It is now the end of June and although it’s currently 65 degrees in Chicago, there are some things to keep in mind regarding your dog in the summertime.

~Remember that dog’s don’t have sweat glands, so they cant’t sweat like humans can, they pant to cool themselves off. If your dog is spending a significant amount of time outdoors, be sure to give him unlimited access to cool, fresh water.

~If your dog loves water, why not give him a whole lot of it! A plastic (not inflatible) kiddie pool is a great way to keep your dog cool. My Shorthair Princeton, after returning from a hot walk/run will sometimes lay in the bathtub, asking me to turn on some water for him (our porch is too small for a pool).

~Believe it or not, dogs can get sunburned just like humans can. Fair-skinned dogs are especially prone to getting sunburned on the top of their noses. You can apply human sunscreen, but unfortunately it can get digested which isn’t good. Instead, make sure your dog has access to shade.

~Don’t leave your dog in your car, even for a quick run into the store for milk. The internal temperature of your car can reach 120 degrees in minutes. Don’t risk returning to your car and finding your dog dead.

~Check the temperature of the sidewalk/blacktop. Your dog’s paws can crack and burn easily. Dog boots work in the summer as well!

~There are some ‘keep cool” products for dogs, but a cold, wet bandana around your dog’s neck can help keep him cool during a hot walk just as well.

~Known the signs of heat stroke in dogs. Some of the signs of heatstroke are panting hard, staggering gait, rapid heartbeat, dazed look, listlessness, restlessness, dark red or purple gums and/or tongue and vomiting. If you suspect a heat-induced illness in your dog, gradually lower his body temperature by moving him to the shade or air conditioning, apply cold packs to his head, neck or belly, or immerse in cool (not cold) water, giving small amounts of cool water or ice cubes to lick — and then take him to the vet.

Lead your dog!

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