\nThe reality is that the weather is changing, and the world is growing warmer year by year. Not only does this change pose a threat to you, but it presents a variety of very real dangers to the life and wellbeing of your dog. Here are four challenges to your dog's wellbeing created by climate change. \n\nHeartworm: \n\nHeartworm is a parasite that lives in the heart of infected animals and is most often fatal. It is carried by infected mosquitos and then can spread to other dogs. As the climate has warmed, there are more mosquitos increasing the risk. Once found only in the Southeast, heartworm is now found in every state in the country including Alaska and Hawaii. At one time winter months were “safe” from heartworm infection, warming climate now means that your dog is at risk of heartworm infection all year long. In the past 7 years, there has been a 20% increase in the number of heartworm cases among dogs.\nHave your dog tested by the vet and once you’re assured there’s no infection treat your dog with heartworm prevention medication year-round. \nTick-Borne Diseases\nThe increasing temperature has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of ticks which carry a variety of diseases from Lyme, to anaplasmosis, and ehrlichiosis among others. In 2018, almost 15% of dogs in Connecticut, 7.5% of dogs in Minnesota and 1% of dogs in Washington state tested positive for Lyme. Centered on the East Coast originally, Lyme and its associated diseases have spread westward. Not only do ticks pose a risk to your pets, but they can also hitch a ride on your pet and live up to three months in your home where they can bite family or pets. \n\n\nCheck your pet carefully each time they’re out\n\n\nUse flea and tick medication year-round\n\n\nRemove ticks carefully\n\n\nUse flea combs to brush your dog\n\n\nMinimize potential exposure – stay out of dense woods\n\n\nAvoid areas of standing water near your dog’s outdoor space\n\n\nVacuum carpets and dog’s bedding carefully \n\n\nUse a dog stroller to minimize risk\n\n\nRising Temperatures \nMany areas have experienced long spells of very hot weather. Your dog is wearing a year-round fur coat and has a cooling system that is not as effective as yours. The temperatures that are a bit uncomfortable for you may be fatal to your pet. \n\n\nWalk early morning or evening when it’s cooler outside\n\n\nMake sure your dog has available shade \n\n\nTest surfaces for risk of burning sensitive paw pads\n\n\nAdjust exercise to avoid overheating\n\n\nCool your dog with lots of cool water\n\n\nFor older or disabled dogs use a pet stroller \n\n\nEnvironmental Emergencies: \nClimate change brings extraordinary weather and with it serious risks. Recent floods in some areas and large wildfires in others are just two disasters that can require urgent action to protect your pets. \n\n\nCreate an emergency kit and have it handy. \n\n\nConsider the guidelines found on com. \n\n\nPlan ahead as to places they could stay if you were unable to keep them with you. \n\n\nMake sure that you have a transport container. \n\n\nHelp ensure that your pet has a safe life with these simple steps.