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The warmer weather has Denali panting up a storm after just a short walk.

Too hot to trot?

I was in a splits stretch when I heard it.

Heh. Heh. HEH. HHEEHH. HHHEEEHHH.

I looked over and there was Denali, lying on his side and panting. Not just panting. It was hardcore panting as if he had just completed a marathon.

Except he hadn't.

Our run was 5.5 miles, a distance that is comfortable for both of us. The 70-plus temperatures at 7:30 a.m.? That's a different story.

I had made a conscious effort to get up earlier so that Denali and I could hit the trails when it was cooler. I brought along a water bottle for us to share even though it wasn't a "long" run, even stopping to refill it at a neighborhood park. I also made sure that he had opportunities to stop and catch his breath.

Still, the heat had him beat.

I don't want to not run with Denali but I also don't want him to overheat. According to Cesar Milan, aka the Dog Whisperer, there are some things you can do to keep your dog safe and happy in the summer:

*Exercise your dog early in the morning or late at night. (Go me!)

*Use dog booties, which can protect your pup's paws from hot surfaces such as cement.

*Watch for signs of dehydration.

*Keep your dog hydrated. (Go me!)

*Find innovative ways to cool your dog.

*Cool dogs from the bottom up. (Good idea!)

*Let your dog dig.

*Let your dog check the weather.

*Never leave your dog in a parked car.

*Use hot weather as an excuse to swim more often.

Check out the complete story here.

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