Summer is here and the rising heat can have an effect on your dog’s comfort and health. Short stints in the sun are recommended so that your dog gets the vitamin D that is needed, but longer stays require some considerations. Here are our top 5…

It is extremely important to keep your dog fully hydrated, specially during the summer months, as dogs lose water when they’re active and exposed to heat. Always keep a traveling bowl and bottled water with you.

The pads on your dog’s paws can get burned by the hot pavement on the sidewalk or street, as well as the sand on the beach. You can do a hand check to asses if the pavement is too hot, if you can hold it comfortably for 10 seconds then it should be ok. It is best to walk your dog in the early morning or late evening when the pavement is not as hot. If you must walk during the day, try to stay on grassy areas.

Just like humans, dogs can get a heatstroke too. Never leave your dog unattended in a car during the summer months. Do not let your dog play for prolonged periods of time with very humid conditions or weather above 90. Early signs of heatstroke include heavy panting, excessive drooling, bright red gums, wobbling or fainting.

Many dogs shed thicker winter coats in spring for a lighter, cooler coat in summer. You can help this process by brushing or combing your dog to remove the loose hair. CAUTION…Double coated breeds such as Husky, Malamute, Shepherds, etc actually get relief from the heat so shaving them will make the heat worse.

If your dog will be outside for a long period of time, make sure there are shaded areas to rest with plenty of fresh water. Some dogs also require sunscreen, especially if your dog is light-colored, has very short hair, or a thin coat. Even dogs with thick coats may require protection on the tips of their ears, their noses, their belly areas, and anywhere else that might be exposed. You should only use sunscreen made for dogs. Some human sunscreens may contain chemicals that may be harmful to your dog.

Have fun! Be safe! Happy Summer!