June is just around the corner, which means its almost SUMMER TIME! If you're anything like me, that last place you want to be is indoors. I want to be outside, soaking up the warm sun with my dog! Before you should be out splashing in rivers, frolicking through fields and enjoying summer, check this list to make sure your pup is ready for outdoor adventures.

Keep Your Yard Pesticide-Free

Have you assessed how safe your yard is your for four-legged friend? If you have used an ice-repellent spray over the winter, be weary. The main ingredient in most de-icers is either sodium chloride or calcium chloride, both can irritate a dogs paws or be harmful if ingested. If you have dogs that play outside, avoid using these chemical de-icers all together next winter, and use a safe alternative. If they have been used already, water the area in an effort to dilute any of the chemicals that have leaked into the grass and soil. By now, it should already be diluted enough to be safe however if you want to be extra careful, use a pen to shield the area or a scent deterrent. 

Annual Checkup 

April/May is the perfect time of year for your dogs annual vet visit for a routine check-up. After all, the best cure of illness is prevention. Your veterinarian will be able to point our potential problems before they turn serious, and help you know what you should and should not avoid over the summer. While at the vet, you should check to ensure your dog's vaccinations are current and up-to-date. Because your little buddy will likely be exposed to ticks, fleas and other possible irritants and diseases while playing outside, this is exceptionally important in the summer. Pisces recommends: Nature Dog Natural Outdoor Spray to help deter insects. 

Keep Them Cool

Summer can be a ton of fun for your dog, but you must keep them protected when it starts to get too hot. Some breeds will handle heat better than others, so it is important to know your dog and look for the signs that they are uncomfortable. Whenever outside, your dog should ALWAYS have access to fresh water to avoid dehydration (Pisces recommends: Gulpy Pet Water Dispenser). Remember to groom your dog! A good grooming will help them shed their winter coat and help prevent overheating. Hopefully by now it should go without saying to NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE CAR ON A HOT SUMMERS DAY!! Even if it is only 20 outside, it will get exponentially hotter and potentially fatal inside a vehicle in a matter of minutes. 

Other Protection 

Like us, your dog can get sunburned from overexposure to UV light. Any area uncovered by fur is at risk of sunburn, including the nose and any shaven areas from a neuter, spade or other operation. We recommend using SunDog 100% Natural & Lick-Safe Dog Sunscreen on any open areas of skin. During a hot summers day at the park or maybe the beach, the pavement can be very hot, enough to burn the bottom of your dogs feet. Ever ran across the sand because it burns your feet? Your dog will feel the same sensation, so it is a good idea to be prepared with a pair of summer bootys to protect the bottom of your pups feet.