Summer is here and as much as we love hiking or spending time outdoors it's also important to keep your pets safe.

We need to remember that dogs can't cool down as fast as we can. The only way dogs can sweat is through their mouth and their paws and sometimes it can get too hot for these guys. One vet we spoke with says it is important to have water nearby. "Ponds, lakes, streams for them to get wet in, make sure we are carrying enough water," says Hope Rinehimer with Sierra Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Center.

Signs to look out for when your dog might be dehydrated is fatigue, trouble breathing, and their gums turning red. Rinehimer says that is the time to get your dog into cold water either by going in a stream or a lake, going home and taking a cold shower or if you are closer - go to a local vet.

When it comes to hiking with your dog, you will want to be aware of the surface they are walking on, especially if they are not used to it. "You don't take them on regular hikes on a daily basis or multiple times per week. It probably is not the best idea to put them on a somewhat warm surface for a period of time." 

It's best to take your dog out in the early mornings or late evenings when it is cooler and to check the surface by touching it with the back of your hand for several seconds. If it is too hot for you, it is too hot for them.

You will also want to look out for fox tails. Even though they are small they can get into your pets' ears and sometimes even their eyes or nose. "If your pet is in those areas as soon as you get home, look over their feet and look at their eyes, make sure they are not squinting at all," explains Rinehimer. Signs to look out for is if they are shaking their head or snorting...those are signs that a fox tail has been lodged in their ears or nose. Rinehimer says if you can see one on the coat you can safety remove them by just pulling them out, but if they are lodged in their nose, ears or eyes you will need to see a vet.