As the temperature starts to climb, we’re ready to get outside with our pets to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. While the summertime is great for outdoor activities and spending time with our furry friends, hot weather can be a serious hazard. Here are 6 safety tips to keep your pet healthy and safe this summer:

MAKE SURE YOUR PET HAS PLENTY OF WATER

Pets can dehydrate quickly, especially when exposed to the sun and heat for a prolonged period of time. Dehydration can quickly turn to heat stroke, which can be fatal for your pet if not treated right away. Laboured breathing, excessive panting, weakness, stumbling and collapsing are all signs of heat stroke. Once their body seizures. Visit your veterinarian immediately.

NEVER LEAVE YOUR ANIMAL ALONE IN A PARKED VEHICLE

On a 22 °C (70 °F) to 26 °C (80 °F) day, it m ay feel comfortable outside but, even with the window left open a crack, the inside of a car can heat up to over 38 °C (100 °F) in minutes.

CONSIDER WATER PLAY

Many breeds love the water, and it is a great way for your pet to stay cool in the summertime. Source a pet-friendly beach near your home, or create a waterpark in your backyard with a kiddie pool and some sprinklers.

LIMIT SUN EXPOSURE

The sun is strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Try to keep your pet out of the sun during these peak times. You can also adjust their walks and playtime to earlier or later in the day, and make sure any heavier exercise takes place at cooler times of the day. If they need to be outside during hotter times, make sure they have access to a shady spot to rest. On excessively hot days, it’s perfectly appropriate to minimize your pet’s time outside and stay indoors with the air conditioning.

AVOID HOT PAVEMENT

Asphalt can become incredibly hot from the sun and can blister and burn you pet’s feet. If it’s too hot for your feet, it is too hot for theirs! Seek out cooler trails and walking routes.

WHEN IT COMES TO HEAT, BREED MATTERS

Short-faced dogs such as Bulldogs and Boxers do not pant as efficiently as longer-faced dogs, so the effects of the heat are much more pronounced. Keep a close eye on this type of dog when they are playing outside on hot summer days. Also, longer-haired breeds will stay cooler with a shorter summer ‘do, so consider getting them in to the doggy salon for a trim.

The summer months are a great time to have fun with your pet. By keeping these points in mind - and a close eye on your pet - you can enjoy a cool, healthy and fun summer season.