PhotoSummer isn’t an ideal time to be wearing a fur coat. For this reason, a hot summer day can feel even hotter to a dog.

Overheating and dehydration are just a few of the health scares that could happen if dogs spend too much time in the sun. But there are a few steps that pet owners can take to prevent pets from suffering.

Protecting your dog from the heat doesn’t have to mean sitting him on the sidelines. Your dog can join the rest of the family for a day at the beach or park. A few thoughtful considerations, however, can help reduce the risk of your pooch becoming overheated, dehydrated, or sunburned.

Useful tips for summer

Will your pup be tagging along on your next summer outing? If so, there a few things you can do to make a hot summer day a little more comfortable for your fur-covered friend.

  • Cold treats. Bring along cold treats -- such as ice cubes, watermelon, or frozen chicken stock cubes -- to help make the heat a little more bearable. If you aren’t sure what to toss into Fido’s special ice cubes, check out these recipes from the pet experts at DogVacay.
  • Sun protection. Ninety-five percent of pet owners don’t put sunscreen on their pets despite the fact that they can get sunburn and skin cancer just like humans. White dogs, hairless dogs, and those with light-colored fur are most susceptible to sunburn, but all pet owners should apply sunscreen to a dog’s nose, ear tips, underbelly, eyelids, and around the mouth. Protective clothing can shield pets’ skin from the sun.
  • Well-timed walks. Walk your dog either earlier in the day or later in the evening when the sun is lower, the ground is cooler, and the air is easier to breathe. You can also protect your pup’s heat-sensitive paws by walking on dirt or grass rather than concrete or asphalt.
  • Haircuts. Getting rid of excess fur can help keep pets cooler, but be sure to do your research before trimming hair too short. In some dogs, layers of fur can help protect them from sunburn and overheating.
  • Take breaks. Frequent water breaks and time-outs in shady spots can help prevent dogs from becoming overheated or dehydrated. Also, limit exercise on especially hot days to keep a pup from overdoing it in the exertion department.
  • Water fun. Time spent romping around in cool water can be the perfect way to beat the heat. Take your dog to a pet-friendly water location, such as a dog beach, or set up a sprinkler or kiddie pool in the backyard.

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