How to keep your pets safe during this 'dangerously hot' week

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It's going to be a hot week. A "dangerously hot" week with heat indices exceeding 100 degrees. according to the National Weather Service.

Severe weather warnings are being issued across the state on how to keep humans safe and cool, but what about pets?

Here are some tips on keeping your pet alive and healthy during the heat wave from the Minneapolis Animal Care and Control.

Where to keep your pet

  •  Keep your pet inside and out of the direct sun.
  •  Never leave your pet unattended in a parked car for any period of time. On a warm day, the temperature in a car can exceed 120 degrees in a matter of minutes – even with the windows partially open. Your pet can quickly suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke or suffocation.
  • Don't keep your pet in a dog house. That may only amplify the heat, according to The Humane Society.

What to give your pet

  • Be sure your pet has enough clean, cool water. You can even add ice to cool it down.
  • Provide ample shade and don't rely on a fan to keep them cool.
  • The Humane Society also suggest making DIY peanut butter popsicles to cool down dogs.

How serious is it?

  • Hundreds of animals die from heat every year, especially from being left in cars, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
  • What works for humans might not work for pets. They react to heat and cool differently than people.
  • Older or sick animals are more likely to suffer from heat. If your pet begins experiencing heat stroke the Humane Society recommends: moving your pet into the shade or an air-conditioned area; applying ice packs or cold towels to the head, neck, and chest; running cool (not cold) water over them; letting them drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.

If you see a distressed and overheated animal and believe the situation to be life-threatening, call 911.

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