Summer Health and Safety Tips for Your Pet

As the weather heats up, make sure your pets are safe and happy.

Our pets want to run around and enjoy the warm weather as much as we do — long walks, water play, naps outdoors. And while it’s easier to take our pets places during the summer months when we’re not as home-bound by snow and ice, we have to keep in mind that our animal BFFs need special attention during this season, too.

A whole section of the DIY Network website is dedicated to pet DIY projects, but here on Made+Remade, we’re talking about safety, and more specifically, summer safety tips for your pets.

Provide plenty of water. You can’t have too many available bowls of water in your house during the summer. I top off my dog’s bowl three times per day. If you leave your pet at home for a long work day, you might want to consider investing in a refillable dog bowl like this, which holds up to a gallon of water. 

Don’t leave your pet in the car, ever. Leave him at home if you’re running to the store, and make sure he gets plenty of time to stretch his legs and cool off when you make rest stops during long car trips.

Protect against fleas and ticks. Deer ticks are experiencing a big upswing in parts of the country (most notably, my backyard!). It’s a little scary when you find a tick on your pet, so we keep ours safe with K9 Advantix II, which guards not only against fleas and ticks, but also those pesky mosquitoes, lice and biting flies.

Make frequent brushing a habit. My Bernese Mountain Dog is a heavy shedder, and having his belly groomed and his back and shoulders brushed free of his winter coat really helps to keep him cool.

Designate a shady spot in your yard for your pet. It doesn’t need to be a dog house (those will actually heat up like a little greenhouse!) but a comfortable spot — with water — in the grass or on your porch.

Make your dog cool treats. (Like DIY frozen snacks!)

If your dog is a water-lover, invest in a doggie life jacket, because anything could happen when he’s jumping off that dock or chasing tennis balls through the waves.

For long road trips, know how to travel safely with your pet. Make a DIY dog hammock for the backseat of your car to keep her comfortable.

Train your pet to stay in your yard. In a new house this year? If she can’t be trusted, consider installing a fence, or an underground electric fence. It’ll be way easier to install either this time of year than in the middle of the winter.

Buy dog-formulated sunscreen to help keep them protected. Short-haired dogs are more susceptible to sunburns and skin cancer.

Practice fire safety. Keep your pet on a short leash when around a grill or a campfire.

For more tips on keeping your pet safe, happy, and entertained this summer, check out the pet section of And see below for some great toy ideas for your dog or cat.

The Best Toys for Playful Cats and Dogs

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Tug of War

The Kong Wubba is a favorite game for most dogs, partly because it's interactive, and simply because it's fun. The durable reinforced nylon fabric covers two balls — a tennis ball on top and a squeaker ball beneath. The long tail makes it easy to pick up and throw.

Solar Power

No batteries needed for this environmentally friendly toy. Just place it in direct sunlight and watch it spring into action. This will keep your cat entertained for hours. Photo courtesy of Solar Chases

Splish Splash

If your dog loves the water, he will enjoy Premier Pogo Splash, a brightly colored toy that floats and is easy to spot in the water. It's ideal for a water game of fetch.

Photo By: Pashin Georgiy

Will Work for Food

Place cat food inside these tubes and let your cat work for his supper. The Aikiou Stimulo makes mealtime a game. Your cat can get to the food using his paws.

Photo By: Benoit Nantel

A Comfort Toy

Kong Cozies live up to their name because they are cute and cuddly. Perfect for a game of fetch, Kong Cozies come in 10 different animal characters, from a dog to a lion, moose, rhino and more.

Rock 'n' Roll

This ToyShoppe Playables Kitty Rocking Roller cat toy keeps the ball rolling, enticing your cat to play. The toy features a sisal surface, which is great for scratching.

Photo By: Photographer:Bohm-Marrazzo Photography

A Twist on a Classic

Kong Classics transform the traditional red rubber ball into a new shape that is super-bouncy and great for a dog to chew on. It comes in sizes extra-small to extra-large to accommodate dogs of all sizes.

A Yummy Toy

Dogs will get some exercise as they try to pry open the JW Treat Pods that are filled with either dog treats or peanut butter. They are simple to assemble and easy to clean.

Cats and Mice

The Eco Mouser is one of Honest Pet Products' best-sellers — maybe because it's filled with organic catnip or maybe because it is in the shape of a mouse.

A Dog's Best Friend

Next to you, your dog will love GoDog Barnyard Buddies by Quaker Pet Group. These unstuffed designs are great because you won't have to worry about your dog swallowing them or making a mess. Each toy has five squeakers inside.

Tickled Green

The Tickle Pickle is TipsyNip's best-selling cat toy. Made with organic catnip in the shape of a bright green gherkin, it comes in a 12-inch size and a smaller 4-inch size.

Photo By: Kelly Schulze

Squeak, Crackle, Cuddle

A little noise can be fine, especially when it's wrapped inside an adorable soft Leaping Dog Cuddle Toy from Up Country. The squeaker and crackle are inside this dog toy that's made in the USA.

Pounce and Play

Cats like to hunt, and the Hartz Angry Birds Running Bird toy stimulates his predatory instinct. Filled with catnip, this yellow bird runs away from your cat when you pull the Bird's tail.

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