BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — With the summer heat officially here, it’s not only important to protect yourself but your pets too.

Dr. Nancy Welborn, an associate professor for the LSU Vet School says if it’s too hot for us, it’s too hot for them. A stroll with your best friend can lead to burnt paws, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

“If you are going outside with them on walks, just to kind of keep it brief, not direct sunlight, not on direct concrete,” said Jared Powell, head technician at Sherwood South Animal Hospital.

Kelsey Racca, a lead neurology technician at Baton Rouge Veterinary Specialists, discusses one safety tip for how your pet can avoid burning their paws — dog and cat booties.

“They actually make little booties for cats and dogs you can put on their paws to protect their paw pads,” said Racca.

You can buy any of these pet booties at your local pet store or online.

Experts also recommend early morning or late evening walks to avoid the hot pavement.

Emily Lemoine, director of grants and communication at Companion Animal Alliance, explains one rule that any pet owner should follow.

“A general rule of thumb is if you can’t stand on the pavement for five seconds, it will probably burn your dog’s paw,” said Lemoine.

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke happen more often in dogs who run around and exercise compared to cats.

“By the time you see the symptoms, sometimes it can be too late,” said Lemoine.

Some of the symptoms include heavy panting, excessive thirst, or even a deep red or purple tongue.

While protecting them from the heat, Dr. Welborn says to take precautions when it comes to cooldowns. She’s already had several dogs come into her clinic to heat stroke this year alone. She mentions how leaving them in cars for a few minutes can be deadly.

“The biggest thing, mistake, is that people put them in an ice bath, ice tube.. that’s dangerous,” said Dr. Welborn.

A normal cool temperature towel to pat and throw over gently is a way to cool them. Most importantly, make sure your pet drinks lots of water and is in shaded areas as much as possible.

“A lot of people don’t realize if their hose is hanging off the side of their house, and it’s been sitting in the sun, the first water coming out of that is super hot,” said Dr. Welborn.

When it comes to protecting your best friend, know what’s best for them.

“Understand about your specific breed of animal, you know animals with short snouts, like pugs, French bulldogs, sometimes they are more susceptible to heat exhaustion,” said Lemoine.

The Companion Animal Alliance also has its own heat safety tips regarding your pet. The LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital also has some safety tips for pet owners, click here to view them.