The season of summer barbecues and celebrations has begun. For those of us living in Florida, we also have almost daily thunderstorms.

If you are boarding your pet with us, please let us know if s/he reacts badly to thunder or fireworks.

With more outdoor events and family travel plans, the risk of losing a pet rises in the summer, so it’s no coincidence that July is National Lost Pet Prevention month.

Here are some tips to ensure your pup is safe this summer and doesn’t become one of the many pets that go missing this time of year.

Create a Secure Location during Stressful Events

Many dogs get nervous when their house fills with guests or there are thundering noises outside. With the constant opening and closing of doors during events, your pup may try to escape. If he’s fearful enough, he may even try to go through screen doors or windows.

To prevent this from happening, create a secure location for Fido. If there’s a spot he likes to hide in during stressful times, give him access to that space and make it comfortable. Otherwise, create a safe space or room with his toys and bed for comfort. Try using baby gates to block a room, for example, so he can roam freely in the space, but can’t get out.

Offer Limited Comfort

Dogs are extremely sensitive to sound, so it’s not unusual for loud noises to frighten them. At those times, it’s OK to stay with your pup. But, believe it or not, a lot of cuddling, petting or treats can reinforce and reward his fearful behavior. Stay close by, but don’t react to the sounds that frighten him. His favorite toys, water and a comfortable spot to curl up in are all items that should be available.

Check or Update Pet ID

Make sure your pet is wearing his identification tag at all times. The tags should clearly indicate his name and your contact information. It’s a simple measure, but ID tags are the fastest way to recover your pooch if he’s lost. If he has a microchip, be sure to update his information at least once a year.

Stick to the Doggy Diet

What dog doesn’t love hot dogs or hamburgers off the barbecue? Giving him even a little could lead to an upset stomach. Ask your guests not to feed him or better yet, offer him a doggie treat instead. He may be an expert at begging, but succumbing to that cute face could make him miserable.

Poison Prevention

Things like bug spray, citronella, sunscreen and matches are all hazardous to dogs if ingested. Keep anything that could cause health problems out of your pup’s reach to ensure his curiosity doesn’t end up hurting him.

While you’re planning your summer fun, make sure your furry family members stay safe!