As the temperature in North Texas continue to climb don't forget about our four-legged friends.  The summer heat can be uncomfortable and dangerous to both humans and pets.  

It is important not to leave your pets in a hot car, even with the air conditioner running, during hot temperatures. On an 85 degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows open slightly can reach 102 degrees in just 10 minutes.  After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die.

Watch for humidity too.  Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If humidity levels are too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their body temperature will skyrocket dangerous levels - very quickly. Taking a dog's temperature will quickly tell you if it is a serious problem. A dog's temperature should not be allowed to get over 104 degrees.  If your dog's temperature does, follow the instructions for treating heat stroke

Take care to limit exercise on hot days.  Adjust intensity and duration of exercise on hot days in accordance with the temperature.  Snub-nosed pets are more susceptible to temperatures that could cause breathing issues.  White colored pets or pets with white ears are more susceptible to skin cancer.  Don't forget that asphalt gets very hot and can burn the pads on their feet so walk your dog on the grass if at all possible.  Always carry water to keep your pet from getting dehydrated. 

Pets react differently to heat than humans do and so don't count on a fan to cool your pet down. They may not be as effective as you expect.

Any time you take your pet outside, make sure to protect them from heat and sun.  Provide plenty of fresh, clean, cold water. Add ice to the water if necessary to keep your pet cool inside as well as outside. Shade from trees or tarps provide good air flow so they are good ways to stay cool.  Dog houses may not be a good choice in the heat and may make things worse since they do not provide air flow or relief from the heat.

It is important to keep your pets cool on the inside as well as the outside so whip up a batch of peanut butter popsicles (you can use peanut butter or another favorite food flavor).   Again fresh, clean, cold water is always important to have available for your pets when the heat starts to rise. 

If baths don't stress out your pet, see if they would enjoy a cool bath or a small pool to help keep them cool.  You can always wrap a cool wet towel around them to help cool them off. 

In the case of a summer power outage, make sure you have an emergency plan in place for your pets as well as the rest of your family. 

Please be a responsible pet owner and get your pet spade or neutered. Finally make sure they have identification tag on your pet or they are micro chipped in case they get out of your yard. 

Enjoy your summer with the entire family and stay cool.