While San Diego experiences good weather year-round, summer is the ideal season for enjoying our great outdoors. Including pets in our out-and-about activities is a wonderful idea but requires some thought and advanced planning to ensure they have fun and stay safe.

In Your Automobile

Your dog may enjoy sitting in your lap as you drive or enjoy sticking his nose out the window to catch all the great scents in the wind rushing by. But the simple fact is while it looks cute, it just isn’t safe. Take common sense precautions while driving with your dog in tow:

  • Always use a pet safety harness or specially designed seat belt device to limit your dog’s movement in the back seat. These products are available for different size breeds and can easily be adjusted to fit your dog.
  • Note that while zippered pet carriers will limit your dog’s or cat’s mobility, they will not protect your pet from injury should you brake suddenly or get into an accident. With sudden impact, pet carriers can lift off a seat and fly through the vehicle, causing harm and bodily injury to your pet.

Shopping & Errand Expeditions

First and foremost, Absolutely Never Leave Your Pet Alone in your Vehicle during summer. Even with windows cracked open for air, temperatures rise quickly inside a parked vehicle. This exposes your best friend to potential heat stroke or worse, even death.

  • When shopping, consider taking your dog with you into stores. Most pet supply stores welcome animals; and many other retail stores allow well-behaved dogs to accompany family members.
  • When dining out, consider selecting a restaurant with an outdoor patio or seating area where your pet can sit by your side like Anthony’s Fish Grotto in La Mesa.
  • If you have any concerns about whether your furry friend is welcome, phone the establishment ahead of time.

Outside Activities

Whether it’s an outing or playtime at your local park, a romp at the dog beach or a more extended walk or hike, Always Bring Fresh Water and a Travel Bowl along for your pet in summer weather.

  • If your pet will be exposed to the sun (especially dogs with light-colored skin and short coats), apply a pet sunscreen product to them to prevent sunburn.
  • On especially warm days, limit outdoor activities to morning or evening hours when it is cooler.
  • Remember that streets, sidewalks and even beach sand absorb heat from the sun. The intensified heat can potentially burn your dog’s footpads.

Staying At Home

On very warm summer days, leaving your pet at home in the comfort of air conditioning or ceiling fans makes great sense. It is best to leave them at home while your family enjoys local fireworks this summer.

While we like to bring our pets along with us, be practical and responsible in your decision-making. Always put your pet’s comfort and safety first.

Happy Summer with Your Pets!