How to Keep Your Puppy Safe This Memorial Day

memorial day weekend with puppy puppy safety tips

Though it’s not officially summer yet, we all know that Memorial Day kicks off summertime! This special holiday commemorates our fallen heroes who served and protected our country.  While we celebrate those who gave their lives to preserve freedom in the US and fight abroad, our festivities will include fun in the sun, outdoor barbecues, […]

Though it’s not officially summer yet, we all know that Memorial Day kicks off summertime! This special holiday commemorates our fallen heroes who served and protected our country. 

While we celebrate those who gave their lives to preserve freedom in the US and fight abroad, our festivities will include fun in the sun, outdoor barbecues, and spending quality time with friends and family. 

Like any summertime outdoor party, the following dangers to puppies may be present this Memorial Day:

  • Human foods that are poisonous to puppies
  • Pools and other drowning hazards
  • Bug repellent and other chemicals that are toxic to puppies
  • Heat exhaustion and dehydration dangers
  • “Losing” your puppy

For those of you with a puppy, there are several measures you can take to keep your puppy safe this Memorial Day. Read on for Petland Texas’ puppy safety tips!

Memorial Day hotdogs on a red and blue plate look delicious in front of an American flag as a fun dog party idea for this celebrated American holiday.


There are several human foods that happen to be poisonous to dogs, especially puppies. Memorial Day outdoor parties, picnics, and barbecues are notorious for having “help yourself,” buffet-style tables where party guests can snack freely. 

If your puppy is off leash and enjoying the guests, you’ll have to do two things to make sure your fur baby doesn’t eat something that will make him sick. Keep an eye on him, and ask the other guests not to feed your puppy table scraps. 

Of course, we recommend that you do not let your puppy off leash or out of your arms unless he’s gotten a few basic commands under his fur belt, like “drop it,” “no,” and “come,” along with knowing and responding to his own name when you call it. 

With these precautions, you can prevent your puppy from ingesting an ingredient that may be harmful to him. These are the poisonous, toxic, and otherwise harmful foods that dogs and puppies should not eat:

  • Raisins
  • Grapes
  • Onions
  • Chocolate
  • Avocado 
  • Alcoholic beverages


To doggy paddle, or not to doggy paddle? That may be the first question that enters your mind when you discover that there is a pool at the Memorial Day party you just brought your puppy to. Let’s alleviate the suspense for you and answer the question of, should you let your puppy swim in a pool? Definitely not. 

Even if you want to jump in the water for a quick dip, it’s not a good idea that you let your puppy come along. Water poses one of the biggest dangers to puppies. In fact, some dog breeds simply cannot swim, or learn to swim, no matter how mature and well-trained they are! Flat-faced breeds like Pugs have a very high risk of drowning, for example. 

In order to keep your puppy safe at a party with a pool that has a secure gate, we recommend that you simply do not allow your puppy off leash within the gated pool area. If there isn’t a gate around the pool, then you should really keep your puppy on a leash. If your puppy knows basic commands, however, and you trust him to curb his enthusiasm for water and do what you tell him to without disregarding you, then you might let him off leash, but you shouldn’t take your eyes off him. 

Also, be aware that pool water can make your puppy sick if he drinks it. Pool water is full of chemicals that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other serious illnesses in dogs. 

An adorable dog takes a nap, using the American flag as a blanket.


Prior to reading this article, you were probably aware that there are several human foods that are poisonous to dogs and puppies. But did you know that common bug spray and sunscreen is also toxic to dogs? Unfortunately, this is true and many people don’t know about this hazard. 

The danger occurs when a puppy licks the hands, arms, and other parts of someone that have been sprayed with bug spray or covered in sunscreen. Even if a person applied sunscreen to their hands and arms an hour prior, if a puppy licks them, the puppy could get sick from the toxic ingredients. 

So, how can you keep your puppy safe? Curb your puppy’s enthusiasm from licking others. Let the other Memorial Day party guests know not to let your puppy lick them if they’re wearing bug spray and / or sunblock. And in general, keep an eye on your puppy. If your puppy accidentally ingests one of these toxic substances, symptoms could include vomiting, diarrhea, and extreme thirst. Allow your puppy to drink as much water as he needs to. If your puppy doesn’t seem to recover within a half-hour, then you may want to take him to the vet. 


Heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and dehydration are common among puppies during the hot, sweltering summer months. Depending on where your Memorial Day party is located, you might have a very hot afternoon on your hands. Standing in direct sunlight versus the shade can make a big difference when it comes to heat exhaustion and dehydration. 

By keeping your puppy in the cool shade, you can mitigate the risk that he will overheat. Always provide your puppy with fresh water, too, so that he can drink freely. 

If you’re going to a Memorial Day party at a park or other outdoor location and you aren’t certain whether or not there will be natural shade there from trees, buildings, or other structures that block the sun, we recommend that you bring a tent, beach umbrella, or another device to create shade for your puppy.

A 1950's era pin up girl lays across an American flag looking like a cherry Sundae with her Maltipoo puppy.


The last Memorial Day hazard we would like to address is what could occur if your puppy runs off and you don’t know where he is. This is a real and present danger, and it can happen at any time when you take your puppy out of the home. Keeping a vigilant eye on your fur baby can prevent him from running off, but you still need a plan if he disappears despite your efforts. 

Here are the precautions you can take. Make sure that your puppy is microchipped and that you’ve completely registered the microchip with your current information, including home address and cell phone number. Many microchips are compatible with pet tracker software and apps. We recommend that you set up a pet tracker app on your smartphone with all of your puppy’s microchip information. This way, if your puppy goes missing, you can open the app, see the GPS location of your puppy, and find him ASAP. 

In addition to this, your puppy should also have his ID tags on him at all times. No matter how young your puppy is, he needs to be wearing his ID collar. The ID should have his name, your cell phone number, and your home address, plus any other necessary information that will fit on the tag. 

That concludes Petand Texas’ 5 safety tips for your puppy this Memorial Day. We hope you have a fun, safe, and memorable holiday!