As the summer heat approaches, here are some preparedness tips to consider when caring for your pets:

Never leave pets in a car, even with the windows down. The inside of a car can reach temperatures in excess of 150 degrees in a matter of minutes.

If possible, pets should be kept indoors during excessive heat.

If keeping a pet outside, make sure that pets have adequate shelter from the sun and plenty of fresh water at all times.

Plan outside activities with your pets during the cooler parts of the day: early morning and evening. Limit the outside activity of your pets during the heat of the day.

During hot weather sidewalks and pavement radiate excessive amounts of heat and can be too hot for the pads of your pet's paws. Consider that if the sidewalk is too hot for you to walk barefoot, it is too hot for your pet to walk on.

Allow access to the coolest part of your home. If you don't have air conditioning, or you turn it off while at work, make sure your pet can get to a cool place, such as a basement.

Take extra precautions in hot weather for dogs that are elderly, overweight or snub-nosed.

Always have a disaster plan in place for you, your family and your pets.

Remember, WHEN YOU GO, THEY GO. DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT THEM. If you are told to evacuate, take your pets with you. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND.

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