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How To Keep Pets Safe During Texas Summer

Help your furry friends stay cool as it heats up

Summer in Texas can be brutal, especially for our furry friends who are more sensitive to the scorching temperatures than we are. As the weather heats up, it's crucial to learn how to shield them from the heat.

Here are some tips to ensure their safety during the sweltering summer months:

Limit Time Outdoors

Adjusting your pet's exercise routine according to the weather is crucial. When it's hot outside, it's wise to shorten the duration and lower the intensity of their exercise. Stick to cooler times like early mornings or evenings, and always bring along water to keep them hydrated. Be cautious of hot asphalt that can burn their paws; whenever possible, choose grassy surfaces or consider protective shoes with rubber soles. Remember: if it's too hot for your feet, it’s too hot for theirs!

But it’s not just about the heat, pets can get cancer too. Pay extra attention to pets with white-colored ears, as they are more prone to skin cancer. Pet sunscreen is worth the investment. 

Humidity Is Harmful

When dogs pant, it helps them release heat from their bodies through the evaporation of moisture from their lungs. However, when the humidity levels are excessively high, they may struggle to effectively cool themselves down. 

Watch For Heatstroke

Heatstroke can be caused by extreme temperatures, leading to various symptoms such as heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizures and unconsciousness. 

Certain animals, such as the elderly, young, overweight, unaccustomed to prolonged exercise or those with heart or respiratory disease, are particularly susceptible to heatstroke.

To provide relief for your pet, it is important to relocate them to a shaded area or a space with air conditioning. You can help cool them down by placing ice packs or cold towels on their head, neck and chest, or gently running cool (not cold) water over their body. Offer them small amounts of cool water to drink or allow them to lick ice cubes. It is crucial to seek veterinary assistance promptly.

Never Leave Them In The Car

Under no circumstances should you leave your pet alone in a vehicle, even for a brief period, even if the car is running and the air conditioner is on. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can escalate rapidly and reach perilous levels. On an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with slightly opened windows can surge to 102 degrees within just 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, it can reach a scorching 120 degrees. Leaving your pet in such conditions can result in irreversible organ damage or even death.

Think Twice Before Grooming

A dog's coat serves the purpose of keeping them warm, but it also acts as a shield against the sun's harmful rays. Before deciding to give your dog a summertime trim, it is wise to consider the potential benefits of their coat. It's recommended to consult a professional dog groomer who can provide specific trimming suggestions based on your dog's breed. Instead of completely removing their fur, you may explore alternatives such as using cooling wraps or mats to help them stay cool.

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