EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Summer is officially here and temperatures are starting to rise, and Juleie Newbold from El Paso Animal Services shares some of the simple steps you can take to keep your pets safe during hot weather.

Don’t leave your pets in the car, even for a couple of minutes.

A car can overheat quickly even with the windows cracked. Even when it’s only 80 degrees outside, your car can heat up to 120 degrees in a matter of minutes.

Make sure your pet has access to fresh drinkable water, shade, and shelter.

The best place for your pets is inside, but if you’re unable to bring them indoors, make sure they have access to proper shelter, continuous shade, and plenty of fresh, clean, drinkable water. A tree or a tarp does not provide shade all day when the sun shifts, so a physical shelter would be best for them to escape direct sunlight. And metal bowls are not ideal for water, especially during extreme weather, as they can make water practically boiling and undrinkable.

Do not walk your pet during the hottest part of the day.

Sidewalks and asphalt can get hot during the day and burn your pet’s paw pads. Place the back of your hand against the ground, and if you’re not able to hold it there longer than 5 seconds, it’s too hot for your pet to walk.

Know that any dog can overheat quickly.

Especially young, overweight, elderly, dark-colored animals or those with short muzzles, like bulldogs and pugs, are the most at risk of overheating. Symptoms of heat stroke are excessive panting and drooling, reddened gums, rapid heart rate, and wobbliness to name a few, so if you notice your pet displaying these symptoms, move your pet to a cooler area and contact your veterinarian immediately.