As the warm weather arrives, it's important to be mindful of the risks the heat can pose to our dogs. However you and your dogs plan on spending the summer, make safety a priority by remembering these tips.

Summer safety tips - Summer safety tips

Veterinary Visits

Keeping your pet’s vaccines up to date is important year-round, but warmer weather brings more risks of diseases and viruses.

Talk to your veterinarian about flea, tick and parasite prevention to keep pests out of your summer plans.

Even if your dog is on prevention, get into the habit of daily tick checks. Feel all over your dog’s body for them, especially in hidden spots like between toes, around the neck, and inside their ears and mouth.

Keep Pets Cool

In the summer, it’s especially important to give pets lots of fresh water, shade, and breaks from outdoor exercise. Opt to take your dog for a walk in the cooler mornings or evenings.

To help keep your dog comfortable in the heat, try freezing their favourite food in a Kong or following a recipe for pupsicles. Cooling mats or kiddie pools can also be fun ways to beat the heat.

When it’s simply just too hot outside, but your dog still has a ton of energy to burn, keep them busy indoors with stimulating activities like a snuffle mat.

Cats and Small Animals

Cats and other small animals like rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and birds are safest indoors where they are protected from many potential dangers. In Oakville, cats are not permitted to roam outdoors, but an indoor-only lifestyle doesn’t have to be boring! Click here for exciting ways to enrich your cat’s life.

Remember to keep screenless doors and windows closed so that your pet doesn’t wander.


All pets can overheat when temperatures rise, but those with flat faces like French bulldogs, pugs, and Persian cats, are at a higher risk of heatstroke.

If you suspect your pet is suffering from heatstroke, take them to a veterinarian right away. Signs include excessive panting, difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, weakness, or even collapse. Seizures, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting can occur with an elevated body temperature.

Water Safety

Some dogs may enjoy joining in on water activities like boating, paddle boarding, or splashing in the lake. It’s always a good idea to fit your dog for a life jacket, even if you think they are strong swimmers. Never leave your pet unattended near any body of water, including pools.

Additionally, don’t allow them to drink the water, especially saltwater as large amounts can have adverse effects.

Storms and Fireworks

Some pets may become anxious due to the loud sounds and flashes associated with storms and fireworks. During these occasions, pets are at a higher risk of getting lost. To ensure your pet can be safely reunited with you during such stressful situations, be sure to equip them with appropriate identification, such as a microchip and a collar with tags. In Oakville, all cats are required to have a form of identification, and all dogs are required to be licensed.

Hot Car

As a reminder, do not ever leave your pet in a car unattended, even in the shade or with the windows down. Vehicles can get very hot very quickly, rising to deadly temperatures in minutes.

If you see an animal unattended in a car, please call the Oakville & Milton Humane Society immediately at 905-845-1551. Outside of Oakville, please call 911 and your local animal enforcement agency.


Research the by-laws wherever you’re travelling with your pet. Not all beaches permit dogs, and many places require dogs to be on-leash unless stated otherwise.

In Oakville, dogs are required to always be on a leash and under control when not on the owner’s property.

Enjoy the summer and make the most of it with your furry friends!