LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — As it continues to get hotter this week, like people, pets need to stay cool.
Keeping pets outside for too long in extreme heat can cause severe health problems, not to mention you can be fined or put in jail.
At Happy Tails Dog Park in Lower Paxton Township, Ursa the golden retriever knows how to stay cool on a hot summer day.
“She loves ice,” her owner Theresa Nies said.
Dog owners aren’t the only ones who found shade at the park.
“Yeah, my dog always finds the shade,” Nies said.
On the way to the park Ursa is careful.
“She always is smart. She always goes on the grass. She knows that the cement’s hot,” Nies said.
But it’s on owners, not dogs to realize that.
“That asphalt does burn paw pads and that is going to end up you know, bringing you into the vet office for a visit,” said Kristen Tullo, Pennsylvania State Director for the Humane Society of the United States.
Tullo wants people to be cognizant of the law for pets in the backyard too.
“Tethered dogs must have access to water and shade if they’re outdoors,” Tullo said. “And they can’t be tethered more than 30 minutes at a time in temperatures above 90 degrees.”
If you think it’s hot outside, it can be deadly in a car.
“Never leave your pet in a parked car. Not for a minute, not with the car running while the air conditioner is on,” Tullo said.
“Even if you crack the window just a little bit the way that air kind of just bounces off things and stays inside of the car. It’s a lot hotter inside,” said Officer Matthew Bartow with Lower Paxton Township Police Department.
If you see a pet alone in a car, call 911. First responders are allowed to break in if necessary.
“If we can make contact with the owner immediately and the pet looks like they have some time for us to be able to contact the owner immediately we’ll try to get them out there,” Bartow said. “If we’re unable to do so then we’ll have to do what we have to do to create a safe environment for that pet.”
“Pets don’t know their own limits. So it’s up to you as a responsible pet parent to make sure that you’re providing that safe environment and being healthy and happy together,” Tullo said.
If the temperature outside is 95 degrees like this week, in just 10 minutes, that can rise to 114 degrees, so make sure your pets and kids don’t get left alone.
For more tips on keeping pets safe in the heat, click here.