Animal Care Services offers hot weather tips for pet owners

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — We are already experiencing temperatures in the upper 90’s and we could break 100 degrees this weekend.

As we struggle to stay cool, Animal Care Services is urging San Antonio pet lovers to use caution with outdoor pets.

The intense heat means dogs are at a high risk for overheating.

ACS offers these tips to help keep pets cool.

  •  Fresh water and shelter should always be available.
  •  Shade is not just a good idea for outdoor pets. It’s the law. As are access to fresh water and shelter beyond the all-day available shade. Chain tethers are not allowed.
  • Pets most at risk from overheating include: young, elderly or overweight pets, those with a short muzzle or those with thick or dark colored coats.
  • A shaded parking spot offers little to no protection on a sunny day and cracking the window “a little bit” does very little to reduce the temperature inside a parked car. It takes only ten minutes for the interior of a car to reach 102 degrees on an average 85 degree day and in thirty minutes, that temperature can reach 120 degrees or more.
  • It is illegal for dogs to ride unsecured in the back of trucks and these pets face the same heat stroke risks as pets locked in cars in addition to the threat of burned paws and accidental falls in transport.
  • Symptoms of heat stress include excessive thirst, heavy panting, glazed eyes, vomiting, restlessness, lethargy, fever, dizziness, a rapid heartbeat, profuse drooling or salivating and unconsciousness.
  • If an animal does show signs of heat stress, gradually lower their body temperature and get them to a vet immediately.
  • Mind your pets around water–most pets are not natural swimmers and any pet can easily tire and drown.

Many people bring their dogs with them to run errands. The downside is that some will leave their pet in the vehicle.

If you see a pet locked in a hot car, ACS recommends that you take action by writing down the license plate number and having the owner paged inside the store. If that doesn’t solve the problem, call 9-1-1.

People who leave animals in hot cars could be charged with animal cruelty.

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