It's the dog days of summer and humans aren't the only ones feeling the heat.
The Humane Society stresses that pets are just as vulnerable, and hot weather can be dangerous or even life-threatening for animals.
Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society spokeswoman Candy Lash says when owners are out running errands, it's important to leave their pets safely at home.
She added that dogs should be kept off the sidewalk because the hot pavement can be very hard on their paws. And like children, pets should never be left in a hot car.
"If a pet is left in a car with the windows open, even parked in the shade on a moderately hot day it can heat up to more than a 100 degrees very quickly," Lash explained.
Experts also recommend carrying cool water for pets.
Owners should always be on the lookout for warning signs of heat stress, including:
- Heavy panting.
If you notice any of these signs, get your pet to a cool spot and contact your vet.
Cruelty to animals can be a felony, and violators can face several years in jail if convicted.