Keeping your pets cool in the summer heat

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Tuesday marked the hottest day of the year so far in the 2019 summer season. The temperatures outside made it uncomfortable for humans and pets alike.

The Humane Society of the United States said the heat can be dangerous and deadly for animals. The organization made a list of ways to help keep your pets cool.

Asphalt can burn your pets' paws. Experts recommend limiting outdoor activity. Young-Williams Animal Center said no more than one hour outside. They also said it's best to walk in the morning or evening.

WVLT News used a temperature gun to test the heat on pavement at the Concord Dog Park. On a mid-90-degree day, the pavement can heat up to 135 degrees. But shaded lawn stays cooler at about 85.

The Humane Society also said don't leave your pets in a car, even with the window cracked. The inside can heat up to more than 110 degrees in just ten minutes.

They also said don't rely on a fan. Dogs sweat primarily through their feet, so a fan won't cool off pets the same way they do for people.

To help keep them cool, experts remind owners to provide fresh, cold water. If you can, add an ice cube.

Just like people, dogs are also at risk for heat stroke. Young, old and overweight dogs are more prone. But the Humane Society also warned owners to watch for breeds including boxers, pugs and shih tzus.

Signs of heat stroke include heavy panting, glazed eyes, excessive thirst, lack of coordination, vomiting, deep red or a purple tongue, fever, and dizziness.

To treat heatstroke, experts said you should move your pet to an air-conditioned area. Apply ice packs or a cold towel to their head, neck and chest or run cool water over them. They also said let them drink small amounts of cool water or lick an ice cube.

The Humane Society said if this happens, you should take your pet to the veterinarian.

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