Protect pets from this summer’s hot temps

Animals can quickly succumb to heat stroke if left outdoors for long periods with no water or shelter in these, the hottest days of the year.

Nationwide, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals reports that at least 24 hot weather-related animal deaths have been reported this summer.

That’s why it’s so vitally important to remember to keep your pets cool and safe. Here are some suggestions that experts offer:

If possible, keep animals indoors in severely hot temperatures like we have been experiencing. Unlike humans, dogs perspire only through their footpads and cool themselves by panting, so even brief sun exposure can have life-threatening consequences. Anyone who sees animals in distress and is unable to help should note their locations and alert authorities immediately.

Never leave an animal inside a hot vehicle. Temperatures can quickly soar in parked cars. In fact, the temperature inside a vehicle climbs approximately 43 degrees in just an hour. Animals trapped inside can die from heat stroke within minutes — even if the car is in the shade with the windows slightly open.

Avoid walking your dog on hot pavement. When outdoor temperatures reach the 80s, asphalt temperatures can climb to 140 degrees, causing pain, burns and permanent damage to dogs’ paws after just a few minutes of contact. Walk dogs on grass whenever possible, and avoid walking in the middle of the day. And never run with dogs in hot weather.

Don’t take your pets’ health and safety for granted, especially in hot summer weather.