As the summer swelter continues, Animal Care Services reminds residents to protect their pets from the scorch of the South Texas sun. ACS reminds residents to provide plenty of fresh water and shade to their outdoor pet and never leave their pet in a parked car. Within minutes, it can reach 120 degrees or more inside a vehicle – even with the windows cracked. ACS urges residents to call 3-1-1 immediately if they see a pet trapped in a hot vehicle.
While it’s best to leave your pet at home during hot weather, if you do want your pet to accompany you, keep these safety guidelines in mind:
- Fresh water and shelter should always be available to an animal outdoors.
- Pets most at risk from overheating include: young, elderly or overweight pets, those with a short muzzle or those with thick or dark colored coats.
- Mind your pets around water.
- Shade offers little to no protection on a sunny day and cracking the window “a little bit” does very little to reduce the temperature inside a parked car. It takes only ten minutes for the interior of a car to reach 102 degrees on an average 85 degree day and in 30 minutes, that temperature can reach 120 degrees.
- Symptoms of heat stress include excessive thirst, heavy panting, glazed eyes, vomiting, restlessness, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, a rapid heartbeat, profuse drooling or salivating and unconsciousness.
- If an animal does show signs of heat stress, gradually lower their body temperature and get them to a vet immediately.