Your pets are a part of your family, and their safety is so important. Because they cannot speak up for themselves, pet parents need to look out for signs that their fur babies need help or aren’t feeling well. Keep your dogs, cats and other animals safe from the summer heat!
- Always provide shade for your pets, year-round. Dogs and cats have higher natural body temperatures than people, which means they can actually tolerate higher temperatures than we can. But, when you add all that fur, bright sunlight and sweltering humidity, their bodies heat up quickly. Help them keep cool by providing shaded areas in your yard and taking walks when the sunlight isn’t directly overhead.
- Freshwater is paramount for your pet’s safety and wellbeing. While a regular water bowl is great, you have to remember to refill and clean it at least daily. Pick up an inexpensive water tank refill system (anywhere from $15-40) to keep fresh, cool water circulating all day long. Dehydration can happen to pets, too.
- Never, ever leave your pet inside a car. A car parked in the Texas sun can reach internal temperatures over 170 degrees Fahrenheit in less than a half hour. Temperatures over 100 can be fatal, and your car can reach this even on a cool winter day in this area. Leaving the windows cracked helps, but not enough to prevent a fatal situation. Plan ahead for your pet and have a safe place for them to stay while you’re out and about.
- When traveling for summer (or any!) vacation with your pets, keep them tucked away inside a carrier even while driving. Not only can a free-roaming pet in the car distract you, they could jump onto your lap causing you to lose control of the steering wheel and/or brakes. Carriers also keep pets safe in the event of an auto accident by restraining them, similar to a seatbelt.
- Signs of heatstroke in pets include restlessness, heavy panting, vomiting, lethargy and lack of appetite. If you see an animal with any of these symptoms, get them to a cool area immediately and offer cool water to drink. Press a cold towel to the animal’s head and chest, or immerse them in cool (not cold) water. Call a veterinarian right away for further treatment. Pets suffering severe heatstroke can have brain damage as a result.
When keeping cool this summer, remember your pets, too!