Keeping your 4-legged friends cool is important too

LANSING, Mich. (WSYM) - The FOX 47 Weather Team has warned us that we have a string of hot days to look forward to.

An "excessive heat watch" has been issued for the Lansing and Jackson areas for Friday and Saturday. We're watching to see if it will actually become a warning by Friday.

The reason behind this advisory is a heat index predicted to be 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or above, for part of Friday and Saturday afternoon.

There will usually be cooling centers open in the area when heat like this heats so stay with News 10 for that information. But, most cooling centers are only for the 2-legged.

So what can you do to help your four-legged friend during this heat spike?

PETA reports that already this year there have been at least 21 hot-weather related deaths reported. They say that most deaths aren't reported.

They suggest the following to keep our furry friends from getting heatstroke:
• Keep animals indoors. Unlike humans, dogs can sweat only through their footpads and cool themselves by panting, so even brief sun exposure can have life-threatening consequences. Anyone who sees animals in distress and is unable to help should note their locations and alert authorities immediately.
• Never leave an animal inside a hot vehicle. Temperatures can quickly soar in parked cars, and a dog trapped inside can die from heatstroke within minutes—even if the car is in the shade with the windows slightly open. PETA offers an emergency window-breaking hammer for help intervening in life-or-death situations.
• Avoid hot pavement. When outdoor temperatures reach the 80s, asphalt temperatures can climb to 140 degrees, causing pain, burns, and permanent damage to dogs' paws after just a few minutes of contact. Walk dogs on grass whenever possible, and avoid walking in the middle of the day. Never run with dogs in hot weather—they'll collapse before giving up, at which point, it may be too late to save them.

Also remember not to leave your pets or children in a hot car, even if it's just for a minute.

Law-enforcement officials across the country are also warning people of the dangers of hot weather. "Every year, we alert people to the danger of leaving children or pets inside cars in the summer," says Chief of Police James R. Kruger Jr. from Oak Brook, Illinois. "The temperature inside a vehicle climbs approximately 43 degrees in just an hour. The loss of a defenseless animal in this manner is avoidable and should never happen. There is no reason to take your pet out in extreme heat without adequate air conditioning and water."

Already in 2018, 18 deaths have been reported for children that have died in hot cars. According to the Kidsandcars.org website, on average, 37 children die from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles.

They say that "even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or even death."

When you put your child in the car, put something else that you'll need for your day in the backseat as well, like a cell phone, purse, or shopping list. This way, you will be forced to go into the backseat and retrieve that item you need, and see you have a sleeping child that needs to come out.