RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – As hot as this week’s weather can be for people, it can be just as hot for dogs. It’s why Wake County Animal Services Director Dr. Jennifer Frederico is urging pet parents to be on high alert for hot dogs.

“Last year, I remember a dog had a 107 temperature. The normal is up to 102, so that’s extremely dangerous. That’s life threatening at that point. We see it every year and it’s completely avoidable,” said Frederico.

As a human wearing shoes, it may be hard to tell how hot the pavement will get for your dog on a walk. Paw burns are a reality for dogs because of the lack of protection in their pads.

According to data published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, asphalt temperatures can be double the air temperature.

  • On a 77-degree day, asphalt can reach 125 degrees;
  • On a 86-degree day, asphalt can reach 135 degrees;
  • On a 87-degree day, asphalt can reach 143 degrees.

If you’re not sure how hot the air or pavement is, do a touch test. Place your hand on the ground for 10 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for a dog.

Frederico said a dog’s health condition should be taken into account when deciding to go out on a hot day.

“Think about how old is your pet? How acclimated are they? Do you have a pug or a bull dog with a really short nose? They’re not going to do well in this heat,” said Frederico.

If you observe a dog in a car that may be experiencing heat stress, Frederico said you can call 911 or notifying the business the car is parked in front of. Signs of heat stress can include heavy panting, drooling, possibly unconscious, dark colored gums, or weakness.

“If people just call 911, get animal control out there, get a police officer, they’re going to know what to do at that point,” Frederico said.

If you see a dog outside a home that may be in distress from the weather, Frederico said people can call in for a welfare check on the animal. She said dogs can be outside but need to have shelter, shade and water.

Any citations related to pets will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, Frederico said.

Leaving your dog in the car with the window cracked can also be dangerous on a hot day.

The American Veterinary Medical Association says pets can become seriously ill or die after a few minutes, even when a window is cracked open.

On a 70-degree day, a study by the Louisiana Office of Public Health found the inside of your car can heat up to 89 degrees after just 10 minutes. It only gets hotter by the minute.

Cracking a window makes no difference, according to AVMA.

“If you have the windows cracked, you don’t have airflow going in. It’s sitting there. Put your chocolate bar in your car. It’s gonna melt,” said Frederico.

Bottom line: “If you’re hot, your pets are gonna be hot. Really watch them,” said Frederico.