LEDYARD, Conn. (WTNH) – As the hot weather continues to ramp up, people must keep an even-closer eye on their pets to make sure they stay safe in the heat.

Veterinarians recommend treating your pet as you would a five-year-old barefoot child. The pet should not be kept in the direct sunlight or do too much outdoor activity because that can lead to overheating or heat stroke which can cause clotting, organ failure, or even death.

Veterinarians are warning people not to leave their dogs in cars, even if the windows are open as they heat up too quickly. A dog’s condition can change rapidly with the intense heat and humidity.

Also be aware of hot sidewalks and asphalt which can be too hot for your pet’s paws

Walk them on the grass or trails and in shaded areas or either early in the morning or at night.

“This is just like walking on our fingers. So if you’re concerned about whether the pavement might be too hot for your dog’s feet just put your fingers on it. If it’s too hot for you it’s too hot for them,” said Dr. Patricia Ross of Groton Ledyard Veterinary Hospital.

One of the sign’s gums become a red or brick color. It’s best to get your pet to the vet right away if they start showing signs of heat exhaustion.

Dock diving is one of the few outdoor activities which is safe for your dog in this intense heat and humidity. That is if as long as they’re not jumping into a lake or pond with stagnant water and algae blooms.

“If they drink that water it is often fatal. They can have neurologic symptoms,” said Dr. Ross.

The pool at All Bright Canines in Oakdale is ionized so it does not use chlorine which can also be harmful to dogs. Still they limit the pets’ pool time.

“They can take in too much water and that can make them sick. They can also strain the muscles in their back end,” said Becky Maurice of All Bright Canines.

During these dog days of summer, All Bright Canines keeps their pets in air conditioning for most of the day.