Summer means picnics and for many pet parents their fur babies are part of the fun. If you go to a pet-friendly location for your picnic, there is no reason your dog can’t join in, right? Pet parents understand there are many picnic items that their dog can enjoy; there are others your beloved dog should be kept away from. If you plan to pack up your dog and bring them on your next picnic or backyard barbecue, do so safely.  You don’t want to take a trip to the emergency vet! Here are our top 7 summer picnic safety tips for pet parents!

Many of these safety tips are common sense and most pet parents know what they are. It never hurts to review them, though, and to let others who may not be familiar with pet picnic safety know.

7 Summer Picnic Safety Tips For Pet Parents

7 Summer Picnic Safety Tips For Pet Parents

No alcohol.

Many summer drinks are fruity-flavored. In fact, many summer beers have undertones of fruit in them, as well. Fruit isn’t harmful for your pets, but alcohol is. Keep drinks out of the reach of pets. Alcohol is harmful to your pet. Don’t put drinks on the ground where your dog can sneak a drink while you’re not paying attention.


Sun protection.

Just as humans can get sunburned, so too can our dogs. Light-haired and short-haired dogs are more prone to sunburn than long-haired dogs. Invest in dog-centric sunblocks and put it on your dog’s nose, ears and sensitive belly. Keep your dogs, and cats, out of direct sunlight. Sit with them in a shaded area. Sitting under a shade tree that has sunlight filtering through will give you and your pets the best of both worlds.


Don’t overexert.

Dogs love to romp and chase balls and flying disks. In fact, many dogs will literally run until they drop. If you have a dog who is one of the brachycephalic breeds: Pug, Bulldog, etc. (dogs with the “smushed” in faces) you need to be especially mindful of his breathing and of keeping him cool and not overexerted. Let your dogs play, but keep it brief. Let them rest and drink before they play again.


No picnic foods.

It is tempting to sneak your dog some “human food” like a piece of burger or a hot dog, but it’s best to refrain. You also want to tell your friends and family to not feed your dog from their plate. Bring your dog’s food to the picnic with you. Bring their favorite treat in case you have a friend who simply needs to give her a treat. Dogs do best when they stick to their usual diet. Changes in their diet can lead to stomach upset or illness.

7 Summer Picnic Safety Tips For Pet Parents

Keep them leashed.

Keep your dog in his harness. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with a tag and that your contact information on the tag is current. If you take your dog or cat on a lot of outings, you may want to get him microchipped for an added layer of safety

Fun, safe picnics with pets

Don’t forget to have a water bowl and plenty of fresh water for your dog. Bring a collapsible water bowl or a dog water bottle if your picnic involves an after- or before-dinner hike or trail walk. Stop frequently to offer your dog a drink to keep her hydrated.

Know your pet

You may not want to leave your pet home alone because she has separation anxiety. If your pet will be stressed on the picnic or outing with you, hire a pet sitter to stay with your dog while you’re away for the day. If your pet is stressed, you won’t be able to enjoy the picnic and that will make your dog even more anxious. He may be happier lying home on the back of the couch awaiting your return!

Do you take your dog on outings? Where do you go? Tell us your top 7 summer picnic safety tips for pet parents.


Robbi Hess, Woman In The Pet Industry Solopreneur Finalist and award-winning author, is multi-petual. When not caring for her pets or taking them on walks, she is a speaker, efficiency and effectiveness guru, content creator, social media manager and blogger. She writes at All Words MatterMy Divas Dish, and is the story editor and chief cat herder at Positively Woof/Crimeless Cat.