When temperatures rise, it has a big effect on humans and pets alike. Summer months cause us to be uncomfortable, and for pets it can be particularly dangerous. Thick humidity that is often present only adds fuel to the fire. Dr. Barry Kellogg, VMD of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association explains that during high humidity, animals are unable to cool down from normal panting. This causes their body temperature to skyrocket to dangerous levels-very quickly. According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are two critical things pet owners must do to keep their pets safe in the summer months. The first is to make sure your pet has protection from the sun and the heat. Having a fan blowing on your pet won’t do the trick, as dogs primarily sweat through the pads on their feet. Having a shaded area is very important for keeping your pet cooler and more comfortable. Tree shade and tarps are ideal as they won’t interrupt the natural flow of air through a space. They advise that a dog house may only make your dog even hotter as there is no airflow. The importance of proper hydration during summer months cannot be overstated. Having plenty of fresh, cold water available for your pets at all times is an absolute necessity. Let’s face it, our schedules are busy, and we might not be checking our dog’s water bowl as often as we should. Perhaps we only notice that our furry friend needs water when he or she has run completely out. A situation like this can turn into a tragedy, if the dog’s temperature reaches too high. Heat strokes occur when a dog’s temperature reaches over 104 degrees. There is one specific product on the market that is designed to help prevent situations like this from happening. It is called the Nelson Automatic Dog Waterer. It is the perfect solution for making sure your dog always stays hydrated. Here’s how it works. You mount this sturdy, stainless-steel, compact pan to the side of your house or fence. It connects directly to your outdoor water supply. Its reservoir stays constantly full with a fresh supply of clean, cool water. Your dog takes a drink, and it automatically replenishes itself. Your dog never runs out of fresh water, and it is guaranteed to never rust, crack or chip. You can’t beat that! If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors in the heat, it is important to monitor him or her for signs of a heatstroke. Heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing and excessive thirst are some signs to look out for. Animals particularly at risk of a heat stroke include very old or very young dogs, overweight dogs and those who have heart or respiratory disease. Having a cooling body wrap, vest or mat for your dog is another way to help them feel more comfortable when the temperatures are soaring. When it’s time to exercise your dog, go out in the early morning or evening hours when it will be cooler. Keep in mind that the asphalt can burn your dog’s paws. Walking through the grass is a much more pleasant scenario. Be sure to carry water with you, even when you are out walking. And if you are taking your dogs out on the town with you? This goes without saying, but never, ever leave your dog inside a parked car, even for a minute. In a matter of minutes, the temperatures will rise inside your vehicle to dangerous levels. Your doggie is sure to appreciate all of your efforts to keep him or her feeling cool, comfortable and loved.