AUSTIN, Texas - Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) is advising pet owners to exercise caution in the summer as it can be very dangerous for pets, leading to dehydration, heat stroke, and in some cases, death.
The National Weather Service released a special weather statement today, warning of elevated heat stress across Central Texas with Heat Index values in the triple digits.
APA! provides guidelines for Texas pet owners for the summer months below:
- Check the pavement before going on a walk. Place your hand on it for 10 full seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them. Know the signs – lagging is the number one sign that your dog is too hot.
- Water, water, water! Let your dog go for a swim in cool water and make sure they are staying hydrated. Getting your pet wet is the best way to speed up the cooling process.
- Keep an eye on your dog’s tongue and eyes. Red eyes and a tongue hanging very far out of a dog’s mouth is an indication that they are overheating.
- When it’s this hot, limit outdoor activity to short walks in shaded areas or consider taking an evening stroll.
- Do NOT leave your pet in the car, even for a short period of time. On a 95 degree day, a car reaches 129 degrees in 30 minutes (source: PetPlan).
The Heat Index values today are somewhat typical for summertime in the Central Texas area, and as it is the first prolonged hot streak of the summer, APA! urges pet owners to be diligent about their pets’ safety.