Summer is finally making its way to New England, leaving us to enjoy warm weather, plants in abundant bloom, and lots of blue skies and sunshine. The road from a harsh, cold winter to the heat of summer can be a long one, and there’s often a lot of adjustments, not only for us humans, but for our pets as well.

With the change of season, our animals need a change in care. In the winter we need to look out for things like ice and vulnerability to the cold, but in the summer comes a new list. Here are some things to keep an eye on during the summer months.

1. Watch Your Windows

Opening your windows to let the fresh air and light inside is a necessity, but so is ensuring they’re properly screened.. Animals often get curious and jump up on sills to look outside. Delivery men, children playing outside, traffic, and a whole host of other distractions catch their attention. In winter this causes no issues as windows are mostly shut and locked, but in summer it’s a different story. Open, unscreened windows can present a hazard. Make sure all your windows not only have screens but that those screens are properly secured.

Watch your car’s windows too! Though it may be tempting to have them open with your pet hanging out (tongues wagging), this can be very dangerous.

2. Guard your Garden

Many people enjoy planting in their yard or growing a garden, which may include using pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides. If improperly used or stored, these chemicals can do serious harm to your animals. Keep an eye out as well for particular kinds of plant varieties – if some are ingested by your pet, the result could be fatal.

3. Beware Those Cleaners

Many cleaning products while highly effective in cleaning your homes, have ingredients that can be harmful, if not deadly, to your pets. If this is the case, you may consider making other choices in regard to your products. Otherwise, make sure to use them correctly and keep them away from areas your pets frequent.

4. Keep the Bugs Off

Unfortunately along with the warm weather and sunshine, summer also comes with insects. Your pets will likely be outside more and when they are, fleas, heart-worm, and ticks will try to attach themselves. Make sure to protect your pets by treating them regularly. Put a note on your calendar so you won’t forget! .Also do your best to keep them away from bees, but if they do get stung, make sure to bring them to the vet right away to be treated for allergic reactions.

5. Treat Those Allergies

Just like us, our animals can experience allergies to various plants and flowers with summer blooms. Also like us, their symptoms may include persistent sneezing, sniffling, and itching. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your pet to the vet.

6. Make Play Safe

As it gets warmer, your animals are going to want to spend more time outside, whether in the yard, the park, or at a relative’s or neighbor’s house. This makes chances of your pets wandering off in the summer months far higher. To help keep your pet safe and to increase the chances of finding them, make sure they are wearing a tag with your contact information or alternatively, get them micro-chipped.

7. Keep Cars Cool

When traveling with your pets in the car, make sure to keep the vehicle at a cool temperature. Do not leave your pets in the car without you for a long period of time, (and if it’s very warm, not at all) and if they are left alone, make sure to keep the air on and windows open so they don’t overheat and can breathe easily.