PHILADELPHIA (NBC) - Humans are having a hard time in this summer heat, so imagine if you were wearing a fur coat.
Animals at the zoo are finding some relief from the heat.
"Any time there's excessive cold or heat, we are always more wary," said Zoo Curator Dave Wood. "The keepers are out there all the time, all day long. We do more frequent checks and make sure water is changed and cool."
The otters are treated to ice pops filled with fish. The byson stand under a cool spray, and the maccau definitely enjoy a nice, cool misting.
"When it is this hot, they'll get misted two or three times a day," said Zookeeper Danielle Baluager.
While animals seem to be soaking up the cooldown, there is particular concern for the older residents.
"Many years ago, heat like this wouldn't bother them," said Wood. "Now that they are older, just like checking on your elderly neighbor and all, we keep a closer eye on elderly animals."
Many of the steps they are taking at the zoo, go for your pets at home as well. The idea is to keep them comfortable.
"A lot of shade, a lot of water," said Veterinarian Dr. Scott Gellman.
Gellman said walks should be limited, even if your pooch is itching to go.
"Five, 10 minutes at most, especially in this kind of heat and bring water with you, too," said Gellman.
Ideally, Gellman recommends keeping your dogs and cats inside as much as possible when it's so hot outside.
Bulldogs, pugs and breeds with shorter noses and squishy faces are most at risk.
"They have a lot of trouble breathing, and the heat can really get to them quickly," said Gellman. "And before you know it, they have a problem."
And never leave your pet in the car when it's hot, even with the windows cracked.
"A cracked window in a car, temperature goes up about 40 degrees in an hour," said Gellman. "It's really life-threatening."
Giving your dog a lightweight summer haircut also prevents overheating.
Leave about an inch. Never go all the way to the skin, so that your pup still has some protection from the sun.
Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent excessive heat, but be sure that if you use any sunscreen product on your pet that it is labeled specifically for animals.
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