Hello there, dog parents! When it comes to keeping your pets safe outside this summer, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. As a former vet tech, I have experienced countless emergency situations, which could have easily been avoided by following a few of these simple tips. So, if you've got a fur baby that you hope to keep happy and healthy, here are a few rules I like to follow for my three golden retrievers, and I hope you consider for your animals as well!

    1. Limit walks to early mornings or late evening when it is coolest. Avoid any strenuous exercise if the temperature outside exceeds 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat stroke comes on very quickly for dogs, as they cannot sweat like humans do.1

    2. Avoid walking on asphalt in the direct sunlight. If it's too hot for you to walk comfortably while barefoot, then it's too hot for your dog.2

    3. Do not let your dog swim in stagnant water in streams and lakes. With rising temps, this creates a breeding ground for cyanobacteria and other harmful algae blooms (HABs), which can be fatal to your dog within minutes of exposure. Unfortunately, by the time you get your dog to the vet, it is often too late to reverse the damage.3

    4. Rethink your fertilizer. Instead of pellets or powders, use an organic liquid fertilizer like Gnome’s Puppy Patch Repair Kit. Not only is it safe to play on as soon as it dries, but it uses natural ingredients like kelp, so you don't have to worry about harsh chemicals or runoff sticking to those cute paw pads.

    5. Never shave your dog.Their coats actually aid in cooling and prevents overheating and sunburn. Additionally, if your dog has pink pigment or coloring around its nose, invest in a pet safe sunscreen.4


1. Madison Animal Care, "It’s Getting Hotter: Tips on Walking Your Dog in Hot Weather."

2. American Kennel Club, "How Hot Is Too Hot for a Dog’s Paws?", 2021.

3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Cyanobacterial Blooms: Information for Veterinarians", 2021.

4. ASPCA, "Hot Weather Safety Tips."

Megan Harrigal
Tagged: Lawn Care 101