Follow these dog safety tips to keep your pet safe during the hotter summer months: Hot weather = hot dog. Limit your dog's time outdoors when it's extremely hot or humid. When your dog is outside, make sure he has access to shade and shelter and access to fresh water. Hot pavement can harm your dog's paw pads, so limit walks to early morning and dusk.

Dogs can get sunburned. Apply a dog sunscreen to your dog's ears, nose and anywhere else they have bare skin or thin fur. Dog-safe sunscreen is specifically made for your furry family member.

Keep your dog hydrated. Have fresh water available at all times. You may not see your pet drinking water very often, but that's all the more reason why it should be readily available when they do decide it's time to stop for a drink.

Don't leave your dog in the car. Even a few minutes to run an errand can be extremely stressful for a dog left in the car. On an 85 degree day, the temperature inside your car can jump to 102 degrees in just 10 minutes. On hotter days, temperatures can skyrocket to over 150 degrees. Never leave your dog unattended in the car, even with the windows down.

Watch your dog around water. Supervise your dog when you're at the pool, the beach or the lake. Your dog may try to drink the water he's swimming in, so have fresh drinking water available to help discourage the habit. Pool water can be especially dangerous to drink because of the chlorine. A dog life jacket should be worn in case your dog develops a cramp. Once swim time is over, rinse and dry your pet's coat to remove dirt, bacteria and chlorine, as all can cause irritation.

Making a dog-proof backyard. First, make sure your backyard is free of pests and hazardous plants. Secure loose garden tools and check that fences do not have any openings and that gates are secure. Avoid using chemical lawn treatments. Additional hazards to avoid:

  • Animal toxins – toads, insects, spiders, snakes, scorpions or other pests
  • Blue-green algae in ponds
  • Citronella candles
  • Cocoa mulch
  • Compost piles
  • Fertilizers
  • Swimming pool treatment supplies
  • Insecticides containing methomyl
  • Slug and snail baits containing metaldehyde

Keep ID tags current. Dogs spend more time outdoors during summer months than any other time of the year. This can lead to an increase in lost pets, especially on the Fourth of July, when more pets are lost than any other day of the year. If your pet is sensitive to loud noises, keep them inside. Keep your dog's ID tags up to date. Finally, while it may be tempting to let your dog off leash, don't. It's sometimes hard to determine how your dog will respond to distractions. If your pet is outside of a secured, or gated, area, it's best to keep the leash on, and in many places, it's also the law.

Dog first aid kits. Accidents can and do happen. We recommend having a pet first aid kit in your car in the event of any emergency, as well as the number to your veterinarian.

Keep your dog protected at all times. Create a dog first aid kit for your car.