Tag Archives: health

Getting Fit This Spring? 5 Tips to Keep You Safe While Running

The weather is warming up, the days are getting longer, and it’s time to get out there and get in shape for summer! If you’re one of the millions of Americans who run, either competitively or for fitness, make sure you’re staying safe while getting fit with these five tips:

1. Run with a buddy
If you can avoid it, try not to run alone, because being alone makes you an easy target. If you don’t have a neighbor or friend to run with, see if you can join a local running group and run with them.

2. Run out in the open
If you are running alone, avoid trail running or any other kind of running that’s not in the open. Running on a busy road sucks, but at least you have a lot of people around who provide a deterrent to anyone with bad intentions! Also, running in a neighborhood or business district means you have homes or businesses to turn to should something bad happen.

3. Run in the daylight
Many people have to run after dark because of their work schedules, but avoid that if you can. The more daylight, the more safety! If you do run after dark, try to partner with a running buddy to prevent being attacked. Also wear reflective clothing and some kind of light or lamp to help cars see you.

4. Run with your ears wide open
Music makes running better! But when your ears are plugged up with your playlist, you can’t hear cars—or a potential attacker. Now, if you’re running with a buddy, you’ll probably be talking and you have the safety of numbers. But if you’re running alone, keep at least one ear bud-free so you can hear what’s going on around you.

5. Run with your eyes wide open
Also pay attention with your eyes. Don’t assume the passing cars see you. Try to make eye contact with drivers if you’re not sure, and still assume the worst. Only cross the street in designated areas. Be careful driving past parked cars when a door might suddenly swing open. Watch the sidewalk for cracks and the height of the curbs to prevent falls. Yes, you want to go into a zone, but you still must stay aware of what’s going on around you and under your feet.

You want to be fit, but you also want to be safe. These five tips should help. Happy running!

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

There’s no Lifting Like Snow Lifting! 3 Tips for Safer Lifting no Matter the Weather

After a nightly snowfall, I awake to the sound of ice getting scraped off of someone’s windshield. Like clockwork, it hits 7:20 a.m. and whoever owns that car is out scraping. Most mornings I would much rather wake up to the sound of my alarm at the time I actually set it to, but I have to respect the dedication to be outside in the freezing cold to clear off their car. Thankfully I don’t have to worry about shoveling snow from a driveway or carrying a big heavy bag of de-icer. My only gripe with snow is that scrape scrape scrape sound directly beneath my window.

Many Americans are not so lucky and do have to get up and out the door early in the morning to clear the sidewalk or walkway. Shoveling snow may not sound that strenuous, but across the country, thousands are injured every year with this winter task. There’s also plenty of other heavy lifting to do in the winter: a tree branch that falls into the yard and must be moved, snow tires, even tired children wearing 5 extra pounds of layers (not including snow boots).

Whether you live in a region of the U.S. where snow removal is a daily occurrence or a warmer area where it hasn’t snowed in years, proper lifting techniques can help you stay safe while completing household tasks, yard work or snow damage control. To help you remember safety first when lifting, especially in winter weather, keep these tips in mind…

Let It Snow Shovel
If your biggest concern for throwing out your back is that blanket of snow outside your front door, have no fear. Try to start while the snow is still fresh, because snow is lighter and easier to maneuver when it has recently fallen. Before stepping outside, be sure to warm the muscles just like you would before exercising. Once you start, work with small batches, using a small shovel or only filling half of a large shovel. Once you fill up your shovel with an appropriate amount of snow, walk it over to your snow pile; do not throw it! Throwing snow can put unnecessary pressure on your back.

Dress For Success
If the weather outside is frightful, layer up before lifting anything outdoors. The goal is to be able to remove layers when your temperature rises from the physical movement, but keep enough clothing on that you won’t freeze standing in your driveway. A windbreaker or light jacket over a sweatshirt and a long sleeve shirt may give you the flexibility to move freely without compromising warmth. Even if the weather is perfectly comfortable outside, be sure to wear non-slip shoes before lifting anything heavy.

Proper Positioning
So maybe you’re one of us lucky ones who gets to avoid snow shoveling, but what about all the other heavy lifting that could come up? Your best strategy is to make sure your body is moving in the correct way. Use your legs, never your back, and bend at the knees with a wide stance. Try to get a firm grip by lifting with your palms, not your fingertips (which will slip more easily). When moving, avoid twisting your spine, and attempt to turn your whole body by using your feet instead. This will keep your back in a safer, more neutral position to prevent injury.

If something looks like it might be too big, or you start to lift it and it feels too heavy, STOP! Wait until someone can assist you in lifting. It’s better to wait 5 minutes to move that branch than to have 5 days of a sore back. Taking your time is the key to safe lifting no matter the weather.

As for me, I’m glad I don’t have to shovel snow, but I sure hope the sky stays clear and the streets dry on the next day I plan to sleep in–and I won’t be woken up by the urban rooster crow of an ice scraper.

Safe at Home: 4 Reasons to Keep Fido out of the Kitchen While Cooking

Our family recently got a new addition: an older, untrained rescue dog named Smokey. Even though he is a senior dog, he is still extremely active for his age. This means there are plenty of opportunities for our family members to get out and run with him! But it also means that he can get himself into trouble, especially in the kitchen.

Smokey has already made his way through two loaves of home-made bread, and two and a half marinating steaks. Now, food theft is one concern, but there are actually several safety reasons to keep your dog out of the kitchen while you’re cooking.

Below are four safety hazards that can be avoided when you keep your dog out of the way during meal prep:

One, Forbidden Food
Whether it’s tonight’s dinner sitting on the counter or an ingredient that dropped on the floor, you probably don’t want either to disappear into your dog’s mouth. Keeping Fido out of the kitchen helps protect any food you’re preparing as well as protects your furry friend from eating something that could be harmful to their doggy digestion. See this list of “human foods” you should avoid giving your pets.

Two, Hot Liquids
Between boiling water and hot oil, there are plenty of ways you can get burned while cooking. If it would hurt you, it would hurt your dog too—or both of you if the dog causes you to trip while carrying something hot. Then there’s the danger of a spill. Fido doesn’t have your kitchen awareness of what’s hot or not. To be safe, keeping your dog out of the kitchen and away from any potential spills would be your best bet.

Three, Sharp Objects
As careful as we try to be with sharp knives or scissors, accidents happen. Sure, you watch out for your own toes when you drop that carving knife, but in that split second you have to react, are you also paying attention to where your underfoot dog is? There’s also the potential of your furry friend trying to grab food off the counter, only to bring down a knife with half of a pot roast. And, again, the tripping hazard: Tripping over your pup while carrying a sharp knife sounds like a recipe for disaster to me!

Four, Tempting Trash
Even with a covered trash can, sometimes those smells from the garbage are just too tempting for your dog to resist. Although there’s a chance of Fido eating food that he shouldn’t if he gets into the trash, there are also other dangerous materials like aluminum foil and plastic that he could ingest. If everything smells like chicken, then in his mind wouldn’t it all taste like chicken? “Might as well eat it and see,” says doggy logic.

When you have a dog has part of your home and family, training is important to keep everyone safe: humans and hound. Yet the kitchen isn’t always a part of that training. To make sure your kitchen does become a safe haven during meal prep, find a solution that works for you and your family, such as making your pet stay on a mat or dog bed in an area of the home where they can still see you while you’re cooking. The goal isn’t to isolate them away from you, only to set boundaries for them. This way when they do get a treat during meal prep, it’s one that you choose to give them, and not an entire steak they steal from the counter.

Preparing for the Flu Season in the Wake of a Deadly One

“Flu season deaths top 80,000 last year” read the headline that caught my eye last week. Last year was the deadliest flu season since 1976, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, with 80,000 Americans dying from the flu and flu complications during the winter of 2017-2018.

It was an unusual flu season for other reasons too, according to the CDC. We had a record-breaking 900,000 hospitalizations due to the flu, and we had three weeks during which the entire country was affected by the flu at a high level as compared to the usual region-by-region activity of the virus.

Why was the flu season so bad?
Why was it such a deadly flu season? According to one source, the flu season was so bad for a combination of reasons:

  • The flu vaccine used was less effective.
  • The strains of flu were stronger and deadlier.
  • The number of sick people who passed along the flu to others was higher.

Although we can use hindsight to see why last year was so deadly, we can’t know what the next flu season will bring, so we must be prepared, to keep ourselves and our loved ones protected.

The flu can hurt us financially too
As we’ve written before, the consequences of the flu go beyond being sick or even hospitalized. Many of us are also negatively impacted when kids miss school and parents must stay home from work to care for them. Many of those parents are staying home without pay. And when you’re talking about millions of school days missed and 22% of those days uncompensated for the parents who had to take time off either to care for their children or because they were sick, you can see a huge financial impact due to the flu.

What can you do to prepare for this year’s flu season?
Experts say to assume this year’s flu season will be as bad as last year’s, and they recommend getting a flu vaccine by the end of October. However, getting a flu shot does not mean you won’t get the flu. So in addition to getting your flu shot, you should also follow this advice to minimize your risk:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.
  • Get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, and take good care of yourself. This strengthens your immune system. (Plus it’s plain old commonsense for healthy living!)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. The flu virus can survive 24 hours on hard surfaces and you won’t know if someone sick has touched that gas pump handle or ATM machine before you got there.

Also go to the CDC website to learn more about the flu vaccine and prevention.

To read about all those deaths from an illness we consider to be a “normal” one is heartbreaking. Let’s try to prevent another deadly year as we take steps to protect ourselves knowing a new flu season is coming.

Sometimes Safety Simply Requires Putting Away the Smart Phone

We have just returned from an amazing trip to a foreign country and I have bad news: I saw as many people glued to their smart phones there as I see in the U.S. On the one hand, you might argue that that’s a good thing, because it shows we live in a global, connected world. I say it’s a case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) that has us all glued to our phones, but we should have another fear instead: the consequences of staring at our small screens.

What does it matter that we have home security systems and fancy car locks and smoke detectors if the real risk to our safety is the phone in the palm of our hand? Because if you look at the research, those phones are causing accidents and even deaths—and they would be less of a threat if we could simply put them away sometimes.

Let’s start with the obvious ones: accidents
We’ve all heard we shouldn’t text and drive, and it’s illegal to do so in many states. But still people do it, causing 1.6 million accidents per year. If that number doesn’t scare you, how about these statistics: 3,500 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2015, and another 391,000 were injured. Still not scared? How about this: 11 teenagers die every single day due to texting and driving. (You can find a whole lot more scary texting while driving statistics here.)

And it’s not just teenagers who are guilty of the crime. Nor is it just car accidents that are a regular occurrence due to smart phones. This short video demonstrates just how dangerous it is to walk down the street while on your phone. (Do you see the guerilla??) When people are on their phones while walking, they walk into walls, into fountains, into a loose bear, out into the street where they are hit by cars, or even right off a pier requiring a Coast Guard rescue. (I am not making any of this up!)

And then there’s our health
If reading that section above didn’t make you want to spend a little less time with your smart phone, let’s talk about the consequences on our physical well-being. Smart phone use is bad for our eyes, our posture, and our sleep. People who spend a lot of time on their smart phones are more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome, pain, muscle spasms, and chronic diseases. We can get eye strain and even dry eye syndrome. Our necks are bent down and our arms are uplifted in unnatural ways for long periods of time. That’s gotta hurt at some point! And bright phone screens suppress melatonin levels, making it harder to go to sleep.

Finally, our mental and social health
Spending so much time on our phones is dangerous as we drive and walk. It’s bad for our physical well-being. And, ironically, it’s bad for our mental and social health too. Kids and teenagers disconnect from the world around them—we’ve all witnessed that. But adults can do the same when too caught up in those tiny screens. Heavy duty cell phone use also reduces our brain activity and makes it harder to pay attention, either to a task at hand or to a conversation. Socially, we’ve seen a huge increase in depression and suicides among teens, and convincing research links those increases at least in part to smart phone usage because of social media.

I am as thankful for my phone as the next person. I can keep up with my kids, find my way to a restaurant, check the weather, and stay on top of work email when out of the office. With some apps, I have no choice but to use my phone—like if I need to buy a train ticket. But we all must be aware that there is a time and a place to have that phone out and our attention focused on that, and a time and a place to be focused on what’s going on in the world around us—no matter where in the world we live.

Don’t Come Home to a Stench! 8 Ways to Prepare Your Home Before Your Vacation

Getting ready for your getaway? Good for you! But first, make sure your house is ready for you to be gone. We’ve talked before about preparing to be away, with a post on five ways to make your house look occupied while you’re gonein order to deter burglars. Those tips are:

 

  • Tip 1: Get a house sitter
  • Tip 2: Leave a car in the driveway
  • Tip 3: Hire someone to take care of your lawn and yard
  • Tip 4: Keep the electronics going
  • Tip 5: Keep your vacation to yourself

And of course there are the obvious tips like put your mail and newspaper subscription on hold so papers aren’t piling up and screaming “this house is empty!” to interested passers by.

But there are other precautions to take before you go to besides making it look lived in, steps you can take to make sure you’re not neglecting important tasks or leaving behind a potential mess you’ll have to contend with when you get home. Definitely follow our advice to make your house look occupiedwhile you’re on vacation, but also do the following so your homecoming can be as pleasant as can be:

1) Tell a trusted neighbor you’ll be gone. If you have a house sitter lined up, make sure your neighbor knows so they’re not wondering who the stranger is. It’s also nice for your house sitter to know there is a neighbor to reach out to should something happen. If you don’t have a house sitter, you’ll want that neighbor to keep an eye on your house while you’re gone. And if you’ve arranged for lawn care or something while you’re gone, make sure that neighbor knows it’s okay for those people to be on the property!

2) Make sure the bills are caught up. I get so caught up in getting ready to get away—like trying to get ahead of work or shopping for last minute items—that I sometimes forget to keep up with the regular household duties like paying the bills. Try to be mindful of anything that will be due while you’re gone and take care of it ahead of time.

3) Clean out the fridge. Now we’re moving into the territory that drives my husband crazy. He doesn’t understand why I have to clean out the fridge before we go away. But if I don’t, we risk coming home to stinky spoiled food that will have to be thrown out anyway—leaving behind a stench! Or produce that’s gone slimy that I won’t want to touch. Or milk that has soured. Ugh! It also helps to keep the grocery shopping to a minimum ahead of time or plan to eat up leftovers or have your own episode of “Chopped” in order to use up what you can before leaving. Even if we have a house sitter, I will toss food rather than assume they’ll eat it.

4) Wash all the dishes. There are two things that can be left in the sink when we leave: a water glass and a coffee cup. Even if it’s the last thing I do before walking out the door, I’m washing dishes. Otherwise I not only have stink to come home to, but the equivalent of cement to chisel out of that bowl or pot. Is that something I want to take on after a restful get away? No!

5) Take out the trash and the recycling. Like cleaning out the fridge, emptying all garbage cans and recycling bins will cut down on possible stench when you get back. Yes, recycling too, because that trace of milk in the carton or dogfood in the can will probably stink after a few days, even if you’ve rinsed it out. If the cans need to go to the curb while you’re gone for pickup, make sure to arrange for that.

6) Run the garbage disposal. Not having a garbage disposal, I’m not sure about this one, but I have read that you should pour ½ cup of vinegar and some water into your garbage disposal and run it—again, to avoid coming home to a stinky house.

7) Do the laundry. You’ll probably come home with lots of dirty laundry, so having those laundry baskets empty before you go will be much appreciated when you come home. But dirty laundry can also hide stench in the making, which is why you want it all clean ahead of time. We’ve had that happen with only a weekend getaway, coming home to a stinky house because of a kitchen towel used to clean up who knows what that was left sitting in the basket. Ugh!

8) This last one is optional: Clean! I don’t usually have time to clean the house before we leave, but I want to, because the last thing I want to do when I come home is to tackle housework! For me, it’s like giving myself a gift to clean the house before leaving so I can ease back into the daily grind rather than jump back into. But—it’s optional.

However you prepare for your time away this summer, stay safe, be smart, and enjoy your well-earned rest!

Everyone Should Learn to Swim: Kids, Teens and Yes, Adults…Here’s Why

I’m going to tell you a sad story, but there is a reason for it: A friend lost a grown child to drowning. His son had taken a few swimming lessons as a teenager, but didn’t like the water. He wasn’t a strong swimmer as a result, and one day with friends at a lake, he went in the water, got tangled in some plants, and drowned. He was in his early 20s with a bright future ahead of him, and then this. The family was devastated and it tore them apart.

Why am I leading with such a sad tale? Because summer is almost here and kids need to know how to swim—but so does everyone else.

Drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death for children. But it claims the lives of teenagers and adults too. According to the CDC, unintentional drowning ranks fifth in the U.S. as a cause of death by injury, and of the 10 people on average who die by drowning every day, only two are children: the other eight are 15 years old and older.

My conclusion? Everyone should learn to swim.

It’s not too late
Everyone needs to know how to swim not because we’re all planning beach vacations, but because it is a safety issue. Anyone who boats or kayaks or floats down the river on an inner tube must know how to swim. But what about an accidental fall from a dock while walking around the marina? Or participating in some water-based activity while on a trip? Or or or…? There are many situations that can lead to an unintentional dunk in deep water!

So it’s time to tackle this issue. Although you might think swimming lessons are only available for youngsters, that’s not true. And even if you took some lessons as a child, if you haven’t been in the water in the many years since, you might consider some additional lessons. Just like it’s never too late to install a home security system or start wearing a seatbelt, it’s never too late to learn to swim. Researching this post, I read about a 70-year-old who took swimming lessons!

If you don’t swim or you don’t swim very well, it’s time for some adult swimming lessons. Or if your kids didn’t get lessons and now they’re teens, it’s time to close that safety gap.

Benefits beyond safety
For teens and adults, the benefits of learning to swim can go beyond safety. Swimming is a sport that’s easier on the body than running, and therefore an activity people can continue to do for physical fitness no matter their age. It’s also an activity you can do year-round, as long as you can get to an indoor pool. For those who decide they truly enjoy it, swim leagues provide opportunities for adults to compete in the sport. And for anyone who wants to compete in triathlons, swimming is required.

One final reason everyone should learn to swim
If you’re not interested in being a better swimmer for your own sake, do consider the safety factor of your children. Should your child end up in distress out in the lake while you’re camping, don’t you want to have the necessary skills to be able to swim out and help or even save them? This applies to boating and kayaking and other water sports as well. In addition, children learn more by watching what we do, not doing what we say. The children who see their mom or dad take water safety seriously, including swimming, or more likely to make better, safer choices later in their own life, decreasing the risk of their death by drowning.

As for the sad story at the beginning of this post, I think about that family every year at this time as people start to flock to lakes and rivers and boats to enjoy summer activities. And yes, I need to heed my own advice. I know how to swim but definitely do not swim well. Maybe this is

Don’t Trust an Old Sack for the Perfect Gift: Questions to Ask Before Buying That Toy

Gift giving season is upon us, and for little ones, that means toys. Sure, teens and adults are happy with gift cards or cash, but children are rarely thrilled by something so abstract, preferring the immediate satisfaction of a toy they can play with right away. Even if you don’t have children to shop for, with so many children in need, many of us buy and donate to a toy drive. So it seems most of us are probably toy shopping at some point this time of year!

And that can be stressful. Walking down the toy aisles at your local supercenter may seem a bit overwhelming with all the options, and with all the new technology, toys are far more complex than they were 20 years ago. When confronted by all this variety, safety may be at the back of your mind, but it shouldn’t be.

John Hopkins Medicine released statistics showing that over 200,000 children are treated in emergency rooms every year for toy-related injuries, and 3% of those require hospital care. Although the majority of incidents involve riding toys such as tricycles or scooters, other injuries can be caused by choking, drowning or suffocation. Choking in particular is a risk for children under three years of age, as young ones are more likely to put small pieces in their mouth and their airways are smaller.

Yes, these are scary statistics, putting a damper on that toy shopping, right? But the toys you pick out this year don’t have to be a part of these statistics or put anyone in the hospital. Check out the simple questions below to keep in mind during your stroll through the dolls and dinosaurs, and you’ll be sure to err on the side of safety while shopping:

  • What is the recommended age? Keep in mind the age of all the children in the house, because you never know who might be able to get their hands on that toy.
  • Does it have sharp points or edges? When kids play rough you don’t want anyone poking an eye out.
  • Are there any long cords or strings? This may not be the first safety concern to come to mind, but cords or strings could get wrapped around someone and cause serious injury or suffocation.
  • Is it small enough to fit in a mouth? Or are there small pieces that could break off? Especially with toddlers, if it can go in a mouth, it will go in a mouth.
  • Are the magnets safely secured in plastic? See the previous question, since swallowed magnets can be even more dangerous than swallowed plastic.
  • Is it loud, and can the volume be turned off or lowered? Toys with without adjustable volumes aren’t just annoying; they can damage hearing as well.
  • Is it nontoxic? Some countries have stricter regulations on materials than others, so make sure any toy you pick up is made safely and reliably by checking where it was made.
  • If it’s made from fabric, is it washable? Spills happen all the time, and no one wants a favorite toy ruined forever by a favorite juice, plus fabrics can harbor bacteria in a way plastic can’t.
  • Are the batteries securely screwed in? If you can pry them out without a screwdriver, it might be best to put the whole toy back.
  • Perhaps most important, was it recalled? Doing some research online may save you from giving a toy that shouldn’t be sold in the first place.

Yes, this is a lot to think about for just a simple gift. But if you ask yourself all these questions while shopping, you’ll walk away with a safe, reliable, well-made toy that can last for years. And if you practice by questioning toy purchases, think of how many other purchases you could make with the same safety principles, creating established, lasting habits of safe buying?

Stocking Pantries with Emergencies Supplies Is as Important as Our Favorite Fall Foods

We have officially entered fall, which means yes, pumpkin spice lattes and other favorite fall foods. More importantly, it means temperatures are dropping, the days are getting shorter, and the weather is getting worse.

And speaking of food, is your food supply set for an emergency? You’re probably not facing hurricanes like those that have been dominating headlines lately, since only a portion of the country is vulnerable to those disasters. But storms and other natural disasters can hit anywhere at any time, especially with winter approaching. As you’re doing your disaster preparedness, make sure stocking your pantry is high on the priority list.

Consider the plight of people in Puerto Rico who have gone days without electricity or water in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, making food scarce and difficult to prepare. How well stocked is your home in the case of an emergency? Simply having a few boxes of pasta stashed away won’t work. Instead, here are four things you’ll need to keep your pantry as disaster-ready as the rest of your home:

  • A way to cook: Be it a camp stove, a grill, or even your wood stove, you will want some method of preparing or heating up food. Your heat source may be able to double as your cooking heat source, but you might need the two sources to be separate. Warming up canned goods so you can feed your family a hot meal is going to be much appreciated if your power goes out for a few days and you’re cold.
  • Food: Speaking of canned goods, store at least three days’ worth of non-perishable food, but not food that requires preparation. Everything should be either canned or dried, as your freezer won’t be working if the power goes out, and if water is scarce, you won’t want to use it to boil up pasta. High-energy foods like ready-to-eat meats, protein bars, peanut butter, dried fruit, and dry cereal are all items that don’t need to be prepared. Write throw away dates on these items so you know when to restock, or come up with an annual plan for restocking your emergency supplies, donating the previous year’s supply to your local food bank. It’s also best to avoid any foods that will make you thirsty, since water might be scarce. You can find more tips for the types of food to store here.
  • Pet food: Your furry friends will get hungry too, so be sure to keep at least a three-day supply of pet food on hand as well.
  • Water: A good rule of thumb for water is one gallon of water per person and pet per day. Store at least three days’ worth, and up to two weeks’ worth if possible. Check the expiration dates on water jugs as well as your food’s expiration dates. You’ll find more information on storing emergency water here.

Winter is coming, following close on the heels of those pumpkin spice lattes. With a little effort now, we can be ready to keep our families fed before the worst weather hits.

5 Summer Safety Tips for the Four-Legged Family Members

We’ve been talking about summer safety stuff here at SafeStreetsUSA, like how home automation can help make for a more comfortable summer, safer road trips, and swimming pool safety tips. But we’ve neglected an important member of the family in all of this summer safety talk: the dogs!

Let’s remedy that right now with five summer safety tips for that four-legged friend.

Most (if not all) summer safety advice for your dogs is related to the heat of summer. So the biggest tip of all is to take the heat into consideration every day, when you’re letting the dog out, planning a trip to the store, or going for a walk. And note that although the advice below is geared toward dogs, much of it applies to your feline friends as well…

Tip 1: Water, water, water
Make sure your dog has access to plenty of water all the time. At our house, because our two of our cats tend to spend a lot of time outside, we have two water bowls during the summer: one inside the house and one outside. Our dog is rarely left outside unattended but if he does go out for a bit on his own, he can access that water too.

We’ve also started keeping a milk jug full of water in the car along with a plastic bowl so when the dog goes somewhere with us, we can easily make sure he is staying hydrated.

Tip 2: Never ever EVER leave your dog in the car
Speaking of the car, our dog is not left in the car in the summer, period. He only goes in the car if he can get out of it when we get where we’re going. Leaving your dog in the car on a hot day for even a few minutes is just too dangerous to risk it. It might feel like a pleasant 70 degree day outside, but inside the car is probably 90 degrees. And on a hot day like 85 degrees, the interior of your car can heat up to 102 degrees in just 10 minutes. Within 30 minutes, that temperature can climb to 120 degrees! (Temperature data from the ASPCA)

This is such a serious issue that many states are now making it illegal to leave a dog in a car.

Sadly, just the other day my mother was leaving the vet’s office when a young man came in holding a limp puppy. The puppy had been left in a hot car and looked lifeless. The vet told my mother it might live but–if it did–it would never be quite right in the head because of the damage done by the heat.

Tip 3: Follow the sun to ensure there’s shade
I’ve seen people leave their dogs outside in the morning with plenty of shade, not realizing that shade would disappear as the day went along. Make sure your dog has shade all day long as the sun moves across the sky.

Tip 4: Be mindful about your walks
Take the heat into account when planning for your walks. Our dog is a big dog and getting older. He seems to have a harder time with the heat these days as a result, so our walks have to take place late in the evening when the weather has cooled. This also helps us to avoid the hot asphalt that would otherwise burn the bottoms of his feet. It’s not always convenient to do it later in the day, and he doesn’t understand why he has to wait so long for that walk, but it means the heat isn’t an issue for him or his paws.

Tip 5: Make sound decisions
In my experience, a dog will often put up with discomfort to be near his or her people, so you can’t trust the dog to know whether it’s too hot and act accordingly. That means you need to make sound decisions about the dog’s exposure to heat, sun, water, exercise, asphalt, etc. to help your furry friend handle the heat in the best possible way while still being right where he or she wants to be….right by your side.

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I feel so much better knowing my family is protected! I spoke with SafeStreets USA in the evening and a technician was able to come install the system for me then for my parents first thing the next morning. Very impressed with his knowledge and care!

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We had our ADT system installed by SafeStreets USA and were really impressed with the service we received from our technician. He was very friendly and answered all of our questions on the system and how it worked. He set everything up in a couple of hours and was a real pleasure to talk with []

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