During the summer, most people love to spend most of their time outdoors. Of course, their furry best friend is also in on the fun. But with temperatures at or above 90° F during this time of the year, even the healthiest pet can be at risk of heat stroke and dehydration. The good news is that, it is preventable.

The following steps should be taken to prevent heat stroke in dogs.

Never leave your dog in the car

On a hot summer day, the temperature inside your car can easily rise to 140 degrees in a matter of minutes. Leaving the windows partially open doesn’t help. Never leave your dog inside the car even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Know the signs

Weakness, loss of energy, heavy panting, excessive thirst and rapid pulse are the most obvious signs of overheating. Carefully watch your dogs, especially when you’re outdoors. If you notice any of these symptoms, lead her to a shady spot and give her some water.  Call your vet immediately if the symptoms do not subside.

Don’t overdo exercise

Keep walks to a minimum in summer. Too much exercise, especially on a hot day, can be very dangerous.

Since your dog still needs exercise, it is best to save outdoor time for early morning and late evening, when temperatures are cooler. Also, don’t let her linger on hot surfaces like cement or asphalt as this can burn her paw pads.

Provide access to clean, fresh water

Your dog has a higher body temperature than you do. She’s not capable of cooling down as efficiently as you do. She needs extra help from us to stay cool this summer. Make sure that your pet has access to clean, fresh water at all times. If you’re going out, be sure to bring a bottle of water with you. Also, consider wetting your pet down with cool water on hot, humid days.

Trim

While dog fur serves as a great protection during the winter, it gives them a hard time beating the heat in summer. To prevent overheating, give your dog a summer haircut. Remember that your dog’s fur protects her from the effects of too much sun. Be sure not to shave your pet’s coat.