It'll feel like we're in 100-degree weather starting Tuesday and this kind of heat can be deadly to pets.

Whether you own something as small as a hamster or as large as a draft horse, the ongoing heatwave can be especially dangerous for animals.


The American Humane Society updated its guidance so Central New York pet owners can take all the precautionary steps to avoid potential harm to their furry, feathered, or scaley friends.

The AHS strongly discourages anyone from leaving their pets in a hot car - no matter how short the wait can be.

On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees.

Leaving your pet in prolonged and inescapable heat can cause irreversible organ damage or even death. It's best off to prevent your pet from suffering and leave them at home where it'll be much cooler.

The AHS also urges all pet owners to beware of the humidity. With this "heat dome" currently above us, this means we are bracing for elevated humidity levels that will make it feel like triple digits outside.

Heat Wave Grips New York
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However, animals face additional harm when left in high humidity.

"When animals pant, moisture from their lungs evaporates and helps reduce their body heat. But high humidity conditions hamper that process and their ability to cool themselves, and their body temperature can skyrocket—rapidly—to dangerous, or even lethal, levels," says  Dr. Barbara Hodges, DVM, MBA, of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association.

Read More: Potentially Deadly Heat Wave to Impact Central New York

This also means that exercise and time spent outdoors should be limited - no matter how hard your pet may beg for it. The best time to let a pet burn energy during a heat wave is during the very early morning ours or late evening.

Additionally, the bright sun can heat the asphalt to damaging temperatures for paws, which can lead to burns.


Whenever taking a pet outside, have water on you to prevent them from becoming dehydrated. Giving them water is a better means to cool them off than putting them in front of a fan - apparently they aren't as effective on pets as humans.

The AHS suggests looking into cooling pads, wraps, or vests for your pet. They can help an animal cool down more efficiently.

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Animals with white-colored ears are more susceptible to skin cancer - so it's important to minimize their exposure to direct sunlight. For paddocks, make sure the animals are released in areas with ample shade. For dogs, they cannot escape the sun and heat in their doghouse because they actually trap the hot temperatures and can increase a pooch's chance of developing heat stroke.

Some signs of heatstroke are heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure and unconsciousness.

If your pet does enter heat stroke, bring them to an area with air conditioning and start applying ice packs or cold towels to their head, neck, and chest. The AHS says do not run cold water over their body, but you can get away with running room-temperature to cool water over them.

Their final warning is for all pet owners to have a plan in place in case the extreme heat knocks out the power. They encourage having a disaster plan to ensure you are well prepared in the event you have no choice with your pet coming into contact with uncomfortably hot temperatures.

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory to our immediate area through Thursday night. Friday will be hot, as well, but without the crazy high humidity.

Central New York should be back in the 80s by the weekend.

What's your favorite way to stay cool? Give us a shout by using the chat feature on our station app.

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