Ultimate guide to protecting you, your pets from high temperatures

Published: May. 3, 2018 at 2:05 PM MST|Updated: Jun. 21, 2018 at 1:56 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - It's shaping up to be a seriously hot few days in southern Arizona.

With the heat, don't forget to drink plenty of water, apply sunscreen before you step outdoors, wear a hat and sunglasses and if you can, limit time outdoors and stay in air conditioning if you can.

It's also a good time to remember to check on the elderly, neighbors and pets.

First responders ask everyone to limit outside activity and stay inside as much as possible when the temperatures spike.

Extreme heat effects everyone differently, but officials said if you spend too much time outside, you will get sick no matter what.

Stay Cool

  • Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible.
  • Find an air-conditioned shelter.
  • Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device.
  • Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Take cool showers or baths.
  • Check on those most at-risk twice a day.

Stay Hydrated

  • Drink more water than usual
  • Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more fluids
  • Drink from two to four cups of water every hour while working or exercising outside
  • Avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar
  • Remind others to drink enough water

When the heat comes, hiking or other outdoor activities should be limited to early morning hours and be completed no later than 10 a.m.

Anyone planning on hiking should take the precautions before heading out:

  • Know your limits.
  • Hike with someone familiar with the trail.
  • Let friends or family know where you’re going and when you expect to return.
  • Take plenty of water, approximately one liter per hour. Also, avoid alcohol the night before and drink before the hike.
  • Take food with you.
  • Wear proper clothing and shoes. You should wear hiking boots, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. The sun can be intense.
  • Have a fully charged cell phone.
  • Take a first aid kit, which should include epipens, band aids and antibiotic ointment.
  • Avoid hiking at night. It's easy to get lost and wildlife including snakes come out at night.

Many of us know the importance of making sure our pets have enough water during high temperatures. But what about when it is time to take them out?

Are you giving your pet the proper protection when they're outside?

Sidewalks and asphalt spend most of the day baking in the sun so they can be too hot for their paws, which are more sensitive than human hands.

Most pet stores sell dog booties for their protection, but veterinarians recommend pets stay out of the heat during the hottest part of the day.

"If you have to, consider getting little boots for them or something to protect their paws because we do see burned paw pads from the hot asphalt and hot sidewalk," said Erin O'Donnell, medical director at Northwest Pet Clinic.

Early Signs

  • Excessive panting
  • Bright red gums
  • Rectal temperature greater than 104 degrees Fahrenheit

Late Signs

  • Mental dullness and weakness
  • Vomiting and diarrhea, may contain blood
  • Kidney failure
  • Seizures, coma


  • Wrap the pet in wet towels and fan the pet
  • Do not immerse in cold water
  • Encourage to drink water if the pet is alert and not vomiting
  • Transport to a vet for evaluation and treatment

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