HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WVEC) -- With temperatures in the high nineties and a heat index of over 100 degrees on Wednesday, it isn't news to anyone that it is hot outside.

The extreme heat prompted the opening of cooling centers in Norfolk and medical professionals reminded everyone of several safety tips to keep in mind, such as:

  • Wearing loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing
  • Wear lots of sunscreen
  • Drink plenty of water

But what about our furry friends?

While many owners may bring their dogs or cats inside to get away from the heat, what about when it is time to go to the bathroom or get some exercise?

Extreme heat can cause the temperature of the cement, or roadway, that the pets walk on to burn the bottom of the animal's feet.

According to the ASPCA, the hot pavement can cause painful burns to animal's paw pads. They suggest that all walks are kept to a minimum during extreme heat.

So, how do you know when it is too hot for a walk? Well, the Currituck SPCA has the answer!

In a Facebook post, the Currituck SPCA posted a simple 5-second test to find out if the pavement is too hot for your furry friend.

Place the back of your hand on the pavement and if you cannot hold it for more than 5 seconds then it is too hot for your dog to walk on.

The Human Society of the United States recommends walking on the grass whenever possible.

Paw protectors are also available for purchase on websites such as Wal-Mart, Petco, and Amazon.

For more information, or if you see an animal you believe is suffering or being neglected, call the Currituck SPCA at (252) 453-8682.