Summer is here and if you’re a sun-worshipper, you’re likely loving the daily warm rays and all the time spent outside. But believe it or not, Fido might not feel the same way. Sure, he loves the trips to the lake and the long afternoon hikes, but the summer months can be a dangerous time for your little (or not so little) ball of fur.

Here’s how to make sure you’re keeping your canine safe this summer.

Keeping Your Pets Safe This Summer

Keeping Pets Safe in the Summer

Don’t Risk the Car

You’ve heard this one before, but it’s so important that it has to top our list: never, ever (EVER) leave your dog in a hot car. Even if you’re simply running into a gas station, it only takes minutes for your dog to develop heat stroke and even suffocate in a hot car.

Even if the day doesn’t feel particular scorching, the inside of your car likely will be. For example, even if the air outside is only 78 degrees, the inside of your car could heat up to anywhere between 90 and 160 degrees!

“Step” Right

With your sandals or flip-flops on, you might not realize just how hot that pavement or asphalt is beneath your feet. But your dog’s little paws will most certainly feel it – and this can increase his body temperature and cause him to overheat.

Be cautious about where you’re allowing your dog to walk.

Keep the Water Flowing

In the summertime, it’s especially imperative to always have water available for your pup. Whether you’re at home or on the go, make sure your dog has plenty of opportunities to hydrate.

Remember, he doesn’t have the ability to tell you when he’s thirsty, so it’s important to err on the side of over hydration.

Get Shady

During the summer, your backyard might turn into something that resembles the Sahara Desert. Make sure your dog has plenty of shade to lounge in when she needs it. Or, if a day is particularly hot, just keep her inside altogether; you wouldn’t stay outside all day, so don’t make her.

Gauge Swimming Ability

It’s called the “dog paddle,” but that doesn’t mean every dog innately swims well. Make sure you know just how well your dog reacts to water before setting him free in the lake or swimming pool; it doesn’t take long for a dog to go under.

Get the Exercise In

When it’s especially hot, you – and your dog – might be tempted to stay inside all day. But your dog needs exercise (just like you do), so make sure she’s getting it. If necessary, take her for an early morning run to expend some energy while avoiding overheating.

Got a dog you love? How are you keeping him safe this summer?