As the temperature heats up in Austin, it's important to ensure your pet is safe. High temperatures can be dangerous or even fatal for your furry friend.
Follow these simple tips to keep your pet safe and comfortable this summer.
1. Never leave your pet in the car
When the sun beats down on your car, it essentially turns it into an oven. On a 90-degree day, the inside of your car can heat up to 109 degrees in just 10 minutes. After 30 minutes it could reach 124 degrees. Even with the windows rolled down, the temperature can be unbearable and dangerous for your pet.
If you're going to be out and about somewhere your pet can't join you, leave them at home.
2. Avoid walking when it's hot
Although your dog might love an afternoon stroll, taking your pet out in the heat of summer can be harmful. The hot asphalt can scald their paws. Dogs can also become dehydrated very quickly. If the afternoon is your only option, limit your time in the heat, stick to shady areas and have plenty of water handy.
It's best to schedule playtime in the cooler hours of the morning or evening.
3. Keep your home cool
You can save energy by turning up your air conditioner while you're away, however you should still leave it at a temperature that's comfortable for your furry friend.
According to "Just Energy" and the Animal Poison Control Center, you should keep your thermostat set at most to 78 degrees. This temperature will save you a little money and keep your pet comfortable. Don't bother leaving the ceiling fan on when you leave. Pets' sweat glands are much different than humans, so the draft created by the fan won't do much to cool them.
4. Set out plenty of water
When your dog is outside, it's important to make the yard as safe as possible. Make sure there is plenty of shade where your pet can relax. Also, put out several bowls of water around your yard. This ensures that your pet has extra water in case he spills a bowl and he can find cool water to drink at different times in the day. Drop in a few ice cubes to keep the water colder longer.
You should always limit the amount of time your dog spends outside, especially during the heat of the day.
5. Be careful with your pool
It's dangerous to leave your pet unsupervised by the pool. If you have a pool in your backyard, make sure it's covered or fenced in so your animal can't get in.
Pools can be lots of fun, but you should always supervise your pet's playtime in the water.
6. Get your pet groomed
A fresh summer cut for long-haired pets can be refreshingly cool, but be sure not to cut their hair too short. The extra fluff helps regulate your furry friend's body temperature and also protects against sun burns. For extra protection on your pet's less hairy areas, such as the belly or nose, you may want to try a specially formulated pet sunscreen.
Written by Clint Robertson, an energy writer with a focus on eco-conscious living, and the proud parent of two golden retrievers.