EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The El Paso Fire Department is reminding pet owners to use caution when taking pets out for walks or hikes in the desert heat.

On Saturday, EPFD’s COMSAR Team helped a woman suffering from dehydration, as well as two dogs with severe injuries to their paws, because of the heat and rough terrain at Mundy’s Gap.

EPFD advised pet owners to only take pets on long walks or hikes if they have experience doing so and to use pet paw protection when possible. Be sure to check the asphalt before going on a walk — if it is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws, EPFD tweeted.

To keep your pets safe when it’s hot out, the American Veterinary Medical Association offers these tips:

  • Take walks, hikes or runs during the cooler hours of the day.
  • Avoid hot surfaces, such as asphalt, that can burn your pet’s paws.
  • Ask your veterinarian if your pet would benefit from a warm-weather haircut or sunscreen.
  • Don’t walk, run or hike with a dog during the hottest parts of the day or on particularly warm days.
  • Bring enough water for both you and your pet.

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