Dog Days of Summer

Dog Days
Photo credit KLUC

Whether you're a Pet Parent, Doggo's Best Friend, or simply helping out while the neighbors are away, here's a list of great tips to keep in mind while making the most of your summer with your favorite four-legged friend(s)!

1. WATER AND SHADE ARE DOGGO'S BEST FRIEND! Getting out and staying active this summer? Trips to the park and other spots around town are fun for Spot too. Just be sure to give your pup plenty of water and shade!

2. KIDDIE POOL TO KEEP EM COOL. Most dogs enjoy splashing and/or lounging in the water and yours might too! Stop by your local grocery or hardware store to pickup an inexpensive kiddie pool that you can fill from the hose! Plastic please, your pups nails can pop an inflatable!

3. SHORTER FACES, SHORTER EXPOSURE. Is your pup short faced like a Pug or other similar breeds? Remember they don't pant as well as other breeds which means less outdoor time in rising temps.

4. FEELIN THE BURN. All dogs are susceptible to sunburn and those with lighter and shorter fur colors are especially at risk. Human sunscreen can be toxic for your best friend, check with your favorite pet retailer for dog friendly options!

5. BUGGIN OUT. Your pup can have similar or worse reactions than you do with a summer full of mosquitos, ticks and more. Be sure to do skin checks regularly and explore additional options for pre-treatment at your favorite pet retailer.

6. NO SWEAT. Remember your dog will pant as a way to cool down. See Spot working especially hard? Give 'em a break and get to a cooler environment.

7. HAVE WATER, WILL TRAVEL. Summer means water but whether you're poolside, lakeside or oceanside, Spot shouldn't drink in the wild! Bacteria, bugs and other harmful toxins could be present. Instead, bring fresh water for Spot just like you'd do for you!

8. BUMP IN THE NIGHT. Hosting a loud BBQ or planning on a big fireworks display? Keep your pet inside as most pups do not handle fireworks and other loud sporadic noise. If your bestie is super high stress, you might even reach out to your local veterinary office about available options for anxiety medication.

9. HEAT STROKE IS NO JOKE. Always keep an eye on Spot for the early signs of possible heat stroke including equilibrium issues, heavy drooling, bright red gums and heavy panting. Advanced stages may also include signs like vomit and/or white gums.

10. DOG IS MY CO-PILOT. Hitting the road with Spot? You should never leave your pup unattended in a vehicle, especially when temperatures are 80 degrees or more. Not even for a little bit. Even at 78 degrees on a sunny day, the inside of a car can reach as high as 110 degrees in less than 30 minutes.

11. HANDS FIRST. If the back of your hand can't stand the heat on the asphalt, it's too hot for a walk. Even seconds on a sunny asphalt can lead to blistering on Spot's paws or worse. Limited for grass and other options? Explore booties and other paw protection sold at your favorite pet retailer.

12. ON THE MENU, OFF THE TABLE. Whether hosting or hanging at a summer party or BBQ, remember that many foods including grapes, onion, avocado and chocolate are toxic for dogs. Best to leave Spot at home or make sure he can't get into human food options including alcoholic beverages.