We’re approaching the dog days of summer, and in Texas, the temperature and humidity are already climbing. You take steps to make sure you stay safe and comfortable, from wearing lighter clothes to cranking the air conditioner, but do you know what steps you should take to protect your pets from the heat? In today’s blog post, your Top Rated Local® HVAC specialists at Arthur Hagar have a few tips on how to make sure everyone feels their best through the summer.
Set Your Thermostat
Temperatures that are comfortable for you are often comfortable for your pets, too. However, if you have a programmable thermostat with different settings when you’re away, make sure it’s set at a temperature that is safe for your furry friends. In the summer, it should never be set higher than 80 degrees. We recommend choosing a temperature between 69 and 75 degrees to ensure they’re comfortable.
Offer Plenty of Water
Dogs and cats alike should have access to plenty of cool, clean water. It helps them cool down and prevents dehydration. However, drinking isn’t the only way you can use water to keep your pets safe and comfortable!
Because they don’t sweat like we do, dogs and cats can be especially susceptible to overheating, particularly those with long, thick, and/or dark coats. If you have a porch or backyard, set up a kiddie pool for your pet to use so they can soak or splash when they need to cool off. If you notice they are panting a lot or drinking a lot of water, you can also take the step of soaking a towel or cloth and placing it over them to help draw heat away from their bodies in a process similar to how we sweat.
Direct exposure to the sun can be dangerous to pets, particularly those with dark coats, as we mentioned. Make sure they have access to shaded areas! Indoor pets will likely be fine as long as they have access to parts of your home away from the windows, but you may need to take a few steps for those that prefer the outdoors. An enclosed doghouse isn’t a good solution — your pet should have access to a shaded area with open airflow, such as space under tree cover or a tarp.
Exercising in excessive heat and humidity is just as dangerous for animals as it is for humans, if not more. Try to exercise your dog early in the morning or in the evening to avoid the times of day with the highest temperatures. When you leave the house, always carry water with you and let your pet take breaks in the shade.
When it’s extremely hot outside, keep your pets inside and try to entertain them with toys instead. Any temperatures over 80 degrees Fahrenheit hold the potential for danger, and some animals are particularly at risk. Bigger pets, especially those that are overweight or obese, are more likely to experience heatstroke. So are brachycephalic breeds, like pugs or short-snouted cats, because they have more difficulty breathing and/or panting to cool off.
Watch for Danger Signs
The best thing you can do for your pets is to know what to look for if any of the measures above aren’t enough to prevent heatstroke. Signs of heatstroke or dehydration include:
- Heavy panting
- Excessive thirst
- Thick saliva
- Sunken eyes
- Rapid heartbeat
- Lack of coordination
If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, contact a vet immediately! In the meantime, bring them inside or into the shade and try to cool them down. There is a possibility they can drink too much water than is healthy or that you can overcool their body, so make sure you consult a professional as quickly as possible.
Stay Cool With Arthur Hagar
Whether you’re looking for a trustworthy programmable or smart thermostat, or you need air conditioning repairs ASAP for your sake and the sake of your pets, Arthur Hagar is here to help. We’ve been serving the Fort Worth community since 1949 and ensuring that all your HVAC needs are met, from emergency air conditioning repairs to new unit installation. Contact us today for quick, reliable HVAC services, and enjoy your summer!