Ok, so it’s not even really summer yet, but already here in the South the temperature is rising and everyone is feeling it. The dogs are spending most of the day lying around and and reluctant to run and play until the evening hours. We are all at risk for dehydration and heat exhaustion…even our dogs!

If you dog is going to spend any time outside, be sure to provide fresh, clean drinking water at all times. If you aren’t using air conditioning inside, be sure to provide shade, water and a fan. For heavy coated dogs such as Huskies and St. Bernards, it may be helpful to provide a cooling bed or cot to help with air circulation. If your dog is crated inside, be sure the crate is not in direct sunlight. For dogs with an outdoor run, consider using a sunshade.

Young puppies, older dogs or dogs with health problems will be at additional risk for heat exhaustion. It is especially important never to leave a dog in a hot car while you run in to a store to do an errand! For additional information on how to care for a dog if you think it has suffered from heat stroke, check out this article from About.com. It has some great practical first aid tips on how you can help an overheated dog before you can get medical attention.

So, have fun…enjoy the sun with your canine companion and STAY SAFE!