9 Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe and Cool This Summer

Written by: Phil Monahan

Charlie Girl certainly knows how to beat the heat.
Photo by Kathy, Lakewood Ranch

I received a phone call today from a co-worker who was a little freaked out. She had discovered a puppy locked in a truck in the bright sun, and the little dog seemed to be in distress. She managed to find the owner, the dog was released from the hot cabin, and everything turned okay. But Rebecca was still angry. “How could anyone not know how dangerous that is for dogs?” she said.

It’s important to remember that those things that seem obvious to us might not cross the minds of new dog owners or those who haven’t been taught well. Education is the key to ensuring that fewer and fewer such incidents happen.

Care2.com has a fine article on ways that you can ensure not only that your dog doesn’t overheat, but that he or she is protected from hot surfaces, poisonous plants, and other summertime dangers.

1. Liquid Assets. Prevent dangerous dehydration by keeping fresh water accessible for your pets at home and when you go out. Add some ice cubes if it’s super-steamy.

2. Car Sick. Never leave animals alone in your car, even for a quick errand. In hot weather the temperature inside a closed vehicle can rise to 120 degrees within minutes. Opening a window might seem smart, but it can prove risky as well. Remember, dogs can be amazing escape artists. We also advise against tying your pooch to a pole outside while you run into Starbucks for a Frappuccino. He can easily and quickly be swiped. If pets aren’t allowed where you’re going, it’s better to leave them at home.

3. Time Out. If you let your dog roam unsupervised in a fenced yard, keep track of time. Make sure she’s out alone for only a short time, preferably in the early morning or evening. If you don’t have shady trees, prop up a beach umbrella so there’s a cooling-off spot for Fido. Also, place a bowl of water outside.

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