LUBBOCK, Texas — While you’re feeling the sting of the now triple digit summer heat, your pets are too, and in some cases, it can even be deadly.
But it’s not just dangerous to leave animals chained outside on scorchers like the past week. According to Texas law, it’s also illegal.
The Lubbock Animal Shelter offered this as a warning to pet owners. Every summer, the shelter said dogs die because of the heat. The shelter already has a spike in calls from people reporting pets left outside for hours.
“When it hits like 100 degrees or higher, [pet owners] need to bring their animals back in because they can get heat stroke. If they’re light colored dogs, they can get sun burned,” Angelica Lucero, officer for the Lubbock Animal Shelter, said.
Lucero said the shelter urges pet owners to bring animals inside and to never leave them in a hot car — even in the shade.
If the pavement is too hot for your feet, it’s too hot for your pet and could actually burn their paws. Here are the symptoms your pet could be overheating and may be on its way to a heat stroke.
“Excessive drooling, diarrhea, they’re dizzy, they have no idea where they’re going … heavy panting,” Lucero said.
That’s exactly what happened to Emily Mercer’s nine-year-old dog Pepper on a trip to Caprock Canyon over the weekend.
“She started freaking out, panicking. You could tell in her eyes that she was confused … Her tongue was sticking out, and she was panting so hard that she started choking on her tongue,” Mercer said.
She thought fast, made Pepper some makeshift ice packs and got her into the AC just in time. But it was still an eye-opening experience.
“It made me scared because I knew that she was hurting,” Mercer said.
If you’re afraid your pet is overheated, do what she did, and get your pet some water and some cool air. If the symptoms don’t go away, get medical help fast.
Mercer’s veterinarian later told her she’s lucky she stopped Pepper’s overheating just in time.
“Heat exhaustion or heat stroke can happen so fast in dogs, and you don’t even realize it’s happening until it’s too late almost,” Mercer.
LAS offered even more tips to help keep pets safe in the heat:
- Walk your dogs on the grass in the early mornings or evenings
- If you have a short and stocky dog, such as pugs or bulldogs, be extra mindful of the heat because it’s harder for them to breathe in the heat
- Dogs with thick coats, such as huskies and German Shepherds, can overheat quickly