Jul 27, 2022 - Things to Do

6 tips to help your pet beat the heat

"If you love me, you'll protect me." Photo: Xu Feng/VCG via Getty Images

The Texas heat isn't just brutal for humans — it can pose a serious threat to our furry friends too.

Threat level: Animal experts say the risk of heat stroke typically runs high in the summer, but it's especially concerning in this year's record-breaking heat.

Here are some tips from Dallas Animal Services and the U.S. Humane Society:

🍃 Grass, not pavement. Concrete and asphalt can turn hotter than the temperature outside, and walking your dog there could burn their paws.

  • Put your hand on the pavement for 10 seconds to test the surface and if you can't do it comfortably, your dog probably can't either.

☀️ Plan around the sun. Consider walking your dog before dawn or after dusk. Try trimming the duration of your walk when there's extreme heat.

  • Bring water for your dog to drink.

🚰 Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Keep their water bowl filled at all times, ideally with cold water.

🏠 Don't leave your pet outside. If you couldn't stay outside for longer than 15 minutes in a long-sleeved shirt, chances are it's too hot for your pet to be outside for long periods of time too.

  • Monitor them closely or bring them indoors.

🚗 Never leave them in a parked car. Hundreds of pets die each year from heat exhaustion after being left in a car.

  • "We've all heard the explanations: 'Oh, it will just be a few minutes while I go into the store,' or 'But I cracked the windows,'" the association says. "These explanations don't amount to much if your pet becomes seriously ill or dies from being left in a vehicle."

⚠️ Know the signs. The Humane Society says signs of a heat stroke typically include glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure or unconsciousness.

Be smarter: If you suspect a heat stroke, move your pet to a shaded or air-conditioned area.

  • Apply ice packs or cold towels to their head, neck and chest.
  • Let them drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes, and contact their veterinarian right away.

Go deeper: The Humane Society has an action plan template for pet owners in case of an emergency like a long-term power outage.


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