We all look forward to summer so we can kick off our shoes, enjoy the sun, and get in some downtime. For your pet, summer can mean having more time to spend with the ones they love. Unfortunately, summer can also present some challenges for our furry friends. With a little extra attention, both you and your pet can enjoy all that summer brings safely.

Be mindful of the heat.

It’s easy to forget that pets’ systems aren’t as efficient as ours are when it comes to handling extreme summer temperatures. Dogs release heat through their paw pads and by panting, so dehydration can happen quickly. Always keep cool fresh water at the ready. If you are away from home, take water with you. Protect paws from hot surfaces and provide your pet with access to plenty of shade. Consider taking walks in the early morning or evening rather than during the heat of the day. Never, ever leave your pet in the car!

Protect against bugs.

Summertime and bugs go hand in hand. Talk to your vet about the best way to protect your dog from fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and parasites.

Practice water safety.

Summer is a favorite time to be in, on, and near the water. Keep a close eye on your pooch when you are at the beach or pool. If your dog is comfortable on a boat and you take him or her with you, be sure to use a doggie life vest.

Prepare for emergencies.

Make sure you have an emergency plan that includes your pets, as well as a good stock of supplies. Depending on the climate in your area, be sure to include hurricane or tornados in your planning. Keep up-to-date information about your pet, such as shot records, with your supplies and research pet-friendly accommodations in case of evacuation. Communicate your plan to the entire family.

Talk with your Pooch Mobile operator about grooming.

It’s tempting to rush out and get a summer cut for your pooch but first see if a hair cut is appropriate for your dog breed. Keep in mind that like us, dogs are susceptible to sunburn so cropped dogs or those with a thin coat may need sunscreen.

Summer is the perfect time to spend quality time with your pet. As a part of the family, there is no reason to exclude them from your activities. Just be sure to take a little time to prepare for the outing and have everything you need on hand to keep your dog safe and secure.