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It’s Hot Out There! How to Keep Your Dog Safe as the Temperatures Climb

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It’s hot. So hot that planes weren’t even flying out of Phoenix this week. And while you might be uncomfortable, your dogs definitely are — think of wearing little fur coats in this heat!

According to PEOPLE’s Pet Vet, Dr. Evan Antin, dogs can easily overheat, but there are ways to get ahead of any trouble.

“Always have water available when outdoors on hot days, and really, at all times,” he tells PEOPLE. “Dogs, like people, need to drink on a very regular basis. Holding off on water is never recommended for a dog.”

You can tell a dog is thirsty if he begins to pant more than usual, and if he’s warm to the touch, Dr. Antin adds. But if your dog begins to seem “lethargic, or is stumbling or collapsing or acting strange,” seek medical attention, as those could be signs of overheating.

It’s important to keep your dog in the shade when outside, too, since select breeds are susceptible to sunburn. “Some breeds are even prone to getting certain tumors or cancers when under excessive UVB light,” he adds.

FROM PEN: How Do I Know If My Dog Has an Allergy?

And when out driving with your pet, never leave him alone in a parked car. “If you absolutely have to, don’t do it more than a few minutes, in a shady spot with the windows rolled down,” Dr. Antin says. “Cars are like greenhouses and heat up so quickly and dangerously.”

He also notes that in certain states, including California, it’s legal for passerby to break into a hot (or cold) car if they feel a pet is in distress.

Bottom line: it’s better to keep your dog inside with the air conditioning on hot summer days!