Austin Pets Alive! | Heat Safety Tips for Pets

May 14, 2022

As we Austinites know, Texas summer heat is real – and sweltering hot.

With most summer days reaching at least 90 degrees in Austin, Texas, Austin Pets Alive! is alerting pet owners to exercise caution on these brutally hot days. Temperatures like these can be very dangerous for pets, especially dogs, leading to dehydration and in some cases, death.

As we ease into the summer months, be sure to follow these helpful pointers:

  • 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 pet 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 pet’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.
  • Limit outdoor activity. Take short walks in shaded areas or consider taking an evening stroll.
  • Do NOT leave your pet in the car, not even for a short period of time. Did you know that on a 95-degree day, your car is actually degrees?

There are other summer heat tips that are less commonly heard about but are just as important such as supervising your pet in the pool. To avoid a dangerous situation, consider fencing off or covering your pool for when you aren’t home. Another tip to keep in mind is that when grooming your pet, avoid cutting their hair too short. Their fur helps combat sunburns and regulate body temperature. For these upcoming summer months, pet sunscreen is a great investment – we bet you didn’t know it was a thing!

Dogs most susceptible to heatstroke are overweight dogs, dogs with long fur, short nose dogs, senior dogs, and those who have lung or breathing issues. It’s important to remember that dogs only sweat through their mouth, feet, and ears, which is why they suffer from heat exhaustion faster than humans. So, even though you may be tolerating the heat, your dog may be suffering.

To help keep pet safety top of mind at a popular Austin-outdoor fave location, we’ve posted signage around the trail looping Lady Bird Lake. Thank you to Rocket Banners, a company that generously donated the print of these heat safety signs reminding trail-goers to keep their pets safe. Be on the lookout for those tips and warnings!

Austin Pets Alive! wants to keep all pet lovers informed and our furry friends safe from the ravaging heat! Follow our friendly tips and refer back when needed for a fun, safe summer!

We have an important PSA while we have your attention! While scooping the poop may not seem important, and at times pretty gross, it is crucial to the health and safety of our community. Just to put things into perspective, there are over 250,000 dogs in Austin, which in turn creates 150,000 pounds of poop per day. And now, more than ever before, we each have an obligation to care for, and look after, the health and safety of our neighbors and fellow Austinites. Click here to learn more!

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