Spending Memorial Day Safely with your Pets

Here in southeast Michigan pet owners are finally starting to see the sun! We’ve seen folks out walking their pets at dusk past 9 PM and it feels GREAT! All of the heavy rains have made all of the plants and trees happy and after a long winter our team here at Wags to Wiskers Pet Supplies is welcoming summer with open arms.

As the unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day is a great excuse to get outdoors and celebrate with your family and friends—including your four-legged furry companions. Whether you’re attending a party, barbecuing or just soaking up some rays, it’s important to keep your pet’s safety in mind. Our team here at Wags has put together some tips to make sure everybody stays safe, healthy, and happy while spending Memorial Day weekend with your pets.

Party Safely

One of the most popular Memorial Day activities is barbecuing, and who can blame you? So long as the weather cooperates, it’s a fun time to be had by all.

Check your grills before turning them on!

Check your grills before turning them on!

It’s worth remembering the potential hazards and dangers for pets that a barbecue can bring with them. Some important things to make certain of:

  • Remind your guests not to hand out table scraps or snacks. Even if your furry family eats like a human from time to time, you should be the one monitoring and limiting that intake. If every guest knows they can feed your dog food, they are going to end up eating way too much!

  • Keep alcohol away from your pets.

  • Be wary of dishes that contain raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate, and avocados - those are all especially toxic to animals.

  • We know that grills and tiki torches are hot, but your pets might not. Best to steer them away from these areas and make sure you check grills before you turn them on! They may not only be a resting place for your cat but could be a home to other small mammals and rodents.

Pool Safety

If you’re keeping cool by the pool, make sure you keep a cool head and never leave your pets unsupervised around a pool or lake. Whether your dog is a swimmer or not, you should never give them access without your supervision. If you’re boating, a doggie flotation device is a must! If you’re in need of one of these products, please speak with an associate at your local Wags to Wiskers Pet Supplies stores in Ann Arbor (2425 W. Stadium Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI, 48103) or Chelsea (1192 S. Main St, Chelsea) and we’d be happy to help you out!

A final note - don’t let your dog drink pool water! In addition to the chlorine content, many pools can cause further chemical damage to the mouth, throat, and intestinal tract, not to mention the possible other bodily fluids that humans may have provided! Bottom line: keep an eye on your pets around the pool.

A big no-no for cats and dogs!

A big no-no for cats and dogs!

Stay Away from Spray

Unless specifically designed for animals, insect repellent and sunscreen can be toxic to pets. Signs of repellent toxicity include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. DEET, a common insecticide in products for humans, may also cause neurological issues in dogs.

Shady Stays

While you’re drinking soda, punch, beer, or water, keep in mind that while you’re hydrated, clothed, and refreshed, your pets are getting dehydrated quickly due to less hydration options and an abundance of fur on their backs. Many of our staff here at Wags to Wiskers Pet Supplies have noticed that shedding season has already begun for our canines as they adapt to warmer weather.

If you’re spending Memorial Day with your pets outside, ensure that they have plenty of fresh, clean water and make sure that they have a shady place to get out of the sun. You’ll also want to note that animals with flat faces—like Pugs and Persian cats—are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with those who are elderly, overweight or have heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.  


IDs, Please!

Time spent outdoors comes with the added risk of curious pets escaping. Make sure that your pet is fitted with a microchip or ID tag with identifying information, or (preferably) both. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, including 53 animal shelters across the U.S., confirmed that only about 22 percent of lost dogs that entered animal shelters were reunited with their families. However, the return-to-owner rate for microchipped dogs was over 52 percent (a 238 percent increase)!

Shop Humanely

If you can, eat farm-friendly foods while you’re barbecuing. We understand it can be hard to shop like this, especially in bulk, but it’s always good to be conscious and aware of the terrors of the food industry.

dog panting in sun wags to wiskers pet supplies

It’s Gonna Be Warm

If you will be traveling this Memorial Day weekend with your pets, keep an eye on them! Don’t ever leave your pet in your car unattended, and keep a close eye on any personal items stashed in your car that your pet might ingest (e.g., gum or medications).

Temperatures are looking to be in the 70s, so even cracking the windows is a bad idea!

As we celebrate this holiday, we also want to stop and reflect on the men and women who have sacrificed for our country. This Memorial Day, we honor them. Have a happy, safe and healthy holiday with your loved ones and your furry companions, from our family here at Wags to Wiskers Pet supplies to yours! We hope you spend Memorial Day safely with your pets!