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Heat Safety Tips for Pets

Houston summers can take a toll on our pets. Especially outdoor pets with little relief from the heat. But even for animals that are kept inside during the day there are heat-related dangers. If you are a pet owner, you want to make sure that they stay safe and healthy throughout another sweltering summer.

Symptoms of Overheating

It is important to understand the symptoms associated with overheating. Excessive panting, increased breathing, increased heart rate, drooling, weakness, seizures or collapse. Symptoms can also include bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.

Animals with Flat Faces

If you own a pet with a “flat face,” which includes Pugs and Persian cats, you are probably already aware that they are more prone to heat stroke as they can’t pant as effectively.

Be Aware of Dehydration

If your pets go outside, remember that they can become dehydrated very quickly. Make sure that they have plenty of water to drink. If they are kept outside for prolonged periods, they must have plenty of shade or a fixed shelter to them out of direct sunlight.

Vehicle Safety

Never leave a dog (or any animal) in a hot car. It should go without saying that a hot car is no place for an animal, even with the windows cracked. During the heat of the summer, in the first ten minutes after a car has been turned off, the inside temperature can rise as much as 19 degrees. Considering the U.S. has already reached a record high this year for child deaths in hot cars, it would make sense to be mindful of pets as well.

Pool Supervision

Never leave a dog unsupervised around a pool. Not all of them are swimmers, so if you own a pool and keep your pets in the same area make sure they are slowly introduced to the water. Use floatation devices to help teach them to swim. Always wash off the chlorine after they have been in the pool as it is bad for their coat – and try to keep them from drinking the pool water.

Keep Windows and Doors Closed

If you have windows that are not screened, make sure to keep them closed during the heat of the summer. Pets are curious and can fall very easily out of windows. They can suffer severe injuries from a fall – and even die as a result. A pet that has “escaped” through a window in the heat of the summer is also susceptible to heat stroke.

Never Shave Your Dog in Summer

Though it is a popular grooming tradition, shaving your dog’s coat in the summer is not recommended. If your pet is kept outside for even a short amount of time, the exposed skin can easily burn (especially in the hot Houston sun).

Keep Paws Cool

Be mindful of when you walk your dog. If you walk on pavement, make sure that you keep walks limited to the early morning before the sun has had a chance to heat it up. Try to keep long walks in grass or dirt areas where their paws won’t feel the effects of the heat. Search for local dog parks that have dirt or padded enclosures.

Indoor Pets

Do you keep your pets indoors during the summer? Are they left inside the home alone? Don’t rely on a ceiling fan to keep pets cool, as they respond differently to heat and won’t cool off as effectively with a fan. Try to keep both the humidity and the temperature in check by leaving the central air on – and thermostat kept in the mid-70s.

Universal Home Experts hope that you and your pets have a safe and happy summer break. If you have any problems with your HVAC system during the worst of heat, don’t wait to have it repaired! You owe it every member of the family to keep the air quality cool and healthy. Call us at (713) 364-0226 to schedule an appointment with an HVAC professional today!