Keep your hot dog cool

Nine summer pet safety tips

Dogs are cherished members of many families. Be sure to take precautions to keep them safe during the hot summer months.

Never leave an animal in the car. Temperatures in a closed car can exceed 100 degrees in minutes, posing a serious threat to a dog trapped inside.

Keep a water dish near and full. If your dog is outside, a water dish needs to be easily accessible to him or her. Check the dish regularly to make sure it is full.

Protect pets from the sun. Animals can become sunburned and get skin cancer from sun exposure just like humans. If your pooch has thin hair or exposed skin, a veterinarian may recommend sunscreen. Keep him or her in the shade whenever possible to avoid sunburn and to provide a cool resting spot.

Avoid hot surfaces. If a surface is hot enough that you need to wear shoes, it is too hot for your dog to walk on it. Hot surfaces can burn paws just like they burn feet.

Minimize physical activity during the hottest hours of the day. Humans can adjust clothing to the weather, but animals cannot. Keep physical activity to the early morning or evening hours when temperatures are lower.

Supervise water activity. Water is a great way to cool off, but even dogs can become exhausted and drown. If you own a pool, make sure your dog knows how to get out of it.

Avoid fertilizer, anti-freeze, and toxic plants. Warmer weather typically means more time outdoors and increased exposure to chemicals. It also means dogs have more contact with poisonous plants.

Cover windows. An open window poses a falling hazard for any pet who may try to escape. Keep screens or barriers on your windows to prevent falls.

ID your pet. In the event your dog runs away, it is important that he can be identified. Tags and implanted ID chips are two ways to help others contact you when your dog is found.

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