Summer sun poses threats to pets and humans

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) —  As summer heats up, so do the dangers of the heat.

The July sun intensifies with heat indexes reaching near triple digits this weekend. Keeping yourself and your pets cool is crucial to your safety and theirs. Those indexes are predicted to reach up to the 90s, posing a threat to residents suffering from heatstroke and heat exhaustion.

Dr. Samer Sader Chief Medical Officer at UnityPoint Health-Central Illinois said it’s important to keep yourself and kids hydrated to avoid dehydration.

“Your body is smart. You will feel thirsty, feel light-headed. Do not wait until those symptoms are severe,” Sader said. “I have dealt with patients who have been exposed or left in a car and we hate to see those stories.”

It’s not only hot for humans but hot for pets too. Leaving pets or babies in a car for even a few minutes puts them at risk for severe illness or even death.

Education Coordinator of Peoria Humane Society Kitty Yanko said it’s best to leave pets indoors during extreme heat and to take them on walks when it’s cooler during the day.

“It literally only takes a few minutes for the inside of a car to reach oven-like temperatures,” Yanko said. “We recommend people don’t even take them out for walks because the asphalt and the ground is hot.”

Yanko said to make sure your pets have fresh, clean water and always look before you lock your vehicle if you do like taking pets on rides.

“If they are used to traveling, they might be laying down and not obvious to you that they’re there,” Yanko said.

Both Sader and Yanko said, if you can, leave your kids or pets at home to avoid unnecessary deaths or accidents.

If you see a dog or child locked in a car, do not break in as that is considered a crime. Instead, call animal control or your local law enforcement.

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