We all love our animals, and most people consider them part of the family. This very hot weather can be harsh on your animals.

Here are a few hints on how to keep your pet safe and cool during the hot days of July.

  • Never leave your pets inside a car, even with the windows down or cracked. On a warm day, the temperature in a car can exceed 120 degrees in a matter of minutes
  • Don't keep your pet in a dog house outside, it can amplify the heat.
  • Provide ample shade and fresh water for your pets or keep them inside the house or your basement. The basement is always cooler than the upper house. Don't forget, your dog or cat has fur.
  • Shave or trim your dogs hair.
  • Limit your dogs exercise during the heat of the day, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Allow your dog to play in a doggie pool and spray them with a hose of water.

According to the Humane Society, if you think your pet is having a heat-stroke do the following.

Move your pet into air conditioned, apply ice packs or cool towels or rags around your dogs neck, chest and head. Plus, run cool water (not cold) to your dogs body. Let them drink small amounts of water or cubes of ice. In most cases, if your dog is experiencing a heat-stroke and heat related-illness, take them quickly to the veterinarian.