Summer is fast approaching and the days are growing warmer. Are you and your dog prepared for the heat?  If your dog is used to spending time outdoors, he will gradually adjust to the warmer days. Some dogs, however, are more prone to overheating and need extra care and consideration.  If your dog is obese or is a short nosed breed, such as pugs or boxers, be especially careful and avoid having them in the heat for too long.  Of course, any dog can struggle on an extra hot day, so keep a close eye on any pet who is outdoors over the summer months and make sure they have what they need to stay cool and safe. A few precautions you can take to ensure your dog’s safety on hot days are to check your outdoor areas to make sure there is plenty of shade all throughout the day for your dog to retreat to when necessary.  You should also provide your dog with plenty of fresh water both for drinking and cooling down. Keep several buckets and dishes of water in different locations around your yard and property, making sure that the drinking water in particular is kept in the shade so it stays cool.  Some dogs love soaking in their water buckets.  While this is a great way for your dog to stay cool, the water will often be dirty and muddy afterwards.  By putting their drinking water in an elevated dog feeder or watering dish, you can make sure your dog always has fresh, clean water available.   Some newer (and drier) methods of keeping your dog cool include providing them with a cooling dog bed or dog mat. These cooling dog beds vary in their cooling methods.  Some function by filling them with water, while others include a gel pack that can be frozen and placed in your dog bedding, dog houses or crates effectively keeping your dog cool for hours at a time.  Other popular solutions include providing your pet with elevated dog beds that are lightweight, well ventilated and keep your dog off the ground and dirt.