Cabela's Dock Dogs (copy)

Blue, a black Labrador retriever, clenches a chew toy after leaping into a pool to retrieve it in 2014 at Cabela's in Hammond.

John Luke, Times file photo

In this issue's feature story, we provided tips for keeping you and your family safe and healthy this summer. But at Get Healthy, we never forget our four-legged friends, who can be adversely affected by the hot weather as well.

Here are six summer safety tips for pets, from Jennifer Mullen, trauma program coordinator at Methodist Hospitals:

1. Be a friend to those paw pads to prevent burns and blisters. Consider dog shoes, or avoid hot surfaces such as asphalt, concrete, wood, stone, metal and sand.

2. Refill your dog’s water bowl more often than usual. Add ice cubes to cool down your pup.

3. Exercise your dog in the morning or evening instead of during the midday heat, which can be overwhelming.

4. Don't ever leave your dog in a car. Even with the windows cracked, a car interior can heat up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Don't forget that your furry friend needs sun protection too. Seek shade and remember that dogs with lighter-colored fur are most likely to suffer from sunburn.

6. Watch for signs of heatstroke, which include excessive panting, weakness, drooling, lethargy, dark red gums, changes in coordination and rapid heart beat.


Giles is the health reporter for The Times, covering the business of health care as well as consumer and public health. He previously wrote about health for the Lawrence (Kansas) Journal-World. He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.