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Pets, hot cars a bad combination

by | Jul 1, 2022 | Latest

As summer weather in North Texas brings temperatures in the triple digits, residents are reminded to take precautions with pets, including modifying walking hours and helping them stay cool by limiting their exposure to the outdoor heat.

Because pets are unable to regulate their internal body temperature as easily as humans, they are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses such as heatstroke. Pets also need help from a human to cool off to avoid a heat-related emergency.

Sachse Animal Control Supervisor Teresa O’Neal said one way to avoid potential heat-related illness with pets, namely dogs, is to never leave them in a car unattended.

“The temperature inside a car can quickly become 10-15% hotter than the outside temperature,” O’Neal said. “Dogs dehydrate easily and oxygen intake is more difficult in the high temps.”

There have also been some reports of dogs left in the car in the parking lot of Kroger or Wal-Mart, said O’Neal, adding that resident awareness is key to preventing bad outcomes for all involved.

“A resident that sees an animal left inside a vehicle during hot temps should immediately call their local animal control or police department, so that we can respond before the animal suffers heatstroke or heat exhaustion,” O’Neal said. “In extreme situations, we issue citations.”

Similar to humans, dogs can suffer from heatstroke and heat exhaustion, and there are several symptoms to help pet owners identify when their furry friend may be experiencing an emergency.

Symptoms of heatstroke in dogs include a high body temperature, heavy panting, vomiting, a fast heartbeat and weak legs or staggering movements. For dogs, heatstroke is defined as having a temperature above 104 degrees and it can be life-threatening.

For the full story, see the June 30 issue of The Sachse News.

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