Knoxville (WVLT) - When it starts getting into these hot and humid summer months, don't forget about the family pet.
Volunteer TV’s Stacy McCloud has some signs you need to watch for to determine if your pet is having a heat stroke. And most importantly the simple things you can do to prevent that from happening in the first place.
When the suns beating down and the temperatures are climbing, if your pets can't be inside, there are two simple things you must remember, water and shade.
"Water that can't be tipped over, make sure they have two sources of water,” says veterinarian Dr. Kevin Brott says.
Those are things you should always do, but there are also things you should never do.
"Absolutely no animal can be left in a car, period. Even for short periods of time,”
Dr. Brott says even with the windows cracked, leaving an animal inside a car when it's this hot outside, could result in stroke or even death.
A lot of it depends on breed, but Dr. Brott says an animal’s body temperature can rise very quickly and it doesn't take much of an increase for them to be affected. "If an animals temp goes to about 105, once it hits 106 they can start having a heat stroke. It's not abnormal for their temp to go up to 109 and their cells start to cook in their body, it's a horrible thing to go through."
For cats, watch the way they're breathing. If they start breathing heavy or panting, take them somewhere cool, give them cold water, and immediately contact your vet.
As for dogs, they pant anyway, so with them you'll want to watch for behavior changes.
Dr. Brott’s advice is to get them out of the heat, hose them off with cold water, and then consult with your veterinarian.
We spoke with police, who remind you that purposefully neglecting your animal, such as leaving them in hot cars, or not having water available, could result in charges of animal cruelty or neglect.