yellow lab lying on beach wearing sunglasses

The summer months mean warm sun, cold drinks, and more time spent outdoors. Many pet owners view this as an opportunity to get outside with their furry, four-legged friends. Unfortunately, being outside in the hotter weather comes with some risks for pets, so owners need to take the proper steps to make sure their dog or cat is safe.

What Potential Dangers Does My Pet Face?

While our pets love to be outdoors where they can run, play, and explore, they don’t always know what’s best for them. As a responsible pet owner, it’s your job to keep your dog or cat out of trouble (which can be easier said than done). Read on to explore some of the most important things to watch for when it’s hot outside.

Hot Surfaces

Walking your dog on hot surfaces, such as the road or sidewalk, can harm your pet’s paws. The temperature of asphalt can get up to 125 degrees when the air temperature is only 77 degrees. A good rule of thumb is to test the road with the back of your hand. If you can withstand the heat for seven seconds, it should be safe for your dog.

If the surface of the road or sidewalk is too hot, there are other ways to help your pet get exercise. You and your dog can head down to the dog park or local woods, where they can walk on cool grass or dirt paths. Alternatively, you could grab a few of their favorite outdoor toys and head to the backyard for a few rounds of fetch.

Insect Stings

Curious pets, especially dogs, have a bad habit of finding and disturbing hives and nests, which may result in dangerous and painful stings. A good way to keep your pet safe from stinging insects is to regularly check your property for signs of wasps, hornets, and bees. It’s also best not to leave your dog or cat unattended, so they don’t go sticking their noses where they don’t belong.

If you discover that your pet has been stung and is exhibiting symptoms such as swelling, redness, and itching, you should take them to a vet for evaluation. If your pet isn’t showing any severe symptoms, you may be able to treat the area yourself by gently washing with mild soap and water. You can also apply ice every four to six hours to ease their discomfort.

Heat Stroke

Since dogs don’t sweat like us, if they spend too much time out in the hot sun, they can develop heat stroke, also called “heat stress” or “heat exhaustion.” Some telltale signs of heat stroke include excessive panting, drooling, red gums, vomiting, diarrhea, and mental decline. If you observe any of these symptoms, get your pet to a cool place with plenty of water immediately.

Having a designated pet room with their favorite toys can be a great place for your pet to relax and cool off after spending time outside. You can also use this space as an alternative play area when it’s too hot or as a secure place to leave them when you run errands instead of having them in a stuffy car.

How to Travel with Your Pet

Many people like to travel during the warmer months, which often means bringing along a pet for the trip. While the air-conditioned interior of the car can keep them nice and cool during the journey, there are still several safety precautions you need to consider when your pet tags along.

Properly Secure Them During the Ride

When going for a drive with your pet, especially on a long road trip, it’s important to ensure they have a safe and comfortable space to relax. Look for a crate that is appropriate for their size so they can lay down. If they enjoy standing up and moving around, install a dog guard between the front and back seats to keep everybody safe.

Another great travel option is a car harness for your dog or cat. These devices attach to your car’s seatbelt to ensure your pet is safe and secure. Harnesses also help prevent injuries to your pet in the case of an accident, stopping them from being ejected from the vehicle or thrown around the cab.

Prep a Travel Kit for Your Pet

A to-go kit is another smart addition to your car if you like to travel with your pets. Pack a few of their favorite toys or blankets, so they have something familiar with them when you’re traveling. Also, make sure to bring essentials like food, water, and a leash for when you make a pit stop.

It’s also a good idea to bring a first aid kit and medications with you during the trip. Because they’re going to be in an unfamiliar environment, they could potentially get scared and accidentally hurt themselves in their crate or while trying to get out of the vehicle. Being prepared can prevent you from having to rush them to the vet.

Other Warm Weather Considerations

There are a few other factors you will need to consider during the summer months, especially if you plan on having your dog or cat outside for extended periods. In addition to having plenty of cool water and a shady place for them to relax, you’ll want to think about some of these other safety factors.

Getting Your Pet a Haircut

While you may think that shaving your pet when the temperatures rise will keep them cool, sometimes their coats actually help to do that for them. Make sure to do some research about your pet’s specific breed so you can make the best seasonal grooming choices. A trim for longer-haired animals can be helpful, but taking too much off the top can do more harm than good.

Watch Out for Sunburn

Many pet owners probably don’t realize that their four-legged companion can get sunburn just like humans can. When taking them outdoors, apply pet-friendly sunblock to areas such as their ears, bellies, and noses. It’s generally a good idea to reapply every three to four hours.

Be Mindful of Fireworks

The summer months often mean big parties, loud noises, and fireworks. Pets often find fireworks frightening and may run away in a panic. To ensure this doesn’t happen, keep your animals indoors during any holidays or parties where you know fireworks will be in use.

Having a Safe and Happy Summer with Your Pet

Many of us look forward to the summertime, especially those of us with pets. It’s an opportunity to get out and explore in the fresh air and sunshine. As long as you remember to take the proper steps when spending time outdoors or traveling with your animal, you can both have a safe and happy summer.


Guest author Hazel Bennett is a freelance writer and blogger. She has a degree in communications and lives in Northeastern Ohio. Hazel loves writing about numerous topics and showcasing her expertise with words.

Quick Home Cleaning Tips for Pets | The House Shop Blog - Page 18729

Inexpensive, Yet Effective: Cost-Conscious Cleaning Tips for Dog Owners

If you’re extremely fussy about the state of your home, owning a dog can place a major strain on your patience. Every breed has its upside, but taken as a whole, dogs just aren’t the cleanest of animals. If a wagging tail, happy face, and cute floppy ears can make you forget the constant upkeep and periodic frustrations, then read on: you’re an avowed dog lover and will benefit from a little cost-friendly advice on maintaining a clean home.

An ounce of prevention

One way or another, you’ll have to deal with dog hair. You can confront it later once it gets on the furniture, or you can go after it sooner. Get yourself a quality dog brush or hair glove for under $25 and get rid of your pooch’s dead, loose hair before it settles on the furniture, in the corners of every room, and in air ducts. Regular grooming collects all that hair before it can cause problems for family members who have a special sensitivity to hair and pet dander. Applying a brush to your dog’s hair and skin will also release natural oils that will keep dry skin particles from getting loose and polluting your home environment.

Giving your pup a bath at least once a month (or more if necessary) will also help control hair and dander and keep his skin from drying out and producing flakes. You can save a few bucks by making your own doggie shampoo with nothing but a cup of white (or apple cider) vinegar, a cup of baby shampoo, or dish soap (nontoxic) and a quart of water.

Put your vacuum to work

If you have carpeting throughout your home, you need to know that it’s a haven for parasites like fleas and mites, pet dander, and dog hair, which can be an ongoing threat to your indoor air quality and to anyone who suffers from asthma and other respiratory issues. If you don’t have a powerful vacuum cleaner, you’ll need one to keep all those household pollutants and dog-related dander under control, but take the time to read product reviews to make sure you’re getting the right product for your situation.

Cleaning station

Dogs, especially long-haired ones, tend to pick up a lot of debris from the lawn that gets strewn throughout the house if not cleaned up right away. Keep a cheap throw rug that can be tossed in the washing machine by the back door where you can run a towel over your pet, wipe off muddy paws, and give him a few strokes with the brush before allowing him back in the house. Keep your little cleaning station stocked with supplies, including old towels and washcloths.

Emphasize natural cleaners

You may not be aware of it, but there are probably some powerful cleaning agents right in your kitchen cabinets. These are agents capable of removing even the most noxious, deep-set stains and of counteracting powerfully pungent odors produced by dog waste. Baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice are effective and reliable substances that can render store-bought cleaners unnecessary, and that’s a good thing if you’re talking about cleaners that include environmentally damaging chemicals.

Simply sprinkle baking soda on affected carpeting or furniture and let it do its work. You can also create a cleaning spray with a combination of water and vinegar, which is also good at eliminating tough stains. If baking soda and vinegar simply won’t do the trick, look for pet-specific cleaners through sites like Chewy or Amazon, which typically offer lower prices than brick-and-mortar retailers.

It’s surprising how helpful simple, inexpensive cleaning materials can be in keeping dog hair and other waste under control inside your home. By using simple things like baking soda, brushes, washable throw rugs, and homemade shampoo, you can keep the pristine home you spend so much time keeping clean from being overwhelmed by the family pet.

Does your pooch need extra attention during the day when you’re away? Help him get out the wiggles and make new friends through Whiskers to Tails Petsitting. You can easily book our services online through our client portal. Contact us today to get a quote! 763-746-8872

Contributing author Tyler Evans is a proud dog papa to two German Shepherd rescues and the creator of He created the website to showcase the funny, sometimes messy, side of being a dog parent. He hopes the website will bring joy to those who visit it and encourage people to welcome the love of a dog into their lives.



red goldendoodle sitting outside with bright pink bow on her headIt’s paw-ty time! It may be your pet’s “gotcha day” or birthday; it may be Christmas, Hanukkah, or Presidents Day; it may only be the first Monday in May. Whatever the date, including your pet in your celebrations is a lot of fun!

Since Cinco de Mayo is a few days away, we figured now would be a great time to give you some tips about how to safely and creatively celebrate with your pets.

Choose the right venue

Pick your location carefully. For parties that are inside, make sure you’ve “pet-proofed” the room. Keep in mind that dogs can get overtired or overwhelmed so consider keeping indoor parties to 45-90 minutes to avoid any mishaps.

For outdoor parties, if you don’t have a fenced in backyard consider renting space in a daycare or training facility or check out your local dog parks. Be sure to have plenty of baggies to clean up after all of the guests! With outdoor parties you have more flexibility on the length of the party, just let pup parents know they can come and go as their pups prefer!

Be your pet’s chef/bartender

What better way to celebrate with your pet than with a special treat? Whether you cook them up a feast or buy a “pup-cake,” your pet will love it! There are many great recipes for pet snacks online, including these dog safe cake recipes or these adorable “bark-aritas.”

Plan your treats with your pet in mind and keep the human food away from the pets. If you are holding a party with your pup’s best furr-iends, check to make sure none of them have food allergies ahead of time.

cream goldendoodle getting a pup-cake for birthday

If you aren’t a baker, there are many places you can purchase pup-friendly snacks and cakes. Check out some delicious treats from PetCakes!


When serving your treats give each guest their own plate or bowl to avoid any arguments over resources. And don’t forget to hydrate! Make sure that there are enough water bowls with fresh water for all of the pups.

Dress up with your pet

Choose a theme for your party that both you and your pet can participate in. If your pet likes to dress up, coordinate your outfits for a Hawaiian themed party with leis or an Cinco de Mayo party with sombreros. If your dog or cat isn’t interested in wearing anything, try to find a themed toy for them to enjoy (and for you to photograph them with!).

Invite their friends

If your dog (or even cat) has particular friends, send out invitations to include them in your pup’s party for some fun and romps. Be sure that you have chosen your venue with care though. Fenced in yards or rented doggy daycare facilities where your pup and their friends can safely celebrate with enthusiasm are best for larger groups.

Make sure any pets that you’ve invited are “pre-approved.” This is not the time to introduce a new dog to the crew, so only invite those who know each other and are comfortable together. Pet parents should be on hand to supervise during the paw-ty and to give any pup who may be feeling overwhelmed or anxious some quiet time out of the mix.

Inviting your pet’s friends can be great fun, but make sure you have safe activities planned. Consider putting out a kiddie pool or having a basket full of balls or frisbees (just make sure there’s enough to go around so no one gets jealous!). You could even plan an obstacle course or relay games for pets and their owners!

Spend time with your pet

You love your pet and they love you. Why not celebrate the holiday, whatever it may be, with some special one-on-one time with your pup or kitty? Take some time out of the holiday to do something you enjoy together, whether it’s playtime, a meandering stroll, or just a nice snuggle on the couch.

Donate in their honor

Give other pets the chance for the love and care your pet found with you. Consider donating to a shelter or rescue to help them feed and house pets who are waiting for their fur-ever homes. Share your donation and your pet’s celebration on social media to help spread the word and raise more funds for pets in need.

Cat Parties

For those of us who are cat owners, we know that the idea of a large group of people/animals can be quite scary. Instead of overwhelming your cat, try these party ideas:

  • Plan a small guest list, limiting the invitees to family and friends your cat knows well. Likely your cat would appreciate them leaving their own pets at home unless they are already good friends.
  • Choose a quiet and cozy venue. Pick a room in your home where you cat feels comfortable and make sure you create some safe places where the cat can retreat if he or she needs to take a break.
  • Make the games cat friendly. Consider having your guests play with a laser or some new toys with your cat. Keep everything laid back, but don’t forget the catnip!

Now that you have these tips, go ahead and celebrate your pup’s Bark Mitzvah or your kitty’s Howl-o-ween in style!