The weather has warmed up, and you and your dog are getting out more and enjoying the gorgeous weather. You always apply sunscreen before you leave the house, but should you apply to your pet?

Cats should never have sunscreen applied but for dogs or horses, possibly if they are white or are very thin skinned.

The problem with sunscreen is that pets love to lick and may ingest the chemicals causing a toxic reaction. There are sunscreens made for pets but there is a debate on if they are truly safe.It would be effective to limit their time outside or if they are outside in a pen to make sure that you have a sun block top to reflect the harmful rays.

Heatstroke is another summer hazard to be on the look out for as the temperatures rise. Unlike humans that sweat to cool off, dogs cool down mainly by panting. It is not terribly effective and can quickly progress to a life-threatening condition. Be on the look out for increased heart rate, diarrhea, vomiting, the gums changing colour from brick red to purple/blue and seizures. Short-nosed breeds such as pugs are more susceptible to heatstroke. Contact your veterinarian and begin cooling them down by wrapping them in cool towels focusing between their legs and around their neck. There are also cooling beds. The easiest way to prevent heatstroke is to keep them indoors or in shady parts of the yard and of course, never leave them in your vehicle.

Burnt pads are quite common in the summer. While we love to be outside, the hot pavement can easily burn your pet’s paws, especially if they have been swimming. The water will soften the pads and make them more susceptible to burning. The easiest way to prevent is to have them walk on the grass instead of the sidewalk, limit their time outside between 10-2 or have them wear booties; yes they’re not just for winter.

Follow these simple yet effective tips and you and your pets will have an awesome summer.

About the Author

Corry Hamilton is the owner of Taking The Lead ( — a pet care business that focuses on pet nutrition and well-being. Like many entrepreneurs, her journey towards creating a business of her own wasn't a straight path, but she believes that no matter what life throws at you, you can always pick yourself up and move on. You never know where it may take you and make all your dreams come true. You can check out what Corry is up to on Facebook: and Twitter: