The ASPCA hopes you enjoy the last days of summer and reminds you to make sure your four-legged friends enjoy a safe holiday, too.

Labor Day weekend marks summer’s unofficial end, and many families are heading out-with their companion animals-for end-of-season getaways. The ASPCA hopes you enjoy the last days of summer and reminds you to make sure your four-legged friends enjoy a safe holiday, too. By following these simple safety tips, you can rest assured your pet will remain happy and healthy during his last summer blast!

Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.

Always assign a dog guardian. No matter where you’re celebrating, be sure to assign a friend or member of the family to keep an eye on your pooch-especially if you’re not in a fenced-in yard or other secure area. With all the festivities, it’s easy to overlook a dog on the run!

Made in the shade. Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water, and make sure they have a shady place to escape the sun. Be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.

Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of paws’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing-or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested, can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.

Keep your pet on his normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pet severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals who have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. And keep in mind that people foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, salt, yeast dough, grapes and raisins can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.

Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingesting any of these items can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression in your pets, and if inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia.

Never leave your dog alone in the car. Traveling with your dog means occasionally you’ll make stops in places where he’s not permitted. Be sure to rotate dog walking duties between family members, and never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time, even with the windows open-not to mention it’s illegal in several states!

Make a safe splash. Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a pool-not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.

This article is courtesy of ASPCA