Pet owners asked to be careful of the heat

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Gulf Coast Humane Society said it wants pet owners to know that walking on the sidewalk during the day for pets is just as painful as it is for anyone barefoot.

Lil-Behr, a chihuahua mix, visits the beach with his owner Claudia Saucedo.

“We take it everywhere,” Saucedo said.

Saucedo said she knew when it was too hot outside for her dog.

“I give them fresh water. I throw ice cubes in their water. I freeze fruit for them,” she said.

This is to keep Lil-Behr from overheating.

According to the American Animal Hospital Association, heatstroke occurs when your pet’s body temperature rises above 100 to 102.2 degrees.

Alisa Mills of the Gulf Coast Humane Society explains what it looks like.

“Instead of their saliva being nice and clear like it is. It’s going to start to get mushy and sticky. Excessive panting and they can’t seem to slow down, they’re panting,” Mills said.

To prevent this from happening, Mills said people should keep their pets hydrated, provide them with shade and come indoors.

“If they drink two bowls. I always pulled out a third one,” Mills said.

The City of Corpus Christi has an ordinance requiring pet owners to provide shelter and protection from the weather.

“We treat our animals like they’re three- and four-year-olds because that’s what they are,” Saucedo said.

Animal protection officers will take a three-step approach to keeping animals safe. Officers will:

  • Talk to pet owners to ask them to bring pets inside.
  • Seize animals if they are unable to contact the animal’s owner or if the animal’s owners do not comply. AND
  • Issue criminal citations to pet owners if they do not comply.

If you’re worried your pet is showing signs of heat exhaustion, Mills’ advice is to see the vet immediately. Experts said it was better to act quickly than too late.
Click here to learn how to report an animal overexposed to the sun.

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