We all love spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors with our furry companions, but being overeager in hot weather can spell danger.

Take these simple precautions, provided by ASPCA experts, to help prevent your pet from overheating. And if you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke, get help from your veterinarian immediately.

Made in the shade

Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful to not over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot. Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.

Know the warning signs of overheating

  • Excessive panting or difficulty breathing
  • Increased heart and respiratory rate
  • Drooling
  • Mild weakness stupor or even collapse
  • Seizures
  • Bloody diarrhea and vomit
  • Elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.

If your dog begins showing signs of heat exhaustion, including excessive panting and lethargy, immediately cover the animal with a cool(not icy cold), wet towel until the body temperature lowers, keep the animal’s feet cool and moist, give your pet small amounts of water to drink and consult with a veterinarian immediately to determine if additional treatment is needed.

Hot cars are deadly!

Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time-even with the windows open-which could lead to fatal heat stroke. Also, leaving pets unattended in cars in extreme weather is illegal. Citizens concerned about unsupervised animals left in hot cars should call the City of Boulder Police Dispatch line at (303) 441-3333.

Street smarts

When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.

Make a safe splash

Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool – not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals that could cause stomach upset.