LUBBOCK, Texas – Last weekend, Lubbock Animal Services received 17 heat-related calls, with four of those regarding pets in hot cars. The shelter said on Monday that owners should know how to help their pets beat the heat.

“When we get into the hot summer months, and especially from spring break to October, we have a high volume of calls,” said Steven Greene, the director of LAS.

It especially becomes dangerous when temperatures rise above 104 degrees, he added.

“If you can’t walk across the parking lot bare-footed, then your pet probably is uncomfortable walking across it,” Greene explained.

He recommended people walk their dogs in the early morning or nighttime hours after the sun goes down and on the grass as opposed to concrete.

Some pet owners use shoes to protect their pets’ paws from hot asphalt, which can be especially harmful for little dogs that stand lower to the ground.

Without giving animals time to cool of indoors, they can become gravely ill, according to the animal shelter.

“Some of the signs of heatstroke would be excessive panting, their gums would be lighter shade, vomiting, maybe some diarrhea, any lethargy, any stumbling and maybe losing their ability to walk or stand,” Greene shared. “And then ultimately, they can have seizures.”

Pets can also get sunburned.

LAS suggested “One thing you don’t want to do on a very long-haired dog is shave a lot of their hair off because that also helps them keep from being sunburned and it helps regulate their temperature.”

Swimming pools, cooling vests, cooling mats, shaded areas and plenty of water can be great sources of relief for pets, the shelter said.

“A lot of dogs are not that great of swimmers and may get tired out. [They] may not be able to get out of the pool, so you want to always be with them,” Greene recommended.

With the amount of livestock in West Texas, LAS said, “We also need to look out for other animals; horses. If you don’t have a good shade, a lot of times horses are out there just suffering in the heat.”

If your pet is showing signs of heat stroke, LAS encouraged taking it to the vet right away. If you’re concerned about someone else’s animal, contact the shelter’s Field Operations Team at 806-775-3357. The team operates 24/7 and will follow-up with welfare checks.