. - Summers can be rough for pet owners in Tucson. The heat makes it difficult for your pet to stay hydrated and limits their time to be walked or even to be outside.
There are a few tips and tricks to keep in your back pocket so that you and your pet can enjoy the summer sunshine, safely and carefully.
The first: aim to walk your dog before 9 a.m. As temperatures continue to rise, and with a high of 106 expected on Friday, June 8, it is important to try to hit the pavement with your pup early - before it's too hot for their paws.
Second: test the ground before choosing to have your pet walk on it. There's a simple test you can do to make sure it's safe to walk your pets - the 5-second test. Put your bare hand or foot on the ground for 5 seconds and see if it is hot to the touch.
"If it's too hot for you it's too hot for them," said Monique Conway of the Human Society of Southern Arizona.
The third tip: always know the route you plan to take so that you're not lost and stuck in the heat.
Fourth: be over-prepared. Bring lots of water for you and your pets, along with sunscreen and snacks.
Fifth: don't over-use protective gear for your pets. The Humane Society says the little shoe many dogs wear to protect their paw pads are good, but not for too long.
Sixth: keep a close eye on your pets. Like humans, animals can get heat stroke or heat exhaustion so be sure to watch for heavy breathing in your pet and drooling. Also, if you have an animal with flat face like a pug or Persian cat keep a very close on them because animals with flat faces are more prone to heat stroke.
Seventh: don't leave your pets in the car, even with the windows down.
"If you're taking them in the car anywhere, 5 seconds is too long. Without air conditioning if you leave your pet in the car it's like an oven. The temperature inside of the car can double in minutes," Conway said.
And finally: the ASPCA says to never shave your dog. The reason being that the layers of dogs' coats protect them from overheating and sunburn so having some hair or fur on the dog's body can actually help to protect it from the sun.