During the dog days of summer, your pets may soon feel the burn. Help them stay cool and healthy with these simple tips:

1. Keep them out of direct heat

It's important that your pet maintain a normal body temperature. Dogs' bodies usually hover around 102-103 degrees Fahrenheit, and cats' temperatures range from 100-102 degrees Fahrenheit. To ensure their safety, keep them out of the car for extended periods, limit their outdoor exercise during peak heat hours and have them stay inside with air conditioning or a fan.

2. Make sure they're hydrated

Just like humans, animals need lots of fluids to function properly. In intense periods of heat, consider leaving out an extra bowl or two of fresh water at all times.

3. Look for red flags

If your pet shows unusual symptoms of sickness such as difficulty breathing, bloody vomit or stool, sudden collapse, seizure or increased salivation, it may be suffering from heat stroke. Apply cold compresses to the ears, paws, stomach and neck and then head immediately to a veterinarian.

4. Groom them often

Dog owners, if your pooch hasn't already been trimmed this summer, do it now. Even the cutest, furriest friends will look and feel more comfortable with a shave.

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