However hot the weather is for people, it's just as hot for dogs. Just ask Matt Schaub at the Newtown Dog Pound who said he is trying to make the animals as comfortable as they can be by keeping them indoors and using fans to circulate the air conditioning from one room into the kennels.
"That's the best we can give them," he said. "We just have to trudge through these days and get to the end of the heat wave."
Schaub recommends keeping dogs and other pets indoors at home in air conditioning or with fans and water nearby during hot days like today, even skipping routines, such as taking dogs out for walks. Time spent outdoors should be limited to just a few minutes, he said.
Dogs also shouldn't be left in cars on days such as today or even when the temperatures aren't so hot.
The inside of a car heats up quickly, to levels that are dangerous for most dogs.
Carrie Jacobson, a Patch editor in Connecticut, conducted a series of experiments over the course of the week where she left a car, with a thermometer in it, in various places, in various conditions, to see how quickly it would heat up.
'I just ran into the store to buy one thing'
In the first experiment, Jacobson left the car with the windows shut, in the parking lot of a supermarket for an hour. It was 83 degrees outside. Inside the car, it was 108.
'But I parked in the shade'
Second, Jacobson parked the car in the shade at a municipal center lot, with the windows cracked. It was 81 degrees outside. In two minutes, the temperature inside the car had jumped to 86 degrees. In 10 minutes, it had climbed to 90 degrees.
'But the windows were cracked open'
Third, Jacobson parked the car with the windows cracked. It was 83 degrees and overcast.
After five minutes, the temperature had climbed to 86 degrees.
In 10 minutes, the temperature inside the car was 90 degrees.
In 30 minutes, even with the clouds, and the windows open, the temperature inside the car had hit 100 degrees.
After an hour, the temperature outside had climbed to 94 degrees, and the temperature inside the car was 110.
WHILE DOGS HAVE higher body temperatures than we do, the only way they can release heat is through their mouths and the pads of their paws.
Like people, different dogs can tolerate different levels of heat. Older dogs are more susceptible to heat stroke, as are dogs with short noses (pugs, Pekingeses, etc.), dogs with dark coats, and of course, dogs with thick coats. Also, dogs who are overweight or in poor general health.
Signs of heat stroke, according to msnbc.com are excessive panting or drooling, very fast breathing, a dark or bright red tongue or gums, staggering, or bloody diarrhea or vomiting.
Report to the police all instances of dogs or pets being kept inside a hot car. All such reports are followed up by the police and the animal control officer. At the moment, Newtown officials haven't received any complaints about cars being kept in hot cars, Schaub said.
"People are pretty smart with it now just because how bad it is," he said of the temperatures.