Summer is fun for people and pets, but because of the heat, you need to help make it safe, too. Nearly everyone knows that leaving a pet in a closed vehicle on a hot day is dangerous, but there are other warm weather precautions to take. To help, the American Humane Association has put together a few pet safety tips.

Even if your pets are active, get exercise every day and are in excellent physical shape, you may want to scale back their activities or change your exercise routine to the cooler hours of the morning or evening. Develop an exercise plan that will get them safely through those hotter summer months.

Make sure your pets have access to shade and fresh water at all times. Temperatures in your yard can increase to dangerous levels in just a few hours and cause deadly heat stroke.

Signs of heat stroke include excessive panting, dark or bright red tongue and gums, lethargy, stumbling, seizures, bloody stools or vomiting, and coma. If you suspect heat stroke, you should seek veterinary treatment for your pet immediately.

Enjoy the warmer weather with your furred friends — just be sure to keep them cool and safe.

Dr. Robin Ganzert

President and CEO

American Humane Assoc.

16th Street, NW

Washington, D.C.