Tips to keep pets healthy, safe during the summertime
It’s summertime and the weather is HOT. This sunny weather may seem like the perfect atmosphere for your pets, but it could be the most dangerous time for them. Pets, just like humans, can experience sunburns, skin cancer, and heat strokes.
Dallas Animal Services has recommended that pet owners pay special attention to their pets during this extreme heat.
Leah Backo, Public Information Coordinator for DAS said, “The most important thing is to limit time outside when temperatures are this hot, to make sure pets are walking on cooler surfaces when they are outside and make sure they have access to water and shade if outside, to never leave a pet in a hot car, and to call 311 to make an animal service-related request, including temperature-related incidents.”
Amidst the dangers of summer heat, new pet owners or those thinking about adopting may also have worries related to COVID-19. DAS has been taking preventative steps to make pet adoption easy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“DAS has adjusted both field and shelter operations due to COVID-19. Right now, all adoptions and foster opportunities can be arranged online and the only non-staff permitted inside the building are those who believe we have their missing pets and pre-approved volunteers. DAS Animal Services Officers will continue to respond to urgent, high-priority calls including sick and injured animals and animals that threaten public safety. Calls for services can be placed with 311,” Backo said.
DAS has taken many preventative steps to get both humans and pets safe. They are currently asking that people continue to adopt animals or foster those without a home. Large, adult dogs are especially in need of homes.
For more information on adopting or fostering a pet visit DAS’s website.
Follow these tips to help your pet avoid unnecessary heat and sun exposure:
- Don’t leave your pets in a parked car. On hot days temperatures inside the car can rise to dangerous levels. Overheating can cause irreversible organ damage or death so leave your pets at home on the next store run.
- Limit walks and exercise on warm days. Try to walk your pets in the early morning or close to sunset in the evening and make sure to carry extra water for them to drink. Don’t forget to mask when you venture outdoors!
- Don’t walk pets barefoot on hot pavement. Follow the ten-second rule: if the pavement is too hot for the back of your hand, it’s too hot for your pet’s feet. Pavement can cause second-degree burns in less than 30 seconds.
- Don’t rely on a fan to keep pets cool. Fans work by blowing air across the skin and evaporating moisture; this doesn’t work very well for those with a fur coat.
- Look out for humidity. Dogs use panting to keep heat away from their bodies by getting rid of moisture in their lungs. When the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves.
- Watch for signs of heatstroke. Key signs of heatstroke are 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.
For more information about how coronavirus affects pets, visit https://dallascityhall.com/departments/dallas-animal-services/Pages/COVID-19-Facts.aspx.
Written by Karrington Bradley