With 100-degree days expected to stay for a while, Animal Shelter staff and experts from Texas A&M AgriLife encourage Texans to incorporate precautions to protect pets from heat stress and help properly regulate their body temperature.  

Key points to keep in mind in the summer heat:  

  • If a pet is spending time outside, either at home or at a park, festival, etc., make sure there is access to cool, clean water and shade with adequate ventilation (which does not mean a confined doghouse). Since 2022, it is unlawful in Texas to tether an animal outside without shelter, shade and clean water.  
  • Choose cooler times of the day to walk pets outdoors—also note that pavement and blacktop can easily be 30 or more degrees hotter than the surrounding air, and paws exposed to hot concrete or asphalt can easily burn. A good test is to place the back of your hand on the pavement for 7-10 seconds. If the pavement temperature is uncomfortable or too hot for your skin, it is too hot for your pet.  
  • Heat index and humidity are a special concern especially with older pets, those with heart conditions and breeds with shortened or snub-nosed snouts such as French bulldogs, English bulldogs and Boston terriers, and cat breeds like Persian and Himalayan. Due to a very shortened airway and small trachea, these breeds often cannot adequately transfer air to drop their body temperatures and are susceptible to heat stress and heat stroke even with temperatures in the upper 80s.  
  • Recognize the signs of distress: click here for more information.   

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