It’s summer in New England; this is a great time to maximize outdoor fun with your pooch!

1. Walk or exercise your dog early in the day:

Temperatures are coolest in the early morning hours. This is a great time of day to get outside with your dog before the heat makes exercise too dangerous for him.

2. Dogs get sunburn:

If your dog is out during peak sun hours of 10am – 2pm, consider using sunscreen on sensitive areas of his body (nose, lips, tips of ears, groin and belly). Broad spectrum sunscreen for children works great on your pooch.

3. Don’t overdo outdoor play time with your dog in the summer:

Many dogs are very eager when it comes to fetching a stick or a ball. Some are so enthusiastic they will literally run until they drop from exhaustion. This is of particular concern in hot weather. Dogs may fall from heat stroke before physical exhaustion would normally tell them it was time to rest.

4. Some dogs should be shaved, while others should not:

Talk to your groomer about what is the best hair cut for your pet this summer. Your professional groomer will make recommendations based on your individual dog’s hair coat, activity level, and age.

5. Keep your dog hydrated:

This is common sense but worth mentioning, always be sure to provide access to plenty of fresh water. This is of particular importance when temperatures heat up.

6. Dogs suffer from heat stroke too:

Dogs cool down by panting. In hot weather the heat can easily overpower their ability to adjust body temperature which can quickly result in overheating. Short faced dogs are more susceptible to heat stroke. The signs of heatstroke in dogs are:

• Heavy panting
• Excessive thirst
• Vomiting and bloody diarrhea
• Dark or bright red gums
• Increased pulse and heart rate
• Excessive drooling
• Difficulty breathing
• Falling down and stumbling
• Thick, sticky saliva
• Glazed eyes

7. Be aware of hot pavement underneath your dog’s paws:

Sun-baked blacktop can easily fry an egg. Try to keep your dog off the hot pavement during the heat of the day. Encourage your dog to walk and play on the cool grass.

8. Don’t leave your dog unattended by the pool:

Just like humans, not all dogs are good swimmers. My dog loves to splash in shallow water but is very reluctant to swim. A dog who unexpectedly falls in the water may not be able to get out on his own. The sides of the pool typically pose a problem for a dog’s short legs.

9. Don’t Let Dogs Drink From Oceans or Lakes:

Seawater causes dehydration and vomiting. If a dog ingests enough it can be fatal. Bring fresh water for your dog when you’re going to the beach.

10. Check your dog for ticks:

These little critters seem to have an uncanny ability to find their way onto our beloved pets. Always check your dog for ticks when they’ve been outdoors playing. Even with regular flea and tick preventative, you may still find ticks on your dog this season. Always check legs, armpits, underbelly, ears, and between toes.

Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors with man’s best friend! Use these common sense ideas to keep your pets safe when the temperatures heat up!