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Summer is approaching and that typically means warmer temperatures are on the way—although the thermometer’s schedule is quite unpredictable these days!

It’s true that animals can naturally cope with heat and cold—but only to a point. Our furry friends rely on us to help keep them cool when the mercury rises. Dogs are especially more sensitive to heat than they are of cooler temperatures. Here are some things to keep in mind to help keep your pet structures cool this summer:

Add ventilation – if your structure’s roof already does not have air vents—whether an actual vent or just small holes—be sure to add some. Adequate air is crucial to animals staying cool. If your structure is rather large and you have the capability, consider adding a fan.

Elevate the floor – put your structure on a foundation or even on an old wooden pallet. The ground retains heat (or cold) and this extra breathing room can significantly lower the temperature inside.

Keep out of sunlight – if your structure is directly in the sun it can get quite hot—and fast. Consider moving it to a shaded location. (An analogy would be leaving an animal in the car with windows rolled up.)

Mind the size – if your dog has outgrown its structure, purchase or build a larger dog house. Too small of an area can be unhealthy—even deadly—for animals.

Install a pool – OK. We’re not talking an Olympic-size or kidney-shaped in-ground variety, but a baby wading pool kept near the dog house or pet structure can allow dogs to dip when they get too hot.

Aside from these four tips to keep your pet structure cool this summer, always be sure your furry friends have adequate water supply at all times, that they’re groomed for the season (if their breed requires), and that they don’t play too hard!