School is out, the weather is finally nice and it is time to be outside with your pets! Below are five tips to help beat the summer heat and keep your family friend happy and healthy.


Never leave your pet in the car during the summer. Summer is the season to travel and most people love to bring their pets with them on their latest adventure. It is important to remember that a pet spending less than 10 minutes inside a car can cause heat stroke and even death. This can be a critical situation, so plan ahead and leave them home. It is actually illegal in multiple states to for a pet to be left unattended in a vehicle. This is for the safety of your furry friend!


Provide plenty of water and shade during these hot summer months. Dogs temperatures run higher than humans, so they can easily overheat during the summer. It is important to always provide clean, fresh water during times of exercise and activity. Carry containers of water and fold-able bowls on every outdoor adventure. Also, make sure to take more frequent breaks during times of play, especially during mid-day. Some dogs may overdue their activity if they are obsessed with balls or sticks so make sure to limit their play during hot days. Pets can get dehydrated very quickly which can lead to shock. Signs of shock can be: lethargy, excessive drooling, vomiting, tacky gums and or diarrhea. If you are noticing these signs, bring them into the shade, place cool damp towels on them and bring them to the vet ASAP.


Be aware of the time of day when you are walking your pet outside. Especially on very hot days, being outside during the mid-day hours can be too hot for your pet. Walk them in the early morning or cool evening time. If you are walking them on any pavement or sidewalk, make sure their feet are protected from the hotness of the tar. This can actually injure the bottoms of their paw pads. If you are looking to cool your pet down, use water or a damp towel on their bellies and bottom of their feet.


Swimming with your pet can be fun! Consider using a life vest to help your pet while swimming. Unlike us, they can’t hold onto objects to save energy. They are constantly swimming to stay afloat in the water, so they can tire easily. A life vest is an easy tool to help them conserve energy and be safer. We want them to stay cool and have fun in the water, this is just an additional tool to help them stay safe!


You may want to think about using topical sunscreen on your pets that have short fur or light coats. Especially areas on their bodies that have less fur; those are more exposed to the sun. The sun can affect them just like it can us. Especially if you are going to be in direct sunlight most of the day, applying sunscreen is a good idea! It’s highly important that you only use types of sunscreen that are specifically intended for use on dogs. They should not contain zinc oxide or para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA). These can be toxic to dogs if they ingest it from licking their skin. This is another way to keep your pet safe and healthy this summer!