With temperatures expected to reach the 100-degree mark soon, the Arizona Animal Welfare League & Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (AAWL & SPCA) is reminding pet owners not to leave animals in their cars and offering other ways to keep them safe.

Dogs are especially vulnerable to heat-related illness because they can only cool off by panting and through the pads of their feet. A dog’s normal body temperature is between 101 to 102.5 degrees; a dog can only withstand a high body temperature for a short time before suffering nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, brain damage or even death.

AAWL & SPCA reminds pet owners:

• Never leave your pets in a car. When temperatures climb above 70 degrees, a parked car can quickly become a furnace. In a study by San Francisco State University, when it was 80 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car rose to 99 degrees in 10 minutes and 109 degrees in 20 minutes. Studies show that cracking the windows has little effect on a car’s internal temperature.

In the state of Arizona is it against the law to leave an animal in a parked car if injury or death can be a result.

• Be careful not to over-exercise your pet. Only walk your dog early in the morning or at night well after the sun has set. Before walking test the pavement, if it’s too hot for the palm of your hand, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws, too.

• Make sure pets have a shady place to get out of the sun. If your dog must be outside during the day, be sure that they have shade available at all times, and remember what is shady in the morning might not be shady in the afternoon. Keep pets indoors if the temperature is over 90 degrees.

• Be sure to give pets plenty of water. At all times provide cool, clean water in a nonmetal, spill-proof bowl.

• Dogs get sunburns, too. Be sure no skin is exposed to direct sunlight.

• Cool treats for your dog. Treat your pet to “Popsicles” by freezing chicken or beef broth in ice cube trays; add bits of doggie treats before freezing. Or, use the hose to give your dog a bath and some summer fun. Be sure to let the water run until cool before spraying you or your pet.

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