Protect paws. Animals' paws are very sensitive, and can suffer burns from the heat of pavement. "If it's too hot for you to walk barefoot, it's too hot for the dog," Murray says. Keep your pets in the grass, or invest in some doggie boots or socks. Signs of burned paws include: limping or refusing to walk; paws that have turned a darker color; visible blisters or redness; and missing parts of a foot pad. You may also notice your pet licking or chewing the pads as he searches for relief.
Teach them to swim. Water safety is important, especially if your pet is going to be around a swimming pool. It's best to teach your animals how to get in and out of the pool, so if they ever fall in when you're not around, they'll be able to get out. "The best way to teach them is to use treats – and praise and encouragement," Almeida says. "Be really gentle, and help them learn how to do it before it's ever an issue." If your pets are joining you on a boating trip, make sure they wear lifejackets – yes, they come in dog form. And if Fido is going swimming at the beach, make sure he doesn't swallow salt water, which can be toxic to animals.
Keep their coats long. Seems like it'd make sense to shave your dogs for the summer, no? Au contraire: "Not only will it make them more prone to sunburn, but their coat actually acts as insulation," Murray says. Indeed, an animal's coat helps regulate temperature extremes and keep its body at a moderate temperature.
Train pets to tolerate fireworks. Some pets are so frightened by the booming noises that they manage to escape – and then keep running and running. Shelters see a spike in stray animals after holidays like the Fourth of July. Keep your pets inside during fireworks, and develop a positive association with the loud noises. "I used to give my dogs a couple treats the first couple booms, and now, they don't even wake up when they hear it," Almeida says.