Last month, I wrote an article on how to keep your horses cool during the hot summer days. As the heat turns up this summer, it’s very important to keep other pets safe too. So today, let’s talk about how we can help our dog best friends protected from the summer heat.

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Summer fun can also turn dangerous and there are common trappings of summer — cookouts; hot, humid weather; and fireworks — all pose a danger to dogs. LizRozanski, DVM, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University shares that we need to keep these things in mind will help you keep your dog safe.

1. Shish kebabs and other foods-on-a-stick

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These foods can pose a special danger to dogs. Ingesting the sticks and winding up with fragments can cause blockages or gastrointestinal perforations, says Rozanski. Keep pets clear of chicken wings and don’t give them bones from the meat you grill. Bones can also splinter inside a dog’s digestive tract.

2. Toxic food

Keep these out of your dog’s reach. The garlic in your favorite marinade, the grapes and raisins in your fruit salad or the chocolate in your brownies can all cause harm.

3. Overeating

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Cookouts are really fun and a little food at the cookout is fun for dogs — let them enjoy the party as well. But “people” food adds up quickly, so have your guests, especially kids, check in with you before feeding your dogs with their scraps. Overeating can cause vomiting or more serious problems.

4. Heat stroke and exhaustion

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Make sure your dogs have plenty of water.  Try to put some ice cubes in it for a special treat, Rozanski says, and provide a shady spot to lie down. If your dog is panting excessively, shows signs of lethargy or has dry gums, call your veterinarian right away.

5. Never leave pets in the car

Any outside temperature above 65 degrees is especially worrisome, Dr. Rozanski says. Leave pets at home in a cool, safe place.

6. Thunder and fireworks

Many dogs are afraid of the loud noise caused by thunder and fireworks. Make sure your dog has a safe, quiet (ideally, soundproof) place to rest during thunderstorms and the rockets’ red glare.

There you are. I hope that these tips are informative for Ya’ll.