When people get hot outside, they seek shade or just go inside.

It's not that easy for a dog. The extreme heat of summer can affect dogs in a harmful way -- and can even kill them.

Barrett Rae, owner of Eli's Friends, said you will notice if your pet is having a reaction to the heat with visible signs, like excessive panting, having a hard time breathing, seeming weak, collapsing and an increased heart rate.

Mrs. Rae said the very best thing a pet owner can do is not let his or her pet spend a lot of time out in the heat on the very hot days of summer.

"Even if it's an outside dog, you still need to take it in sometimes," she said. "Ideally, during the heat of the day, those dogs could come inside a garage or the home. In many cases, people can't do that, so they should make sure there's shade and plenty of water for your dog and make sure it's fresh and clean water."

Another way to help your outside pet stay cool is to get it a cooling mat.

"We use them here, and some of my huskies really like them," Mrs. Rae said. "Even if they're just out for 10 minutes, I'll put the cooling mats down, and the thicker-haired dogs just love them. They're great to have."

There are other items you can get to help keep your pet cool, such as a neck band, a cooling baseball hat, a cooling bandana or even ranger hats.

Also, keeping a long-haired dog groomed shorter during the summer can help prevent overheating.

Something that people don't normally think about, Mrs. Rae said, is being careful of walking your dog on the hot pavement for an extensive period of time.

"If you do walk your dogs, walk them early or walk them in the evening when it's cooler," she said. "The pavement can burn their pads, especially ones with sensitive paw pads or a small dog. A dog will act like it's hot on the pavement and that's how you'll know. Just a minute on hot pavement can burn their feet."

Pet Supplies Plus sells a wax made especially for dogs' pads in the heat.

Nutri Vet pad guard wax is a safe, non-toxic wax that safeguards your dog's paws from the effects of the hot pavement, gravel, asphalt, sand and chemically treated roads. It also helps heal cracked pads and abrasions.

You just spread a thin coating on the pad and in between the toes or press your dog's paw into the wax before taking him outside.

Take care with inside dogs, too.

Mrs. Rae said to try to keep them out of the hottest part of the day, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

"If you have to let them out to do their business, let them go and then bring them right back in," she said. "Especially a dog that's used to air conditioning.

"They might get too warm and have trouble breathing and then not want water and collapse. Then you're looking at an emergency. Try to think of it as how long would you let your child stay out in the heat and not in the shade."

If you and your pet have a walking routine, you might want to modify it during the hot summer months.

Mrs. Rae suggested walking your dog early in the morning or later in the evening and making the walk shorter than normal. Then make sure to give your pet water as soon as you get home.

A lot of people like to include their pets in family outings to the beach. But remember that sand is hot and can burn your pet's sensitive pads.

"Treat them like you would your child as far as protection," Mrs. Rae said. "Give them plenty of water if they are going to be out on the beach. If they're small, carry them through the hot sand. Pick the early morning or later in the day to take your dog to the beach. When it's the hottest in the day, it can cause problems."

Pets will try to cool off in any way they can. So be especially cautious if you have a pool.

"We all think every dog can swim, and that's not always the case," Mrs. Rae said. "So an unsupervised dog around a swimming pool is not safe."

She said the dog may want to get in the pool to cool off, but if it can't swim, it may drown.

Mrs. Rae suggested getting a kiddie pool for your dog, making sure to put it into a shaded area. Then your pet can jump in it to cool off. But remember to keep the water cool because it can heat up during the day.

And never leave your dog in the car unattended, especially with the windows rolled up. It can get very hot very quickly in the car and is harmful to dogs, even killing them.

Mrs. Rae said it's important to keep your pets safe during the summer.

"If we have pets, we are responsible for taking care of them," she said. "Even an outside dog has to be cared for. Treat them like your family. They are part of the family."