The rain didn't stop Ira Silvia of Huntington from playing...

The rain didn't stop Ira Silvia of Huntington from playing with his dog Sid at Gold Star Battalion Beach in Huntington on July 16. Experts recommend keeping your pets inside in extreme heat, which is what's in the forecast for Thursday through Saturday on Long Island. Credit: Rick Kopstein

If the weather is too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pets.

That’s the message from veterinarians and other animal experts who are urging owners to keep their cats, dogs and other pets inside and cool during the high heat forecast through Saturday across Long Island. Temperatures are expected to top out Friday at 89 during the day with similar highs Saturday before a cool down Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

“Do not leave your dog outside unattended in this heat,” said Dr. Brian Collins, a veterinarian with the Cornell Riney Canine Health Center. “And never leave your dog in a hot car.”

Collins said owners also should be aware that hot sidewalks and pavements can pose hazards to pet paws. Also check the temperature of water that has been sitting in kiddie pools and hoses.

The heat index, which factors in humidity to gauge how it hot it really feels outdoors, is forecast to hit 99 Friday.

Pets that are overweight or have existing health conditions need to be carefully watched when temperatures soar.

Long Islanders who feed colonies of feral cats should provide ample water and check all traps to make sure no animals are left out in the heat, advises the Nassau County SPCA.

The agency also said pet owners should be aware of any signs of heatstroke such as lethargy, heavy panting, difficulty breathing, thick saliva, drooling, vomiting or diarrhea.

During the hottest part of the day, bring dogs and cats inside the house and let them rest in a cool area, the Suffolk County SPCA recommends. The agency also reminded owners that tethering a dog outside in temperatures over 90 degrees in the county is against the law.

Collins said while dog owners should make unlimited water available, it doesn't mean dogs should be drinking nonstop. Overconsumption of water can affect the electrolytes in the body and even cause the brain to swell. This is especially important if dogs are drinking too much water by a pool, beach or lake.

"Walk your dog when it's cooler in the early morning and in the evening," Collins said. "Maybe just keep it to quick bathroom trips until the heat breaks. If they really need exercise, find an air-conditioned site that allows pets, like a pet store, and take them there."

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