5 ways to keep your pet cool during a heat wave

CHICAGO — As the Chicago area braces for extreme heat this weekend, county officials are reminding pet owners to take special precautions to protect their furry friends.

Staffers at Cook County Animal and Rabies Control shared these five tips:

Do not leave your pet in a hot car: Even with the windows rolled down, temperatures inside a car can be 15 degrees higher than outside. Weekend forecasts place Cook County temps. in the high 90s.

Consider a haircut: Dogs with thick coats could benefit from a summer cut. Keeping hair roughly an inch long will keep your pup comfortable while helping him avoid sunburn.

Take care of your dog’s paws: Asphalt and sidewalks are hotter than grass; dogs’ paw pads are highly sensitive to heat. Try to walk your dog on grass, dirt or gravel. Avoid asphalt and concrete during a heat wave.

Pets can get sunburned, too: Pets should be closely monitored. Short-coated animals and pets with white or tan fur are susceptible to sunburn, especially on their noses.

Keep indoor temperatures cool: Keep your home at a comfortable temperature and provide lots of water. Don’t be alarmed if you see your cat sleeping somewhere odd, like a bathtub or closet. Cats look for the coolest spot in the home.

For the most up-to-date weather information, visit wgntv.com/weather.