While people try to beat the heat, area pet lovers want to make sure animals are not forgotten.
Dr. William Seleen of the Jamestown Veterinary Hospital said the best advice is to not allow dogs or cats to get too hot.
"The biggest thing about heat is dogs and cats really don't sweat," he said, adding cooling them down can therefore be more of a hardship than preventing them from getting too hot. He said the only way for smaller animals to get heat off is by panting, through the pads of their feet or sometimes the bridge of noses.
"Once their body temperature gets up, it's hard to get down," he said, adding there is a reason hot days are called "the dog days of summer," as that is when laying around can be vital for dogs and cats. He said the pets should not get too much exercise, which can lead to their body temperature increasing. He said, for instance, dogs should not be made to jog. Instead, they should be in the shade, never left in cars, even if windows are cracked.
Water should also always be available, said Dr. Seleen, who urged common sense when taking care of pets and said people can do so similarly to taking care of children.
If body temperatures can't be brought down, he said, pets should be cooled by spraying them with hoses, letting them run through sprinklers. He said if tongues are hanging down, it is a sign animals should be taken to water.
"Don't leave them out in the sun without water," he said.
If in distress, he said, pets should be taken to veterinarians. He said if body temperatures are not brought down, pets can go into shock and need to be watched.
"(You) don't want to get to that point," he said, adding even if a person is out on a hike with a pet, the animal should be allowed to slow down.
The Chautauqua County Humane Society's Sue Bobek said people should make sure animals are out of the sun. Even if they are inside, there should be air movement with fans or air conditioners, she said.
Moisture is lost as animals pant, she said, adding that is why water must be replenished. Some pet owners think they are providing enough water, she said, adding, however, putting it in a bowl that tips could leave a pet without water for the day if the water is spilled. Ms. Bobek also suggests brushing animals to get added fur off pets to keep them cooler.
A kiddie pool can be made available so pets can walk through it so pads on feet are cooled down, she said. Dogs should not be walked on pavement, she said, adding their pads otherwise can burn on hot surfaces.
Thin-haired or white-haired dogs can get sunburned, she said, adding that should be prevented.
Be careful of playtime, she said, adding some dogs get so excited to play they may forget about becoming too hot, which could lead to problems. At the first signs of a pet in stress, she said, veterinarians should be called.
Dr. Shannon Carpenter of the Farm Animal Hospital in Falconer deals mostly with larger animals normally kept in barns. She also has a warning for large animal owners during hot days.
"Proper ventilation in the barns is the big thing," she said, adding being in a four-season climate means farms are not always equipped with sprinkler systems that are common in climates where it is warm year-round. Therefore, she said ventilation, along with keeping fresh water available is paramount for farm animals during heat waves.