Summer is in full swing in south Texas, and with temperatures averaging 98 degrees during the height of the day, it’s important to practice summer safety to ensure your pets are safe in rising temperatures. Following these guidelines can help protect your pet against the sweltering heat.
- Give your pet access to shade and water.
Our pets are not like humans, and with the exception of panting and drinking water, they can not cool themselves down. Pets who are outdoors should be given constant access to shade and drinking water. If your pet enjoys playing in water, a kiddie pool is a fun and low-budget way to keep them cool.
- Never leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle.
You hear this every summer, but leaving a pet unattended in a vehicle puts them in serious danger. Pets can suffer from heatstroke in minutes, which can result in death. The inside of your car can be up to 20 degrees hotter than the temperature outside, and a car can overheat even when a window is left cracked open. If you are going somewhere that is not pet-friendly, leave your pet at home. If you see an animal trapped in a locked car on a hot day, try to locate the owner or call 911.
- Avoid walking your dog in the middle of the day, and be aware of pavement temperatures.
The ideal time to walk your pet is in the morning or late evening. Walking them in the midafternoon puts them at a higher risk for heatstroke and can cause your pet’s paws to burn on hot asphalt. If you must walk your pet during the day, keep walking time to a minimum and make sure they stay on grassy areas and other cool surfaces.
- Do not shave your pet.
Your dog’s coat acts like their own personal insulation. It keeps them from getting too hot in the winter, and too cold in the summer. Cat’s should not be shaved either, as they are very good at regulating body temperature, and have more mobility to move to a shady area when it gets hot. It’s okay to trim your pet to make it more manageable if done by a professional groomer, as trimming too much hair can put your pet at risk for sunburn. If you choose not to trim your pet, dogs will naturally shed thicker coats, but it is important that you regularly brush and bathe them frequently to allow the best circulation in your dog’s fur.
- Know the signs of heatstroke.
- Heavy panting or difficulty breathing
- Glazed eyes
- Lethargic or disoriented
- Excessive thirst
- Dry or sticky gums, abnormal color
If your pet is suffering from heatstroke, remove them from the hot environment as soon as possible. Spray cool water onto your pet’s skin, then apply a fanning method. DO NOT use ice-cold water. Heatstroke is a medical emergency, and your pet should be brought in immediately.
Our pets deserve protection from extreme temperatures just as much as we do. Following these basic summer safety tips can help your pet stay healthy and comfortable. If you have questions on how to keep your pet safe during a heat wave, contact us at (210) 495-8245.