Summertime in Texas means high utility bills and brutal, dangerous heat – not just for humans but our furry friends, too. There are a variety of factors that can be potentially deadly for our pets and summer heat. Now that the summer heat has arrived and the Texas temperature is quickly approaching 100 degrees, it’s important to know how you can keep your pets safe from these harsh environmental factors.
Here are a few pet heat safety tips:
Treat your pet like you’d treat your newborn. Pets are like babies – they rely solely on their care-provider to keep them safe. We provide air conditioning, shade and water for our children, and we should do the same for our fur-babies. Whenever you spend outdoor time with your pets and summer heat, you should make sure there is plenty of water and a shaded area for your pet to cool off.
Never leave your animal in a parked car. On an average day in Texas, an 85-degree external temperature can cause the inside of a car to reach temperatures up to 120 degrees within 30 minutes (and that’s with a cracked window). Imagine how hot your vehicle could get if it is 100 degrees outside. Now imagine your pet, who cannot sweat to cool off like a human can, is stuck inside a 120-degree car with no fresh air. Yikes!
Your pet will likely suffer severe and irreversible organ damage or worse…die. So no matter how you think the temperature feels outside, remember that your animals do not cool themselves off as easily as you do.
Know the signs of heatstroke. There are a number of ways to identify if your pet is having a heatstroke. Keep an eye out for symptoms such as excessive body temperature, vomit, bloody stools, excessive panting and salivation. If you think your pet is suffering a heat stroke:
- Get them out of the heat and into a cool area
- Take the animal’s temperature
- Spray your pet with cool water and take their temperature again
- Apply ice packs to decrease temperature’s down to 103 degrees
- Once 103 degrees is reached, immediately take the animal to the nearest veterinarian.
Ben is a retired Combat Controller with the United States Air Force. He started Champion AC in 2007. Ben is originally from the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He is happily married and an avid fan of the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Saints.