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Tips for keeping your dog safe in the summer heat

A golden retriever keeps his eyes protected in

A golden retriever keeps his eyes protected in the summer sun. Credit:

As the temperature rises, everyone seems to get a little uncomfortable. Dogs especially have trouble with the heat, because they are unable to release heat by sweating as humans do. Fourtunately, there are many things you can do as a owner to avoid letting the heat take a toll on your pup's health. Here is a list of tips on how to keep your dog safe this spring/summer, courtesy of The American Kennel Club.  


-If your dog is outside on a hot day, make sure he has a shady spot to rest in. Doghouses are not good shelter during the summer as they can trap heat. You may want to fill a child's wading pool with fresh water for your dog to cool off in.

-Never leave your dog in a closed vehicle on a hot day. The temperature inside a car can rise to over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes.

-Always provide plenty of cool, fresh water.

-Avoid strenuous exercise on extremely hot days. Take walks in the early mornings or evenings, when the sun's heat is less intense.

-Try to avoid prolonged exposure to hot asphalt or sand, which can burn your dog's paws.

-Dogs that are brachycephalic (short-faced), such as Bulldogs, Boxers, Japanese Chins, and Pekingese, have an especially hard time in the heat because they do not pant as efficiently as longer-faced dogs. Keep your brachycephalic dog inside with air-conditioning.


-Dogs, especially those with short hair, white fur, and pink skin, can sunburn. Limit your dog's exposure during the day and apply sunblock to his ears and nose 30 minutes before going outside.

-Check with a lifeguard for daily water conditions. Dogs are easy targets for sea lice and jellyfish.

-Do not let your dog drink seawater; the salt will make him sick.

-Most dogs enjoy swimming, but some cannot swim, and others may hate the water. Be conscious of your dog's preferences and skills before trying to make him swim.

-Never throw your dog into the water.

-If swimming at the ocean, be careful of strong tides.

-If you have your own pool, make sure your dog knows where the stairs or ladder are located. Be sure that pool covers are firmly in place; dogs have been known to slip in under openings in the covers and drown.

-Never leave your dog unattended in water.

For more summer dog tips, visit the AKC at

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