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Everyone looks for a way to stay cool in the Arkansas summer heat. Your dog needs to stay cool too. Here are a few summer safety tips from the team at Bowman Road Animal Clinic, a Little Rock vet.

Don’t let your dog walk on pavement that is too hot.

The pads of your dog’s paws are sensitive to hot pavement. Before you let your four-legged friend out of the car and onto the pavement, test the temperature of the pavement with the back your hand. If the pavement is too hot for you to leave your hand on the surface for 6 seconds, it’s too hot for your dog.

Thankfully, someone thought up a practical—often hilarious*—solution. There are specially designed dog booties to protect your dog’s paws from the hot pavement. However, dogs are often very confused at the idea of wearing booties. Make sure you find a way to warm your dog up to the idea of wearing booties. Go too fast and they might be adverse to the booties forever.

*If your dog is up for wearing booties, please document the event and send pictures to your favorite Little Rock vet. Dogs wearing booties are too cute to miss.  

Put pet sunscreen on your dog if you know you will be exposed to the sun for a while.

Yes! Dog sunscreen exists. Dogs can get sunburnt too. Many owners make the mistake of thinking that their fur will protect them from the sun. However, this is not the case. Have you ever gotten a sunburn on your head? A dog’s fur can only protect them so much. Sunscreen is needed.

Watch out for unknown grass and pesticides.

During the summer many homeowners will use pesticides on their lawn. Not all pesticides are safe for your dog. Keep your dog child safe and only let them frolic in the grass you know is safe.

Not all dogs are good swimmers.

Some dogs can’t wait to get in the water. Some dogs need a slower introduction. Not every dog is up for swimming. If you take them out on a boat, have them wear floaties. Maybe take them to a very shallow swimming area to start.

Keep them safe from pests.

Don’t forget your dog’s flea and tick medication. Arkansas is home to many pests and parasites. Your dog will be itchy and miserable if they are not protected. If you notice your dog itching more than usual, take them to the vet to check for pests.