Summer has finally arrived and with it comes the heat and humidity that can make days long, hot and miserable. Like us, we have to take steps to keep our doggy friends healthy during the summer. Here are some tips to help keep your furry friend safe and healthy this summer:

         Water, Water, Water!!! Always provide fresh, clean water for them. Make sure to have a bowl outside too.

         Don鈥檛 EVER leave your dog unattended in a hot car!!! It can cause heat stroke or possibly death. It is also illegal in many states including Wisconsin.

         Have a shady place outside for your dog to lounge away from the sun.

         Don鈥檛 over-exercise them in the hot weather.

         Watch out and know the symptoms of overheating in pets

o   Excessive panting or difficulty breathing

o   Increased heart and respiratory rate

o   Drooling

o   Mild weakness or stupor or if they collapse

o   Bloody diarrhea

o   Vomiting

o   Seizures

o   Elevated body temperature over 104 degrees

         Dogs (and cats) with flat faces, elderly, overweight, and/or pets with heart and lung diseases should be kept in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.

         When the temperature is very high, don鈥檛 let your dog dawdle on hot asphalt. It can burn paw pads which would cause pain to your furry friend.

         Don鈥檛 leave your dog unsupervised by the pool鈥攏ot all dogs are good swimmers.

         Give your long haired dog a shorter summer 鈥榙o but don鈥檛 shave them. Their coat is naturally designed to keep them cool in the summer (and warm in the winter). Make sure to have at least an inch of fur to help keep them from getting sunburned.

o   Yes, dogs can get sunburned. Check with your vet for a pet friendly sunscreen.

         Make sure your windows all have screens since dogs (and cats) like to hang out by windows and you don鈥檛 want them to fall out.

         If you take your dog on the boat, consider getting a life vest to help keep him visible and afloat especially in case of an accident.