How to Keep a Pet-Friendly Home This Summer

Warm summer months are finally upon us, and along with it are outdoor barbeques and lawn care, home renovations and lots of cleaning. However, summer months may also pose a threat to pets. Many of the chemicals found in cleaning products, lawn fertilizers and pesticides, BBQ necessities and renovating tools may be harmful to pets and cause summer fun to go down the drain. Here at Neighborly, we encourage families to keep a pet-friendly home so here’s some of our favorite tips and products to help you and your pup or kitty!

Outdoor BBQ

We all love to fire up the outdoor grill and invite friends and family over for delicious food and good times, but it’s important to be mindful of pets that are in the area.

Make sure to keep all BBQ tools 100 percent out of reach to any animals. It’s a good idea to keep hazardous items inside or in a pet-proof container while they’re not being used. You can buy trashcans with a lid for extra protection.

If your dog or cat seems to always find trouble, consider keeping him or her on a leash during the party or assign a willing participant puppy or kitty duty so Fido or Fluffy stays entertained.

Dogs are pros at eating leftovers or table scraps, but a few things to never let them have are: chicken bones, avocado, grapes, onions and of course, chocolate. Although tasty, these foods will give your pup a tummy ache or worse. Some safer options are grilled veggies, hot dogs and burgers (but it’s probably a good idea to not give them people food at all).

Lawn Care

During hot summer months backyards and lawns often fall victim to lack of care, and many homeowners take special care of theirs as to avoid this. However, this TLC might include products that are toxic to pets. But don’t worry; we’re sharing our knowledge of fertilizers and pesticides that are great for a pet-friendly yard.

Products that are believed to be the most effective usually include toxic ingredients—but trust us, you can have products that are both effective and non-toxic!

Here’s a list of organic, safe lawn fertilizers and weed killers that are great to use on your lawn to keep a pet-friendly yard all summer.


Summer time brings the family all together for a large part of the day, and that means more hands on deck to help with cleaning! It might not be your favorite part of the season, but it’s one of the most important times to watch what products you’re using.

Inside dogs might have easy access to harmful chemicals like bleach or formaldehyde and won’t know to leave them alone. A good way to prevent any accidents is to use cleaning products that are environmentally safe and pet-friendly.

For those of you that are more DIY cleaners, brands like Swiffer, Green Works, EcoCare and Mrs. Meyers’ all make products that won’t harm your furry friend. If you prefer to outsource summer cleaning tasks, our friends at Molly Maid provide Green Cleaning, pet-friendly services to take away your stress and keep your furry friends happy!

Home Redecorating

The bright summer sun may cause you to see that scarlet red living room paint in a different light, in which case it’s time to grab your overalls and paintbrushes and have some fun redecorating!

Unfortunately, most homeowners have made the mistake of not airing out the house while the paint dries, or not letting it dry long enough, which can cause paint fumes to linger or wet paint to stick everywhere.

When this happens, toxic fumes can harm pets. Or if they like to lick walls, (Yes, some animals do this!) unwanted chemicals might sneak into their bodies. Lucky for you, we have a good handle on paint types that are pet-friendly.

If you’re repainting on your own, or calling in the professionsals, ask for cans that say “zero VOC” to find paint that’s safe to use. Brands like Behr, Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams have excellent options.

For those of you who don’t have time or energy to repaint yourself, check out our go-to guys at Five Star Painting for professional, safe and beautiful new walls.

Keep these tips in mind during the summer, and if you find yourself in need of anything home service related, head to the Neighborly website to find a professional in your area.