Ways to protect pets in the heat when temperatures rise

Knoxville, Tenn. (WATE) – As a heat advisory continues for much of the Valley and South Valley, pet owners are urged to remember their furry friends.

WATE ran a little science experiment to show just how hot roads and sidewalks can get, even when the temperatures aren’t breaking records.

“The way we feel heat is not the same as pets,” explained Chastedy Johnson of the Young-Williams Animal Center. “Even between 70 and 80 degrees, it can be a lot hotter for pets, especially with their fur. “

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, when temperatures are high, animals’ bodies can heat up quickly, especially because they are lower to the ground. Also, their pads can burn. This is why it is important to keep walks to a minimum.

It is also important to know when your pet is overheating.

“They’re panting excessively or they just don’t want to walk on the sidewalk, that’s probably a good indication that they need to come in to cool off,” Johnson explained.

But how hot is it for pets to walk outside?

According to Chief Meteorologist Ken Weathers’ heat gun, at two o’clock Wednesday afternoon, WATE’s driveway was 124 degrees, which was hot enough to melt a cold stick of butter, frozen ice cream, a chocolate bar and hot enough to burn sensitive paw pads.

“Check the sidewalk before you go out,” Johnson told WATE. “A simple way to do this is to take your bare hand and bare foot, place it on the pavement, and if it’s too hot for you, it’s sure to be hot for your pets.”

Pet experts urge owners to hit the pavement before taking their pets for a walk

So what’s the best way to enjoy summer days with your pet?

“Make sure you have access to water at all times and also avoid the hottest times of the day, Johnson explained. “Try taking your walks earlier in the morning or later in the evening just to make sure the sidewalk is a little cooler for your pets.”

Pet owners should also be aware of humidity levels. According to the Humane Society of the United States, if the humidity is too high, pets cannot cool themselves, which means their temperature can skyrocket. So even though the temperatures aren’t that high, be aware of the humidity levels.

Also, never leave your dog inside a car, even with the windows down. Pet experts say leaving pets in a car for a few minutes could be deadly.