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How to keep your pets safe during the Arizona summer, 4th of July

The Arizona heat this time of year can be dangerous for pets.

PHOENIX — As the summer heat is in full swing and the Fourth of July just around the corner, your pets may need a little extra love and attention.

Here are some tips to keep your pet safe as the Arizona temps soar. You'll also need to prepare your pets for fireworks on the Fourth of July to reduce fear.

"Bring your pets indoors. Make sure that they have plenty of water. If your pet does like to be outside, make sure that they have a shaded, ventilated area," said Bretta Nelson from the Arizona Humane Society.

She has some helpful advice for how pet parents can keep their furry friends safe and healthy through the hot summer months.

"Don't take your pets on errands with you,” she said. “People think they want to get off the couch and go for a joy ride, and it is just too hot."

A lot of the calls they get this time of the year are heat-related.

"You never want to leave a pet unattended in a vehicle," she said.

Bretta says it's important to limit your pets' outdoor exercise and avoid long walks or hikes.

"Get those little dog booties,’ she said. “If they do have a vet visit that you can't push back, it will just save their feet."

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If you can't hold the back of your own hand on the pavement for more than 7 seconds, it's too hot for your dog's paws.
She says they don’t tend to tell us when they've become overexerted, so you have to keep an eye out for signs of heat stoke like red gums, rapid pulse and glazed eyes.

"We really have to be their eyes and take care of them," said Nelson.

If you have a swimming pool, make sure you teach them pool safety.
“I have one dog that uses the steps to get in,” she said. “She knows how to get out… the other one completely dives off the edge of the pool.”

Ahead of the Fourth of July? You can try to desensitize your pets to loud noises if they get nervous during fireworks.

“You can buy a CD that has some of those noises on it,” she said. “Play the CD at a very low level and then start reinforcing with positive reinforcement.”

She says they will gradually start to associate that sound with a treat.

A thunder shirt can also be helpful.

“Those are kind of those tight swaddles that wrap them up and just make them feel really comfortable," said Nelson.

Simple things you can do to keep your pets safe and happy.

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