(WTAJ) – The summer months bring hot temperatures that can sometimes feel unbearable. But even the days that don’t seem too bad for people can still be dangerous to pets.

Simple precautions can be taken to protect your pet from extreme heat.

Never leave your pets in a parked car

Leaving the windows open or turning the air conditioning on makes little to no difference when an animal is sitting inside a car according to the Humane Society of the United States.

On an 85° day, temperatures can rise to over 100° inside the vehicle in just 10 minutes and over 120° degrees after only a half-hour.

Keep dogs off of the hot pavement

Caution is needed when walking dogs during the summer. According to The American Red Cross, sidewalk pavement and asphalt could cause severe pain or burns on your dog’s paws.

Walking on the grass or in the early morning or late evening when it’s cooler are easy ways to keep your dog’s feet from hurting.

Keep animals hydrated

To keep your pets cool as much as possible, always bring cold water on walks and keep them in the shade under trees and buildings. See if your pet would like a cool bath after being outside.

Don’t leave animals outside

Watch for things that won’t cool off your pet. Doghouses get very warm in the summer just like parked cars do, and fans don’t help pets beat the heat as they do for humans.

Watch for heatstroke

If you suspect your pet is experiencing heatstroke, there are specific signs to look out for. This potentially fatal emergency can happen in just a few minutes.

Symptoms of heatstroke include heavy panting, unwillingness to move, lack of coordination, vomiting and similar signs.

If your pet is showing these symptoms, provide them with cool, but not cold, water and a cold towel to the head and chest in a shaded or air-conditioned area. If you don’t have towels, you can run cool water over them. 

While providing these care tips, it is important to take your pet to the vet as soon as possible.

The mistreatment of animals can lead to criminal charges. Anyone who suspects animal cruelty can report it to their local police department.