Temperatures are soaring all over the Lone Star State, and both
humans and their pets need to take cover. The Houston SPCA offers
these helpful hints to help prepare your pet for the summer

• HOT CARS/HEATSTROKE: Always leave your pet at home and NEVER
leave a pet in a parked car. The temperature inside a car, even
with the windows cracked and parked in the shade, can reach 120
degrees in a matter of minutes. If the air becomes too warm, a
dog’s body temperature, normally 100.5 to 102.5 degrees, will
continue to rise. If it exceeds 106 degrees, heatstroke could
result, causing seizures, organ damage and even death. Signs of
heatstroke include (but are not limited to): excessive body
temperature, excessive panting, dark or bright red tongue and gums,
staggering, stupor, seizures, bloody diarrhea or vomiting, and
coma. If you suspect heatstroke in your pet, seek veterinary
attention immediately!

• HEARTWORM PREVENTATIVE: Both dogs and cats should be on
heartworm preventative year-round. Heartworms are potentially fatal
parasites spread through the bite of just one infected mosquito.
During the summer months, heartworm preventative is especially
important due to the increased mosquito population.

• EXERCISE: On very hot days, limit a pet’s jog or walk to the
early morning or evening hours. Keep in mind that asphalt gets very
hot and can actually burn your pet’s paws.

• SHELTER: It’s best to leave your pet inside your
air-conditioned home. If your pet must stay outside, make sure he /
she has adequate shelter with access to plenty of cool, fresh water
and shade.

• VACCINATIONS: Your pet should be up-to-date on all
vaccinations. If you are planning a vacation and your pet will be
boarded, make sure to speak with your veterinarian about any
additional vaccines they would recommend for the kennel

• FLEAS/TICKS: Fleas are a common problem, but it is possible to
get rid of and prevent further infestations. Talk to your
veterinarian about the appropriate product for your animal and
follow all instructions exactly. Many accidental poisonings and
deaths happen each year because people use the wrong product on
their pet.

• WATER/BEACH SAFETY: Many people head to the beach, lake or
pool to escape the heat and humidity. Remember that not all dogs
are excellent swimmers. Always supervise your dog near the pool. At
the beach, a strong undertow or riptide can drag a frolicking pet
out into the water. . Make sure you bring lots of fresh water for
your pet to drink. Rinse any sand, salt or chlorine off your pet as
soon as possible.

• HERBICIDES/PESTICIDES: Plant food, fertilizer and insecticides
can be fatal to a pet if ingested. Pet owners should read labels
carefully and contact manufacturers for specific recommendations
about using certain herbicides and pesticides around pets.