SAN DIEGO — Pet owners across Southern California are trying to find ways to keep their pets safe from the heatwave.

Many are forced to leave their four-legged friends at home without air conditioning but your furry family members need to cool off too.

“The heat is intense right now,” says Gary Weitzman of the San Diego Humane Society. “We feel it. Our animals feel it but they have a disadvantage right now, they can’t get rid of the heat.”

With a statewide Flex Alert in effect, leaving your dog alone at home with no running air conditioning might be dangerous.

“If we’re dealing with a Flex Alert, our animals will be dealing with it as well. Keeping them in a cool, dry place, pull the blinds if you can, get fans going, make sure they have plenty of access to cool, fresh water,” says Weitzman. 

Pet rescuers say it’s also imperative to beware of signs of overheating from your animals.

For Trisha Lopez and her dog Smidgen, they’ve found creative ways to stay cool. 

“The other day when he got too hot, I got worried so I just froze some water bottles and put them next to him,” says dog owner Trisha Lopez.

Pet rescuers say if your pet collapses, get them to the hospital quickly. Never leave your pet in the car, even if you think they will be okay for a short time; temps can quickly rise inside a vehicle, even with the windows cracked.

“The signs of heat exhaustion in a dog or any animal are panting. If they pant, their mouths being open, eyes can be dilated. Their tongues can be bright red and they can actually start to get weak and wobbly,” says Weitzman.

Pet rescuers also say to be careful when walking your dog on hot asphalt that can burn their paws. They recommend avoiding long and strenuous exercise with your pet altogether during this heat.