Summertime Safety

Summer is a great time for you and your best friend to shake off the cobwebs and enjoy the outdoors. Here's how to stay safe and enhance your time together:

Road Trip:
Taking a road trip this holiday weekend? Buckle up yourself and your dog. Even a mild fender-bender at only 25 miles an hour can hurl your pet into the front seat, risking injury to both of you. A doggie seat belt, available online or in any pet store, will keep your pooch out of your lap and in the back seat so you can both relax and enjoy the ride.

You may think your dog can run all day, but think again. Dogs cannot sweat to cool off like we do; they can only dissipate heat through panting and through the pads in their feet. Keep your pup in the shade and apply cool water to his tummy and neck if he appears overheated. Signs include rapid panting; red, not pink, lips and tongue; and a reluctance to walk or run with you. By the time your dog shows these signs, he is already in the danger zone. Remember, your dog's loyalty and desire to please you will override his sense of self-preservation.

Water Sports:
Is your dog a water baby? For maximum swimming enjoyment, fit your dog with a life jacket just for him. Ward off dangerous fatigue and enhance his summer fun. A must for well-dressed pups on the beach and the boat.

About the author:
Amy Robinson's Care and Training School was the first of its kind in the Midwest when it was founded in 1991. She has appeared as a training and behavior expert on national and local news and news magazine shows, including BusinessWeek, The Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle and ABC's Working Woman. Amy volunteers at Chicago-area animal shelters, teaching seminars and training dogs to ready them for their new homes.

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