Cats and dogs love being outdoors in the summer as much as we do. But there are some summer pet hazards you need to know about.

As tempting as it is to let your furry pal run around on his own on pretty summer days, it isn't a good idea. Even if you have a fenced in yard he could mange to jump over or dig under your fence and get out. More dogs and cats are hit by cars in the summer months than any other time. He could also have a close encounter with a dangerous predator such as a coyote or a snake.

Some dogs are drawn to water (most cats hate water, so you usually don't have to worry about them jumping into a pool). Never let your dog near water unsupervised. If your dog loves to swim, it's a good idea to buy him a doggie floatation device (similar to a life jacket, but for dogs). If you have a pool you should install a special ladder or ramp that let's him get out of the water easily.

Pets get sunburned just like we do. Especially pets with short or white fur. If your pal is home alone
all day, be sure to close the shades and if he is playing outside apply sunscreen to all sensitive areas like the thin skin of the ears. (Make sure you use a sunscreen that is safe for animals.)

Keep your dog or cat hydrated. Animals need about 50 percent more water than usual during hot summer days. Make sure you have plenty of water that your pet can get to easily. And remember to bring water and a bowl with you on walks.

Never leave your animals outside without shade for long periods of time. Also, never leave them in a car (not even for a few minutes). The temperature inside a vehicle can climb very quickly. Either one of these situations can lead to heat stroke, which is a life threatening situation. If your pet has a
red tongue with curled edges and a dazed look in it's eyes then it might be suffering from heat stroke. If this occurs, apply a cool, ramp rag to your pet's paws for 15 minutes and call your veterinarian.

Don't let your pal ride in the car with his head hanging out of the window. If the window is down low enough, he might jump out. Flying debris could also result in eye injuries.

Keep these tips in mind this summer to keep your dog or cat happy, healthy, and safe.