FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- A hot stretch of weather has made its way into our area with no signs of it cooling off anytime soon.
Not only is it important to keep yourself protected from the heat, but it’s just as essential to keep your dog happy and healthy in this weather.
On Thursday, several people were at the Fort Smith Dog Park taking their dogs out for some exercise. The park had a kiddie swimming pool and water fountain setup for pets in case they got overheated.
Each person 5NEWS talked with said they didn’t think twice before taking their dog out in the heat, but they made sure to take the proper precautions when doing it.
“Any dogs that have a lot of hair. I do not like to keep them out for more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time,” explained Justin Merry who owns Merry Mutts in Fort Smith.
Merry says he looks for signs that his dogs are ready to get out of the heat.
It’s also important to be mindful of the areas you walk your dog in because some surfaces are more hazardous than others.
"They need to avoid concrete or streets because streets will radiate heat up that we can’t feel. But dogs are so close to it. It will overheat them in a heartbeat,” said Dr. John Remer, a veterinarian in Fort Smith.
Water is important to give to your dog, too.
Merry says he’ll sometimes put ice cubes in his dogs’ water bowls.
If dog owners are hesitant about taking their dogs out to a park in the heat, but still want to get them the exercise they need, Merry advises people to take their dogs to a pet-friendly place such as Petco.