Sweat rolling down your back, clothes sticking to your skin and the pavement sizzling through your shoes. Ah, yes – the unforgiving Texas heat that we are all too familiar with is back in action. This mild spring was like a sick joke Mother Nature was playing on all of us. Just as we thought summer wouldn’t be so bad…
While it may be hot for us bipeds, Dallas Pets Alive! also wants you to know how to keep your four-legged (sometimes three-legged) furry friends safe in this heat. Consider the following tips to keep you and your animal pals safe this summer.
- DON’T LEAVE ANIMALS IN CARS: According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “The temperature inside your vehicle can rise almost 20º F in just 10 minutes. In 20 minutes, it can rise almost 30º F…. At 60 minutes, the temperature in your vehicle can be more than 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature.” I can’t even stand this 100ºF weather. Don’t make your furry pals suffer in a 140º+ oven. This can cause heat stroke, seizures and worse – death.
- CONSIDER A COOL SUMMER CUT: Fido and Mittens need a cool summer hairdo just like good ‘ole mom and dad. Consider trimming those long locks in the summer, but don’t cut too short. Furbabies need protection from the sun’s rays. Also note some double-coated dogs (labs, collies, huskies, etc.) are better off left unshaved, since their coats help them regulate temperature naturally.
- PROVIDE SHADE AND WATER: If your furry friends spend any time outside, especially during peak sun hours, provide shade and water. Shade will help keep their internal temperature down, and water will keep them happily hydrated.
- AVOID HOT CONCRETE AND PATHS: Bingo’s paw pads are sensitive, and the hot ground can raise their internal temp. If you wouldn’t dare do a handstand on the ground, it is too hot for your pup’s pads. Avoid walking during the hottest times of the day (around noon to 4 p.m.), and keep on grassy surfaces when possible. Your pet store should also have doggy booties if Rover is okay with your fashion choices. If you must exercise your dog, it is best to go early in the morning or late at night.
- GO FOR A SWIM: There are many places in DFW where people won’t judge your best friend for being hairy. Try swimming at White Rock Dog Park or a similar dog park near you. Don’t have a pool or dog park near you? Dogs love to splash in baby pools.
- KNOW SIGNS OF HEAT STROKE: This is the most important tip. Dehydration can turn into heat stroke in no time. Some signs of heat stroke include, but are not limited to the following: lethargy, rapid panting, bright red tongue, red or pale gums, vomiting and diarrhea. Call your veterinarian or take your pet to the emergency vet if you think your pet is suffering from heat stroke.
Summertime is for fun, so we hope these tips allow you and your furry companions have fun while staying safe and cool.
Don’t have a furry companion to share the summer with? Dallas Pets Alive has 100s of adoptable pets awaiting their furrever homes.