Dehydration -- Symptoms of dehydration include the gums of the mouth feeling tacky to the touch and/or the skin may become slow to return to its natural position when pulled up. Dehydration can lead to lethargy as it progresses, and the pet's eyes may appear to be sunken. In mild to moderate cases, giving your pet small amounts of water to drink over time will help, but in severe cases they'll need IV fluids administered at the veterinary hospital. To prevent this, it's important to have clean, fresh water available for your pet at all times, in a container that can't be tipped over accidentally.
Heat stroke -- Heat stroke is very serious. Symptoms include extreme panting, salivating, staggering, vomiting and diarrhea. As it becomes fatal, your pet will become comatose and their temperature will range from 104 - 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
If your pet is experiencing heat stroke, call your veterinarian immediately - time is of the essence. Use cool water to bring the temperature down; soak towels to use while driving to the veterinary hospital. However, do not let their temperature drop below 102 - 103 degrees Fahrenheit, as this can cause hypothermia. Your pet will be treated with IV fluid therapy. To prevent this situation, access to shade, ventilation and water are key, as well as avoiding exercise during the peak heat of the day (this is particularly important for short-nosed dogs such as pugs, which cannot cool off by panting as efficiently).
Sunburn -- Sunburn will look similar on a pet as it would on a human, and typically occurs in non-pigmented areas that have less or no hair - often the ears and nose in many breeds, or the underside of the belly. Since dogs and cats might lick off their sunblock, access to shade is critical. Try to keep them out of the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Aloe can soothe pets' burned skin, but they'll need to see the veterinarian if it is severe.
In general, it's important to avoid walks or hikes during the peak heat, and to keep up on normal wellness visits as recommended by your veterinarian. A summer check-up can help detect early problems such as kidney disease, which might get worse by the stress of heat during the summer.
On walks, be careful to avoid hot asphalt, which can burn pets' feet if they aren't toughened from exercise, or if it is extremely hot -- you can test it with your own hands or feet to be sure. Also, if your pet is thirsty, they'll be more prone to drink from puddles. This should be avoided in case chemicals such as antifreeze are in the puddles.
Hot cars and more -- It is important to avoid leaving pets inside their cars, as the heat can easily be 20-40 degrees warmer in a very short period of time.
It can also be a good idea to cut your pets' fur shorter in summer months.
And be careful around swimming pools.
By taking precautions to keep your pet safe from summer heat, you'll have little to worry about. Then you can focus on enjoying the weather together!