AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) -The extreme heat can be dangerous to your furry friends especially if they need daily exercise.

It’s the dog days of summer and high temperatures can put your furry companion at risk for heat stoke and other illness. That’s why Paul Bushey of Springfield takes his best friend ‘Chef’ to the dog park first thing in the morning on hot summer days.

“It’s brutal for him, he doesn’t like the heat as much so we get here early and like you said it’s shaded here a lot so he doesn’t get that bombardment of heat on him. Yeah he’s a good boy,” said Paul.

Animal experts recommend exercising your dog before 8AM or after 5PM. Encourage your pet to take it slow outdoors by avoiding activities like ‘FETCH.’

“I keep a close eye on him. Even though he’s a white dog, he’s very susceptible to the heat,” remarked Bushey.

You’ll also want to be cognizant of the temperature of the pavement. During these hot temperatures your pet could burn their paws and need attention from a vet.

Lenny and Bianca join other dogs and pet owners for morning stroll in the woods. The shaded path keeps temperatures cool. “She goes for her morning walk,” said Lenny. “We’ve got the trails and sometimes we’ll go down by the river and they’ll jump in the water. You know, we’ve got water spots.”

Signs of heat stroke in dogs include:

  • weakness
  • foaming at the mouth
  • bright red gums
  • excessive panting

Dogs with flat faces like pugs and bulldogs are more susceptible to overheating. So on hot days stick to bonding with your pet in the shade to keep their tail wagging all summer long.