ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – The dog days of summer are approaching, and it’s important to consider the problems that the warm can create for our pets. As the temperature creeps up, it’s important to cool your pets down, especially if they spend time outside. “You want to make sure you have fresh, cool water. As long as you have that and shade, you’re in good shape.”, says Dr. Larry Ellis, of the Abilene Veterinary Clinic.

A trim is a good way to cut down on heat as well. Spaw grooming owner Stephane Summers says, “They usually need to get groomed every 6 weeks or so. Sometimes less, sometimes more, depending on personal preference.” Don’t reach for the razor just yet, though. Your dog’s coat may need special treatment. Summers explains, “Border collies, Australian shepherds, German shepherds, they don’t do well with shaved coats. Sometimes their hair doesn’t grow back. Sometimes it grows back in splotches. We don’t really recommend getting those dogs shaved. “

Once your dog is outside, certain illnesses can spread easily when dogs are out and about, meeting other animals. A visit to your vet can prevent those problems. “Parvo, distemper, all the other things out there are big issues.”, says Dr. Ellis. “If your dog is vaccinated, it does not happen. It’s 100%. Unvaccinated, they’re at great risk.” 

In addition to diseases, fleas, ticks, and heartworm carrying mosquitoes thrive in the warm summer months. Perhaps the most important summer safety tip is to never leave your pets alone in a hot car. Although we focused on dogs in this particular story, following the same guidelines will help keep your cats, and other furry friends safe and comfortable as well.