First heat wave has people, pets looking for ways to stay cool

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — With the first true heat wave of the season here, people were working up a sweat at Hugh MacRae Park. Wilmington resident Osku Backstrom was at the dog park, letting his pup get some exercise and trying to keep cool.

“I think shade is really important and drink plenty of water,” Backstrom said. “Stay cool, don’t stay out too long, it’s easy to get sunburn too if you’re on the beach. Make sure you wear a hat, sunscreen or a rash guard or something like that.”

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On days this hot, heat-related illnesses like cramps, exhaustion or strokes can strike. Medical experts like New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Terri DeWees recommend you stay hydrated, spend time in air conditioning and limit exposure to the highest heat of the day.

“We just need to take care of each other during this time. Slow down, take care of yourselves, the heat’ll go away in a few days and then we can gear up for the next time,” DeWees said.

Local veterinarian Rudi Richmand says when you have your dog or another pet out in this kind of heat, you need to be mindful of its health too.



“Some things I tell people to think about is always provide shade for your pet, always provide cold water, adding ice cubes can be really helpful. Certainly, exercising your dogs early in the morning or late in the evening are also really good things to consider,” Richmand said.

Richmand also said to be mindful of asphalt or concrete temperatures when taking your dog for a walk. She says if the ground is hot to the touch, it’s probably too dangerous for your pup’s paws.

The National Weather Service has issued another heat advisory from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday. Heat index values are expected to be close to 110 degrees.