The spring months (mostly!) brought with them some lovely weather, and the warmer temperatures of summer are fast approaching. This can be a wonderful time for dog owners, who can enjoy taking their beloved pooch for walks on the beach and all kinds of fun days out.

However, while you and your faithful friend are busy having fun, it's important to keep an eye on how they're reacting to the temperature, as dogs can quickly overheat and suffer from heat stroke. Here are a few simple tips for taking care of your dog in the sun.

Shade and fluids

When temperatures soar, there are two vital steps to take. First of all, make sure your dog always has access to ample shade so he can shelter from the sun. Secondly, maintain a plentiful supply of fresh water so they can drink whenever they please - essential for maintaining their health in the heat.

Sunscreen

Even if your dog is particularly fluffy, it's still possible for their skin to burn in the heat. So, if you're going to be out and about on a hot day, apply some pet-safe sunscreen to avoid the soreness, itching and flakiness that sunburn brings. Their ears, nose, back and the skin around their mouth all need to be covered.

If you have a long-haired dog, you can also consider trimming their fur to help keep them cool. Do not be tempted to shave it, however, as is fur actually helps protect them from sunburn and other ailments.

Don't leave your dog in a parked car

If you take your dog anywhere in the car, remember not to leave them in there unattended. A parked car can rapidly become a furnace in hot weather, which is incredibly dangerous for your dog. Leaving a window open to allow fresh air in is not enough, so if you do park and exit the car, always take your dog with you.

Know the signs of overheating and heat stroke

It's also worth getting to know the signs of overheating so you can take action quickly if it starts to affect your pet. Excessive panting, stupor, drooling, difficulty breathing and weakness are all signs of overheating. Be aware that breeds with flatter faces, such as pugs, are more susceptible to heat-related ailments, as they are unable to pant as effectively as their longer-faced relatives.

Written by: Hannah