Spending time outdoors with your pet is a great way for both of you to get fresh air and exercise, but during hot weather months, it’s important to take extra precautions. The dog days of summer bring with them high heat and humidity that can quickly heat up asphalt, the inside of your car and your pet.

Hot weather doesn’t have to mean hiding inside until fall arrives, but it does mean making simple changes to the way you and your pet live. Making sure to provide enough fresh, cool water, avoiding the highest heat of the day and never leaving your pet in a hot car for any period of time will all help you both to stay cool, comfortable and safe.

Here are simple hot weather safety tips designed to help your pet live his best summer life in Norfolk, VA!

Hydrate Often
Pets can dehydrate more quickly than humans, especially on hot and humid days. Make sure to give your pet fresh, cool water throughout the day to keep their fluids in check. When you head out for walks, bring a cold water bottle with you for hydration breaks, and try to seek shade or walk at cooler times of day whenever possible.

Keep Cool Inside
On extremely hot days, keep your pets indoors as much as possible to avoid illness or injury from excessive heat. Choose to walk your boisterous pup in the early morning or later evening hours, when temps are cooler. Keep your walks shorter and brief, and come home for indoor play that is cool and comfortable for you both.

Keep Paws Away from Hot Asphalt
In the high heat of summer, asphalt and concrete can become dangerously hot for sensitive paws. Because your pup is lower to the ground, hot asphalt can heat him up rapidly and worse, burn his paws within even a minute. Steer your pup’s walks toward grassy, shady areas whenever possible.

Grooming Safety
Your big, furry best friend may need to be groomed differently to stay cool in hot, summer months, but be careful not to shave him. Dog hair should be trimmed down to help them stay cool, but their coats are important for protection against sunburn and overheating. Shaving your dog’s coat can compromise his health, and grooming is best left to professionals.

Never Leave Your Pet in a Hot Car
Even when the weather isn’t extreme, a car can heat up more rapidly than you realize and leaving your pup inside for any period of time is never safe. One minute inside a hot car can lead to heat stroke in pets, and in many states it is illegal. Avoid taking your pup with you on errands or car trips in summer, and keep them safe and cool inside, instead.