Ways to protect your pets in the summer heat

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- It's hot outside for us, but just imagine what it's like to be a dog in this heat.

Veterinarians warn this heat is just as dangerous for them as it is for us.

"We can cool ourselves. We can wear shorts and tank top. They're wearing a fur coat at all times," said Dr. Sandra Strong, Wake County Animal Services chief veterinarian.
With heat indices higher than 100 degrees, even a walk around the block can be dangerous for your furry friend.

"There's the heat and humidity but when we're walking on asphalt especially - so darker pavement - and also the sidewalks can get very hot so if it's warm to the touch for our hands - then it's going to be warm for their paw too," Dr. Strong said.

Dr. Strong says this time of year, try walking your pets in grassy areas or places with more dirt or even early in the morning or late in the evening when the temperatures are lower.

SEE ALSO | How to keep your dog's paws safe in the summer heat

"Out in the middle of the day can be stressful and painful for their feet," Dr. Strong said.

But if your dog is exposed to this heat, there are signs to look for:

  • Excessive panting
  • Drooling
  • Wanting to lay down or refusing to keep walking
  • Trouble standing up


"I would suggest taking water. There are a lot of cool tools out now where you can transport water with your pet if you're not sure you're going to be around somewhere where there is water," Dr. Strong said.

And even though they are man's best friend, in the heat of summer you may want to make the tough decision to leave your pup at home in the cool air conditioning

"When it's hot for us, it's hot for our pets. And we need to remember that and keep them safe," Dr. Strong said.

If you'd like any more tips on how to keep your pets safe this summer, visit https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/keep-pets-safe-heat
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