DETROIT (WWJ) – The dog days of summer are here.

To prepare for activities associated with Independence Day celebrations — fireworks, cookouts, family gathering and hot temperatures — Detroit Dog Rescue wants to remind dog owners of their responsibilities to ensure their pets are safe and comfortable during the summer fun activities.

Even though summertime outdoor activities are fun for our human friends, some of these activities can be alarming, stressful and even dangerous for our four-legged friends.

Here are a few thoughts and recommendations for keeping your fury family member safe and comfortable during these dog days of summer:

Vet Check

Part of being a responsible dog owner is making sure you take your dog to see a vet for a proper check up at least once a year. Make sure your dog has all its scheduled vaccinations, heartworm and flea and tick treatments. Remember to have your dog spayed or neutered.

Made in the Shade

While spending long periods outside make sure your dog has a place to rest in the shade. The difference between resting in the open sunlight and shaded area can be a 5-10 degree difference and offer significant relief from dehydration.

Water, Water, Water

During extreme hot weather dogs can become dehydrated quickly. As a responsible owner make sure you have plenty of fresh and clean water available at home, outside and on the road for your four-legged family member.

No Parking, No Problems

Never leave your dog in an unattended parked vehicle. The inside of a car during extreme hot weather can reach oven-like temperatures and cause your dog to go into distress, dehydrate and lead to a fatal heat stroke. In addition, in many communities in Michigan it’s illegal to leave a dog unattended in a car.

Safe Splash Landing

Never leave your dog unsupervised around pools or large bodies of water. Contrary to belief not all dogs are Olympic swimmers. Introduce your dog to water gradually to determine their comfort level in and around water. If you spend time on a boat make sure you have a floatation device for your dog too. And always remember to give your dog a good bath after being in chlorinated or salt water to protect their skin and fur.

Screen Test – lights, camera, action

During the dog days of summer you most likely will be running the air conditioner or open some doors and windows. Make sure all your window screens are tightly secured. Nothing worse than your dog tumbling out the window trying to keep cool.

Fresh Cut, Clean and Cool

Make Fido feel comfortable by giving them a cool trim for the summer months. No need to go Kojak style on your dog’s cut, but low enough to still provide your dog with protection and keep them fresh, clean and cool.

The Urban Jungle

When the temperature is hot avoid prolonged times walking your dog on asphalt and concrete. Asphalt absorbs and reflects heat so your dog can burn their paws and cause your dog’s body temperature to rise.

Avoid Chemicals

While spending time outdoors be mindful of areas your dog may come in contact treated with harmful chemicals such as pesticides, lawn feed, citronella and oily products. If you dog ingests any of these chemicals call your vet immediately.

Party Like a Rock Star

We all love a great BBQ and so does your dog. Remember certain foods and beverages are not good for dogs to consumer. So while you enjoy summer life outside, make sure your dogs does not order up a two-piece chicken bone with a side of cold beer sitting on the ground. Super spicy and seemingly harmless foods can cause your dog severe digestive ailments.

Fireworks are not Pet-riotic

Leave the dog behind if you’re planning to be around fireworks. Never use fireworks around dogs. There is always the potential for your dog to get injured with a severe burn or trauma if they curiously get too close. Fireworks also have toxic substances such as potassium nitrates, copper, chlorites and arsenic if your dog ingests them. If you must bring the dog along, make sure you provide a safe space for your pet to be out of harm’s way and sheltered from the loud noise and bright lights associated with fireworks.

If you see your dog getting anxious – cowering in the corner or shaking in fear take steps to make them feel at ease. By showing kindness, being comforting or giving your dog a “reward” for being a good during the celebration can help rest their fears. Remember, dogs are social animals and derive comfort from being around people or other animals whom they have trusting relationships.

Dogs and Fireworks: Acknowledge Fido’s Fear

Because dogs cannot tell us how they are feeling, their behavior is the only indication we have in how upset they might actually be. So never ignore signs of fear and always acknowledge your dog.

Prepare Your Dog and Your Pup’s Environment

Provide your dog with a safe, cozy place to be in. Some dogs hide in closets, under beds and even in the bathtub. Allow your dog access to whatever space they choose to hunker down in. Close windows and doors to your home and pull the blinds or shades if flashes of lightning or fireworks are visible.

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