We human beings can avoid the heat by seeking shelter in air conditioned spaces.
We can take comfort in weather reports that tell us when it will cool off.
Farm animals just have to take it, period.
"Hey, it's tough for them," said Joe Itle, a doctor with Dairyside Veterinary Service in Curryville. "Put yourself in the same situation."
Farmers can offer some relief for their beasts.
Barns give shade, fans keep air moving and sometimes water from hoses or automatic misting systems wet the animals periodically.
But it's not air conditioning.
"[That] would be clearly out of line, because of the cost," Itle said.
Farmer Steve Ritchey of Martinsburg keeps his cows in his barn with fans.
"It helps, but when it's this hot, it doesn't completely cut it," Ritchey said.
The temperature reached 101 degrees Thursday and set a new all-time record for the area Friday at 103 degrees. The record-breaking continued Saturday with a high of 98 degrees that topped the old record of 96 set in 1952.
"It's rough on everybody," said Mark Clouse of My Joy Dairy Farm in Martinsburg.
"They're so uncomfortable," said Ross Snyder, whose family owns Singing Brook Farm in Imler.
Heat stress on cows - by far the most important kind of farm animal in the area - taxes the respiratory system, exacerbates existing sicknesses, inhibits reproduction and reduces the amount of milk they give, according to Itle and the farmers.
The animals have trouble resting, because they can't pant as freely when they lay, Itle said.
"[And] resistance [to disease] goes way down," he said. "Reproduction [necessary to stimulate the production of milk also] goes to pot."
Nor do the animals eat as much.
Milk production - the reason the farmers keep the animals - declines 10 to 20 percent, Ritchey said.
Likewise, weight gain slows for meat animals, said Melanie Barkley, an educator with Penn State Cooperative Extension in Bedford County.
Some barns have "tunnel ventilation" that functions like a whole-house attic fan in a house - big fans at one end and a large opening at the other, so air passes through constantly at up to 5 mph, Itle said.
"It's really nice," he said. "The problem is, it's hot air."
Some farmers try to improve on it by running a network of water pipes at one end to cool the air, he said.
Singing Brook Farm has misting set up at the feed station.
"The hope is they stand there to cool down, and then they'll eat more," Snyder said.
But the last couple days, workers have had to push the cows from the barn to the milking parlor.
"They don't want to go out in the hot sun," Snyder said.
He keeps the cows in the barn during the day and gives them a chance to go out at night.
But it's been hot enough so that even at night the ground isn't very cool, Itle said.
Temperatures here are at the margins of critical - but for now, just on the safe side, according to Barkley.
At least it's getting into the 70s at night, which allows the cows to cool down, she said.
A few years ago in the Midwest, a series of 100-degree days and nights that only declined into the 80s caused fatalities, because the animals couldn't reduce their internal temperatures sufficiently, Barkley said.
On Friday, the National Weather Service was predicting relief for the end of the week and the beginning of this one.
Stress signs include heavy panting, bunching of animals, slobbering, lack of coordination and trembling, according to a state Department of Agriculture news release.
Animals with darker coats, heavier, fattened animals and those with chronic health problems are most at risk from heat stress, according to the news release.
"You deal with it as best you can," Clouse said.