Ways to keep your pets safe during extreme heat

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Early Wednesday morning, the temperature of the pavement is already registering at about 100 degrees, and inside a vehicle, it's even hotter.

"It's already 111 degrees in this car, and it is still early in the morning," said Officer Danielle Hartman with Fresno Humane Animal Services

For humans, these heat traps can be easy to avoid, but it's a different story for our pets. Hartman said owners need to be mindful especially in over 100 degree weather.

"It takes less than five minutes for it to get past 125 in your car, which of course can kill your dog," she said.

According to Hartman, heat affects dogs differently, and some breeds are more at risk. That includes dogs with thick coats like huskies and flat-faced canines like boxers and pugs.

"It is harder for them to breathe, so make sure if you are going to walk them, walk them for just a little bit - not as long as you would walk one of your regular breed dogs," she said.

Just like humans, animals can also suffer from heatstroke. If this happens, Hartman says owners can use rubbing alcohol on an animal's paws and back to instantly cool them off.

"If they get to the point where they are struggling to breathe or laying down a lot, automatically we want to hose them down, put some alcohol on their feet," she said.

She recommends walking your dog in the early morning or evening. If the cement is to hot for you, it's too hot for your pet. Another way to stay refreshed is by playing in the water.

Michelle Hardy said she and her dog DJ are taking advantage of the Splash Park at the Valley Animal Center.

"We try to as often as we can, come out here so he can get his swim on, get his wiggles out," Hardy said.

Java and her owner Tracy Kelly are repeat customers, but they also have other ways of keeping cool.

"Stay inside pretty much all day long, lots of water, I have tile floors and just staying out of the heat," Kelly said.

Hartman said if you keep your dog outside, try putting ice cubes in their water bowls and make sure they have plenty of access to shade.
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