Summer is upon us, and with it comes the responsibility for pet parents to keep their furry friends cool and comfortable.
Houston SPCA has a few helpful reminders, along with the important signs of heatstroke.
1. Make sure your pets are safely inside during the hottest day parts, 2 pm-4:30 pm. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them!
2. Taking your pup to a pet-friendly bar or restaurant? Be sure to test surfaces by holding your hand on it for at least seven seconds before letting your pet sit there.
3. Never leave your pet in the car, even if the windows are partially rolled down and the car is in the shade. Cars can reach an internal temperature of 119 degrees in less than 10 minutes on a 100-degree day.
Keep an eye out for these signs of heatstroke:
- Heavy panting
- Uncoordinated movements, lethargic
Houston SPCA chief veterinarian Dr. Roberta Westbrook recommends removing the pet out of the heat first before offering cool — not cold — water to drink (cold water can shock their system).
Next, wipe them down with a large, damp towel to help lower their body temperature. Contact your veterinarian if you don’t see any immediate changes.
"Leaving your pet outside can have devastating consequences, as we have seen recently with several cases where animals were left outside," says Dr. Westbrook. "If you plan on leaving your home, please check to make sure your pet is inside to ensure their safety during this potentially deadly heat wave."
If you see an animal injured or in distress, please call the Houston SPCA at 713-869-7722 immediately.