COLLEGE STATION, Texas — As summer months bring the sun and the heat, your furry creatures at home might need a little extra attention.
With social distancing and self-quarantine keeping many at home, pets are more than excited to be surrounded by their humans, but as you are spending more time with your animals and taking them outside, it’s important to be aware of their health.
“You have to remember to take water with you. No matter how short the walk may be, hydration is the number one thing. I always see people, they get a mile in and the dogs are done and it is because they are so hot. They get tired quickly just like we can get out of shape, a dog can get out of shape too, so you always want to make sure you have water with you," said Aggieland Humane Society communications coordinator, Darby McKenzie.
Pets sweat differently than people do, and if they are leaving behind paw prints, that is a major sign to take a break and cool off.
“Most pet owners, you’re going to know your pet’s signs, maybe new pet owners, you’re trying new things, notice your dog, if they’re starting to walk slower, maybe they need a break, tongues are hanging out really exaggerated, they’re going to need water and a quick break as well. Just watching your pet not acting normal, heat exhaustion, things like that, you definitely want to be aware of those signs," said McKenzie.
When you take your pets out for a walk in the summer, you might want to follow the seven-second rule. This is when you put the back of your hand on asphalt and count to seven. If your hand is burning within those seven seconds, it’s too hot for your pet.
Another thing that is common when your pets spend a lot of time outdoors is parasites.
“Flea and ticks that can happen very quickly for a dog and a cat. They go outside, they get one flea, and suddenly you have a flea infestation in your home, you want to make sure you are up to date on their preventative medicine. Ticks as well, there’s some very scary diseases that comes from ticks and you want to make sure they’re protected. Heartworms come from mosquitoes, we definitely have those here in Texas. You want to make sure that your pet is protected," said McKenzie.
The animal shelter reminds you to make sure that the medication and shots for your pets are all up to date so they are protected when they go outdoors.