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Keep your dog safe this summer 😎🌴🐶

The great Aussie summer is plenty of fun for people and pups alike, and it's a great time to enjoy with your dog as you check out the beaches and dog parks, go for a swim together, and have walkies uninterrupted by rain! Nothing beats lazy holiday brunches at dog-friendly cafes, and it really is a magical time of year to enjoy with the whole family (furry and non-furry alike).

But summertime also comes with sweltering heat, slithering snakes and sunburn! By taking a few extra steps, you can ensure that your dog can make the most out of summer, safely.

1. Fight dehydration! 🥊💧

Just like the birds, the bees and us humans, dogs need more water in the summer heat. This may seem a bit obvious, but you might be surprised how quickly they'll get through their water bowl in summer, so keep a close eye on water levels. On a hot day, you could even add ice-cubes to the bowl to help them cool down. It's also worth having a second water bowl around in case the first gets knocked over.

2. No paws on hot pavements. 🔥🐾

The pavement can get very hot at this time of year, and it's all too easy for owners not to realise - after all, we don't go out in bare feet, and many people are unaware of the danger of burned paws. But dog paws can and do burn easily. Here's a simple test: put the back of your hand on the pavement for 5 seconds. If it's too hot for you to handle, it's too hot for paws too.

3. Handle those heatwaves. 🌞

Did you know that dogs can get heatstroke? Living in Perth, you probably have plenty of tricks up your sleeve for cooling down, and it's important to be mindful that your dog also needs to beat the heat. Some tips for cool doggies include doggy-friendly icy poles, a clamshell pool to swim in, and timing your walk for early in the morning or late at night. (Much better for you, too!) Also, don't rely on a fan to keep your furry friend cool in summer - dogs sweat primarily through their feet, so patting their feet with a wet towel is a great way to stay cool.

Also, NEVER leave your dog in a hot car: according to the RSPCA, it only takes six minutes to lose your best mate! This should be common knowledge by now, but unfortunately they still receive over a thousand distress calls per year about animals (mostly dogs) being left in the heat. Even if the day doesn't seem that hot, it can heat up very quickly, and a cracked window isn't enough for adequate ventilation. If you do see a dog in a hot car, please call RSPCA WA on 9209 9300 immediately.

4. Escape those snakes! 🐍

Snake season is upon us, and suddenly your favourite spot for walkies - and even your own backyard! - may be a danger zone for your fur-child. More than six thousand pets are bitten each year in Australia alone, with many fatalities. Dogs are naturally curious about exploring every nook and cranny, and those nooks and crannies are often where snakes hide. If your dog is bitten, please seek medical treatment immediately, and if you want to give your dog the best chance of avoiding bites in the first place, check out our Escape the Snake training classes (as recently featured in The West Australian) - we're proud to offer Perth's first snake avoidance class based on positive reinforcement.

5. Slop on some sunscreen 🌊

Sunburn is a very real problem for the whole family, dogs included. You're all spending more time out in the sun than you would the rest of the year, and with that comes exposure to UV rays and potentially skin cancers. So when you're slip, slop, slapping, don't forget to slop your dog as well - there's a variety of pet-friendly sunscreens out there, and it really does make such a difference.

Meet PATS! Thanks for reading. This article has been brought to you by the dog-loving team at Perth's Animal Training Specialists (PATS). We offer a full-service range of dog training and pet care solutions, and we'd love to help you make 2018 your Year of the Dog! 🐕

The summer holidays are a great chance to make use of your extra time at home by starting your year off on the right paw with our dog training classes. We train dogs of all ages, shapes and sizes, from puppy pre-school all the way to geriatrics, and everything from obedience training to trick training.

We understand that every dog (and every owner) is unique, and we offer tailored solutions to meet your needs. We also train many other companion animals, so if you want to build a better relationship with your other furry or feathered friends, get in touch: we're your one-stop shop for all your animal training and pet care needs.

If you enjoyed this article, please follow us on Facebook - we'd love to stay in touch! 💕

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