BRENTWOOD, Mo. – The sweltering heat can be doggone dangerous, which is why we need to take extra care of our animals when the temperatures soar.

The biggest thing is to keep them cool and hydrated. The Animal Protective Association of Missouri says like humans, pets just want to stay indoors and enjoy the air conditioning. If they must be outside, always provide plenty of shade and cool water. Exercise your dog in the cool of the early morning or later evening. Never leave your pet in the car during the summer, not even for a few minutes.

The APA is filled to the brim with animals looking for loving homes. Adoptable dogs typically get as much outside time as possible but the heat has forced that to change for now.

“Our amazing dog walkers that come in daily. Each animal goes out two to three times a day. And while they typically have a much longer time outside with each individual dog walker, now the walks have been restricted to much less time and getting them inside as quickly as possible to keep them hydrated and cool,” said APA Director of Development Alex Levine Clardy.

If you find a stray animal and you are able, bring them into your home or your shady yard and post a photo on Facebook, Nextdoor, or the Saving St. Louis Pets website. Try to find their family first before bringing them in. That will help keep the APA from busting at the seams.