It’s a well-known fact that summer in Texas is hot, hot, hot! While we’re able to shed some clothing, go back into the AC, or hop in a pool whenever we need to, your pets don’t always have the same luxury. As a matter of fact, the heat can be dangerous for them. So how do we keep our furry friends safe and cool in the summer?
Humidity affects our pets differently than it affects us. While it seems like common sense to watch the temperature, it’s important to remember that humidity affects the effectiveness of panting. Panting allows moisture from their lungs to evaporate, which releases the heat away from their body. High humidity reduces their ability to cool down, and can lead to rising body temperatures.
Animals in warmer climates should only be allowed outside for restroom breaks between the hours between 10 am and 6 pm, and not for longer than 10 minutes. When they’re outside, be sure that their paws are not left on hot concrete, and always keep water with you to keep them from dehydrating.
Plenty of Shade & Water
Animals with light-colored ears tend to be more susceptible to sunburn, which can lead to skin cancer. Always make sure they have a source of protection from heat and sun that also allows air flow. Dog houses can trap heat and make the situation worse. Access to fresh, cool water is imperative, as well. When it’s especially hot out, add ice to keep it cooler longer.
There are recipes all over the internet for healthy, frozen treats to keep your pets’ temperatures down this summer! From frozen yogurt and peanut butter for the pups to tasty tuna treats for your feline friends, there are all kinds of ways to treat them with a little extra love!
Know the Signs of Heatstroke
Preventing heat stroke is significantly easier than treating it, so it’s crucial to protect our pets. Seeing a dog panting is common. Most of their heat actually evaporates from their tongue! However, panting in cats is not normal. If you notice it, be sure to get them to the nearest emergency vet as fast as possible. Symptoms of heat stroke can include “heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness,” according to the Humane Society. Animals with short muzzles have a harder time breathing in the heat, and older or overweight animals need to be watched even more carefully in the heat. If you notice any of these symptoms, get your pet into the shade or air-conditioning before applying ice packs or running cool (not cold) water over them. Allow them to drink small amounts of water, and take them directly to the veterinarian.
Taking care of your animals in the heat of summer isn’t an especially difficult task, but it does require some extra attention. We love our pets, and we know you do too! Keep them safe this summer, and keep your home (and theirs!) cool by contacting Woodlands AC for your HVAC needs!