new daily routine. They may even resist leaving their familiar humans. If your dog is showing signs of ​separation anxiety, try lessening the duration of sustained play. This plan might help ease their way back to their normal dog time at Camp.

“Your dog needs mental stimulation and physical exercise at Doggy Day Camp. If your pet has been stuck indoors for awhile, the sooner you get back to a regular schedule the better.” —Jenn C., Hotel Manager, ​Best Friends Pet Hotel (Wakefield)

Doggy Day Camp “Regulars” returning back to Camp might want to limit their high activity days and a lot of dogs all at once. If it’s been a few months, perhaps a handful of half days would be beneficial. The sooner your dog gets acclimated to their regular Camp days, the faster they can get adjusted to a healthy schedule of events. Dogs who are mentally stimulated—with lots of healthy exercise—have dependable eating and sleeping schedules also.

two dogs playing

When it’s time for your dog to get out of the house and have some fun with other dogs, you owe it to your pooch to make an appointment. Reserve something new and special for your pet and notice a difference in their overall behavior.

5. Allow Consistent Camp Time

Before shaking things up to their daily at home routine, it’s wise to establish a ​predictable​ and rewarding Doggy Day Camp schedule for your pet. Fill their ‘dog days of summer’ with lots of playtime, frequent rest breaks, and proper hydration.

“Healthy rest allows your dog the chance to recharge and refocus their energy at Camp. In contrast to popular belief, an exhausted dog is n​ot​ necessarily a happy dog. In addition to all the extra fun and activity, we provide our pets plenty of rest time so t​ hey can excel in the play area.​” —M​elissa A., Hotel Manager,​ Best Friends Pet Hotel (Clinton Township) ​

Many facilities will offer a membership program to enable a consistent day camp experience. As a membership program, campers are expected to attend camp for a certain number of days per month depending on what is needed. With this, day camp becomes a normal, scheduled activity for your pup where he can see the same friends while he attends. Dogs like schedules and thrive in environments where they have set expectations. The “pack” created in a membership program, maintains its equilibrium and the pack members feel balanced.

little dog sleeping with teddy bear

Your dog will thank you for the variety of mental stimulation, physical exercise, and yes—a little time away from their human caregivers.

6. Get A New “Do” After Camp

Dogs like to play and get dirty. They also enjoy feeling fresh and clean. A little pampering will make your dog feel good all over. A day at the spa is always a treat — even for your dogs.

Scrub their teeth, clip their dew claws, and clean their ears. If your dog has gone too long without a good trim, it may be a great time for a ‘new hairdo.’

dog getting groomed by dog groomer

Seek out specialized ​grooming professionals ​who keep current with industry certifications and pet trends.

“Your dog’s grooming needs is important to their overall health and well-being.”—​ Kim M., Hotel Manager,​ ​Best Friends Pet Hotel (North Plainfield)

7. Try New Things

Getting outdoors more often is a good feeling. If your dog gets a little wind in their nose, they are happy and content. Walking in nature or taking a new route on your hiking trail usually does the trick. But, if your dog is restless with their typical walks, they could be ready to attend Doggy Day Camp.

dog playing in tent at day care
Photo Credit: Best Friends Pet Hotel (Cincinnati)

No matter how macho your dog is, all dogs love extra attention.

Life is never mundane with Doggy Day Camp. Dogs of all shapes, sizes, and ages enjoy Camp. There are lots of interesting themed parties and loads of fun that benefit your dog.

Doggy Day Camp: It’s Like A Dog’s Bucket List:​

dog training with dog trainer

Play + Training + Treats

Keep things interesting by enrolling your dog in training courses. Even if your dog is well-behaved and was top of their class at puppy class, sign them up for a refresher course. 1. It keeps your dog’s mind sharp and 2. training class is something you can do together.


A dog performs best with conditioning. Positive reinforcement is not about “positive” in the positive/negative way. In dog training, positive reinforcement means “adding” on to desired behavior with marking and rewarding as the addition.

A different environment can solidify training constructs. Working with your dog and investing time for ​advanced training and tricks in many environments other than your house or backyard can be beneficial.

dog playing frisbee with human

Toys. Lots and lots of toys.

Purchasing fresh pet toys, including games, are helpful to fight boredom. Interactive, dispensing devices keep your dog occupied and entertained while they learn. There are many ​durable toys and long lasting chews ​that will keep your dog occupied for hours when they’re not at Camp.

Even old toys can seem new if you switch things up. Rotate and replace toys in their toy bin or play the name game! Dog toys can do wonders to playtime excitement.

But, what if your dog needs more?

dog story time at doggy day care
Photo Credit: Best Friends Pet Hotel (Cincinnati)

Best Friends At Home

To supplement your pet’s learning, teach them ​new tricks at home! The new ideas are sure to keep your dog’s tail wagging and bring a smile to your face.

Fun is endless when you have a dog: Read to them, ​bake biscuits, splash around in their kiddie pool, ​dress them up ​with ​bow ties, build obstacle courses, or offer your dog a challenging ​game of shells,​ hide and seek, or peek-a-boo.

dog sitting for biscuit treat

Your Dog Needs Doggy Day Camp

They love to run on the beach and explore new scenery. Working dogs need a “job” other dogs live for new friends, new people, and new toys. Many dog Campers benefit from physical exercise, mental stimulation, and a chance to meet other canines and new people.

Dogs need to greet other dogs and all sorts of other people.

dogs playing with kong toy

Getting Fido acclimated to a dog group setting requires careful pre-planning, time, and research in order to discover the best place for both you and your pet. Invest the time you need to find a place that you and your dog feels most comfortable with. If it’s the right place for your pet, you’ll notice a calm and content dog that looks forward to going to Camp ​and​ enjoys being at home too.

Our pets need their own time away from us to be their own dog. Besides, where else can your dog read books? So, let them romp, play, and experience new things.

Ready to learn more about Doggy Day Camp and other fun adventures? VISIT: ​Best Friends Pet Hotel or call your local center.



About The Author:

Christine A. Bournias resides in Michigan with her 2-pack; two new beautiful adopted miracles. As her “Angelwriter”, Nicodemus (1997-2010) is the wisdom behind the stories she shares. Christine champions the magnitude of building the bond between a dog and their person(s) by means of respectful communication and enduring admiration.