The hot summer months can be tough on people – and pets too! High temperatures, heavy humidity and even thunderstorms can cause all kinds of issues. Here’s how to keep your dog happy and healthy this summer.

Never leave your pet in a parked car

On a warm day, the temperature inside a vehicle goes up faster than you think. On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees in just 10 minutes. Never ever take a chance with your pet’s life.

Be wary of humidity

Humidity can definitely affect your pet. Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs and that helps them cool down, but when the humidity is high, that’s tougher to do. Be sure they’re in a cool, shaded spot and their water bowl is full and close by. Better yet, take them to a lake for a cool-down dip.

Limit exercise

A dog really doesn’t need to exercise when it’s extremely hot. Walk the dog during the coolest parts of the day, in the early morning or evening. Always provide shade when the sun is out and remember that asphalt and sand can get really hot; grass is easier on their paws.

Provide shade and water

Any time your pet is outside, make sure there’s protection from the direct sun such as trees or an awning, and lots of fresh, cold water. The cleaning experts at MOLLY MAID also remind dog owners to wash a pet’s water and food bowls frequently. Germs can spread easily, especially in the heat.

It’s flea and tick season too

If your area – or the area that you will be vacationing in – has fleas and ticks be sure to protect your pet with special medications from the vet.

Claps of thunder

Some dogs develop a fear of loud noises, such as fireworks and thunder storms. Avoid this, if possible (sometimes going into the basement and turning on some music will help) and speak to your vet about other remedies if your pup is particularly anxious in these situations.