CHESTER, Conn. (WTNH) – For many of us, our dogs are members of our family, and we take them everywhere we go. But in the summer, you might want to take some extra precautions to keep your pup safe.

“I have two dogs, Austin and Zoey,” explained Kallie Branciforte. “Austin is the mischievous one. He’s always getting into trouble, and Zoey is the most loyal dog. She loves people, and she’s just always by your side.”

The lifestyle blogger and dog mom says it’s important to know your dog’s limit during the summer.

“Every dog, their shape, their size, their breed, how much hair they have can really impact how long they can be in the heat,” Branciforte said. “For example, my smaller dog has a lot more hair, and just because he’s smaller, he can’t really go for as long in the heat as my larger dog does.”

That’s why Branciforte keeps a doggy backpack close by when she goes hiking or for long walks.

“So when he starts to get a little hot we know to give him a break,” she explained.

But even though we like to take our little guys everywhere, sometimes it’s better to leave them at home.

“You might feel bad leaving them behind, like they’re going to have a boring day, but its way better than risking them overheating in a car,” Branciforte said. “A car can get to well over 100 degrees in just a few minutes, so better just leave them at home where they’re nice and safe.”

When the thermometer goes up, it’s important to cool your dogs down. Brancifote does this by spraying her pups’ bellies.

“This is actually a tip I learned from my vet,” she said. “By spraying them on their belly you’re actually getting it closer to their internal organs which cools down their internal body temperature.”

Just like people, dogs need to be protected from the sun. So Branciforte applies an SPF spray to her dogs’ coats.

“It protects their hair and their skin for the sun just like sunscreen does for us,” she said.

And don’t forget about those pesky bugs.

“This time of year, especially in the state of Connecticut, ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, all of that is really bad,” she explained. “So make sure that you’re protecting them using flea and tick medication. You obviously want to go to your vet, find the one that is best for them.”

The summer is all about bonfires and the grill…

“But we have to remember that our dogs maybe don’t know fire safety like we do,” Branciforte said. “So sometimes, it’s safer to just clip them up or leave them inside if you’re going to be grilling or you’re going to have a fire. A spark can easily grab onto your dog’s fur.”

One last tip is to make sure your dogs always have access to fresh water. It can be dangerous for them to drink from a pool or a pond.

For more lifestyle tips from Branciforte, visit