Safety During the Dog Days

When outdoor summer fun is on the agenda, pet parents need guidance from retailers on the safety precautions that could potentially save the life of their beloved dog.


Though many pet parents are purchasing natural and higher-quality products to keep their pets healthy, ensuring the health of dogs during the hottest days of the year requires additional steps. Recognizing this need, dog-product manufacturers are releasing a variety of innovative products that promote safe, outdoor summer fun.

Fret-Free Floatation
Despite the misconception that all dogs can swim, many are unable to hold their own weight in water. With this in mind, EzyDog ( has created canine DFDs (Doggy Floatation Devices) that promote safe outdoor water experiences shared by pet parents and their dogs.

When designing the company’s DFDs, EzyDog president John Hatcher, didn’t simply want to release a product that claimed it could safely help dogs float, he wanted to be the company that offered an item that works. “The main point of difference [of] our life vest…is not only in the overall design, but especially with the amount of floatation material used in the vest. This was one area where we refused to compromise for price. You may pay a little more for our vest, but regardless of size, we guarantee that if it fits, it floats.”

But simply keeping a dog afloat was still not sufficient for Hatcher. Only after the vest achieved high floatation ratings during trials was he satisfied that it was ready for release. 

EzyDog’s canine life vest line is not just for big dogs. This is key, because small dogs can be susceptible to the dangers of an ill-fitting vest. The Micro Doggy Floatation Device provides a safer option for these smaller dogs. “When it came to dogs under 20 pounds, we found that just scaling our standard DFD was still too bulky for the little ones,” says Hatcher. “We went back to the drawing board with what we had learned and designed a better fitting vest for those up to 20 pounds.”

Though EzyDog’s canine DFD was not intended as a therapeutic aid, the company has received feedback from grateful customers whose dogs’ health issues—such as injuries necessitating physical therapy in the pool, or an infected ear that could not be submerged—require the use of a life vest when swimming.  

On the Road & Into the Woods
Dogs often want to be in the driver’s seat—with the person who is driving. Trying to keep them in the backseat or preventing them from climbing onto a driver’s lap is distracting, dangerous and can cause a serious accident. Brothers Kitter and Gordie Spater sought to help pet owners ensure that their car-loving dogs remain backseat drivers and not unsafe distractions with the creation of Kurgo (

Kurgo manufactures an array of products that speak to pet owners who want their dogs to accompany them on adventures. Kurgo has manufactured harnesses to fit all dog sizes and crash-tested these products to ensure their efficacy. “[The Tru-Fit Enhanced Strength Harness 3085 Series] has reinforced bar tacking at critical points to ensure it is strong enough for medium to larger dogs. It has been crash tested for dogs up to 85 pounds,” says president Gordie Spater.

Inspired by rock climbing, arborist and linesmen designs, the Tru-Fit Enhanced Strength Harness includes a Nesting Buckle System that is built to withstand great adventures or a collision. Kurgo’s confidence in its products is so strong that the company offers a lifetime guarantee to repair or replace items that become damaged due to manufacturer defects.

Noticeable Nightlights
One of the most popular summertime activities for pet parents to enjoy with their dogs is an evening walk on a warm night. Unfortunately, nighttime conditions are not ideal for remaining visible to drivers on the road. Envision (, a long-trusted provider of safety products for humans, addressed this concern with the launch of PetNV—a line of reflective leashes and collars. According to Mike Montana, senior vice president of strategic business development, “Envision’s expansion into the pet-product category is part of a strategy we have been implementing for the past year or so. We already had experience working in the reflective apparel area [for the United States military], and dogs and cats are such an important part of all of our lives…It was an easy decision to bring to market a line of products that could leverage our expertise and benefit our four-legged friends.”

Though the company is new to the pet-goods industry, PetNV recognizes that quality is king when targeting pet parents. While drivers are responsible for being aware of pedestrians, pet parents are accountable for ensuring that their dogs remain noticeable during nighttime walks and when weather conditions and visibility are poor. The PetNV reflective line makes pets visible from 446 feet. 

Using resilient materials, including leash clasps that withstand up to 600 pounds of force, and collar clasps, which remain secure to 340 pounds, the company has entered the pet category with a trusted brand and quality product. “PetNV products are made of durable vinyl infused with prismatic technology—the waterproof products are made of heavy-duty construction, which continues to reflect when wet,” says Montana.

As pet parents of active dogs are aware, frequent outdoor excursions can weaken products, especially those subjected to extreme use in summer weather conditions. “PetNV’s reflective vinyl is also abrasion-resistant, so the integrity of the reflective material is not compromised when it is rubbed up against rough surfaces,” says Montana.

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