How to help your furry friends beat the heat during the dog days of summer

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The dog days of summer are approaching, so it’s important to make sure not just the humans are beating the heat.

Wilmington Fire Department Spokeswoman Rebekah Thurston shares some tips on how to make sure our four-legged friends aren’t overheated.

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“You want to limit outside play to in the mornings or in the evenings when it’s a little bit cooler. You want to make sure you have lots of cool water for them to drink,” Thurston said.

If you’re taking them for a walk, place your hand on the pavement for seven seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them.

Just like children, pets should never be left in a hot car. Thurston says June through August are the deadliest months for hot car deaths. On a 68 degree day, temps in the car can jump to 81 in 10 minutes, and 115 in just an hour.

Some pet parents took their fur babies to the Long Leaf Park Dog Park on Thursday, many making sure to keep them in the shade and keeping cool water close by for them. They shared some ways they like to keep their pets nice and cool on hot days in the Cape Fear.

“I take her down to the lake at smith creek park and there’s, like, a sandbar so she can walk across it and swim,” Skylar Harrelson said about her German Shepherd/Husky mix named Nala. “When she gets really hot that’s all she wants to do is just lay in the water.”

“Taking them for dips in the backyard pool, I’m sure that’s always fun,” Bailey Goodrich said about her Chihuahua/Terrier mix, Timon. “Definitely involving water in the summer. You know, getting in the ocean. Things like that.”

They emphasized the importance of keeping a close eye on your pups, especially when they start panting and seem more tired than usual.

“You have to treat them like they are a kid, because they can’t voice their opinion and how they feel,” Harrelson said.

“I don’t have any kids and he’s like my kid,” Goodrich said. “I was just saying that last night, you’re just like a little baby! Always important to take good care of them.”