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It’s hot; protect your pets!

Monday, June 20, 2016 by Kayleigh Hughes

The city’s Animal Services Office has released an important reminder that Austin is one very hot city in the summer, which means that it’s crucial for pet owners to take steps to ensure that their animals are safe, protected and not in danger of heat exhaustion. Says Austin Chief Animal Services Officer Tawny Hammond, “We see more and more people exercising with their pets outdoors, which under normal circumstances would be great, but not when the temperature and heat index is so high.” Animal Services reminds pet owners that if outside surfaces are too hot for a human hand or foot, then they are too hot for an animal’s paws as well. Heat-related stress and heat exhaustion, especially on humid days, is a dangerous threat for pets. Some recommendations for how to keep your pet safe in the summer include keeping your pet in air-conditioned indoor spaces when possible, providing lots of cool water — both to drink and, if possible, in a small kiddie splash pool — when pets are outside, ensuring that there is plenty of shade in outside spaces at all times of day (because shade moves) and avoiding exercising your pet or leaving them in a car at any time — even with the windows down. If you observe symptoms in your pet such as panting, huffing, gasping or difficulty walking, immediately get them to an air-conditioned space, provide fans and cool water to drink, surround the pet with ice packs if necessary and call a vet. Finally, Animal Services reminds all Austinites that if they see a pet in immediate distress or danger, they should call 911, and if they see a pet that appears very hot but not in immediate danger, they should call 311.

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