Focus at Four: Keeping your pets safe in a heat wave

KBTX First News at Four(Recurring)
Published: Jun. 28, 2023 at 5:50 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - With these scorching temperatures it seems that everyone is looking to escape the heat, but don’t forget about your furry friends. Dr. Lori Teller, a clinical professor in the Department of Small Animal Sciences at Texas A&M, says the heat can be dangerous for any pet.

“If your pet is panting excessively, having a hard time breathing, drooling more, those are some early heat stress, early heat stroke signs,” said Teller.

Pet owners should be on the look out for vomiting, and cat owner’s in particular should watch out for “open-mouth” breathing.

Teller said if your pet starts showing signs of heat stress or stroke the first thing you should do is wrap them in a cool, wet towel and seek immediate medical care.

“We want to be able to lower that body temperature safely, and if that temperature is too cold, that can hamper our recovery efforts,” said Teller, warning against using ice or cold water in the towel.

Another thing to watch out for, hot cement. Teller said some dogs have come in with burned pads.

“During this major heat we don’t recommend walking in the middle of the day. Try to do it early in the morning or late in the evening. But whenever possible when you are walking your dog and it’s hot outside try to let them walk on grass or something that is not quite as scalding as asphalt or concrete,” said Teller.

She recommended that some pets might even need booties to protect them from the heat.

For the full interview, click the video player above.