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Pet Safety Tips for Dogs (1)

In Surfside, we love our four-legged furry friends.  This is why the Town has compiled the following pet safety tips to ensure your pets lead a happy and healthy life.


Whether you have a puppy or bring home a new, yet older best friend, vaccinations are important to help protect your pet from various diseases. For dogs, the core vaccines administered are to treat distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and rabies.

Heartworm Prevention

Heartworm disease is common in regions of high heat and humidity, like South Florida.  The parasite is transmitted through mosquitoes and can be very harmful or even lethal to infected dogs, if left untreated.  The good news is that prevention exists. The Town of Surfside recommends taking fido to the vet for a heartworm test. If tested negative, heartworm prevention pills can be administered monthly so you can have peace of mind.  A positive result will require treatment. 

It is also important to make sure you take measures to prevent mosquitoes from visiting your home.  For a list of mosquito protection and prevention tips, please visit: Mosquito Control and Protection

Leptospirosis Prevention 

Leptospirosis is a disease that can affect the kidneys and other tissues, and which can be transmitted through puddles or exposure with infected waste from wild animals, such as rats or raccoons.  Although Leptospirosis is more common in woodlands and wide open spaces, it has become more common in urban areas. Whether in your home or a public location, you should ensure that your dog does not drink from standing water, ingest feces, urine or any other outside substances. 

Common signs of Leptospirosis are lethargy, anorexia, and increased drinking and urination.   Making sure that your dog receives his or her vaccinations is also of utmost importance in protecting against such diseases.

Keep Them Active

Did you know Surfside has its very own dog park? The Paws Up Dog Park is located at 93rd Street and Byron Avenue, and is open daily to residents from 8:00 am to dusk. Keeping your dog active is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

The beach hard pack is also an excellent area to take your best friend for a walk.  Please note, however, the Town Code prohibits dogs from walking on the public beach, unless it is a service dog. All dogs must be leashed at all times, also as per Code.  For further Code information, please visit Town of Surfside Code.

Clean Up After Your Dog

Every dog loves to go on a good walk, but as a pet owner, it is important to clean up after your pet. Never leave their excrement laying around Surfside. No matter how healthy your pet may be, this can transmit diseases and bacterias to other pets, in addition to being a nuisance to your fellow neighbors.  

Keep Your Dog on a Leash

Not only is placing your dog on a leash while in public part of the Town Code, it is also an essential measure in keeping your dog safe. By keeping your dog on a leash, you can prevent your pooch from fighting with other dogs, getting bit by other animals, stop them from running away, and also prevent them from biting or ingesting harmful substances or bacteria.  

Beware of Toxic Toads

South Florida’s rainy and humid season brings out all sorts of critters including poisonous bufo toads - also known as cane toads. The invasive toads secrete a milky white, toxic substance called a bufotoxin. If a dog comes in contact with the chemical, the toxins could lead to serious health complications such as seizures, difficulty in breathing and collapse. Pet owners are advised to seek emergency veterinarian attention right away. 

Toads are most common during warmer and rainier seasons, but Floridians are asked to keep an extra eye out for them all-year long.  

Register Your Dog

The Surfside Police Department offers residents a free tag program for residents. The tag is designed to be attached to the dog collar and contains the Police Department’s phone number and a registration number.  When a lost dog is found, its owners can be quickly located through this registration information, which is archived at the Police Department. To register your dog, please contact Dina Goldstein at 305.861.4862 or

Additionally, the Surfside Police Department has a scanning device, courtesy of the Veterinary Wellness Center of Surfside, that can read the information on dog microchips. To microchip your pet, please contact your veterinary office. 

Schedule Frequent Check-Ups 

Much like humans, our fuzzy companions also need regular medical checkups.  Dog owners are recommended to find a local veterinary office and schedule annual check-ups to ensure prime health.

Miami-Dade Animal Services also offers low-cost medical options. For further information, please refer to: Miami-Dade Animal Services