NewsLocal News


How do you know if your pets are in distress from extreme heat?

Posted at 8:30 PM, Jun 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-14 08:09:24-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — While we need to look for the young and elderly during this extreme heat, we should also be mindful of roommates. That would be your pets.

“I hate the heat myself, even though I've grown up here, so I really feel bad for them,” said Barbara Whitlock, chief veterinarian at Gulf Coast Humane Society.

In a week where the average temperature is in the 90s, Whitlock said her biggest concern is that pets aren’t being kept indoors.

She gave us the signs of what to watch for if a dog is overheating.

“Excessive panting, listlessness, they just don’t want to move, they just want to lay there and they’re just panting, panting. That may be a sign that they’ve gotten overheated,” she said.

If you think your dog or cat has overheated, Whitlock advises to wet them down, especially on their underside. If they aren’t alert, that may be the time to take them to your vet.

When it’s this hot, she said the best thing pet owners could do is keep them indoors, in air conditioning. If, for whatever reason, pet owners keep their dogs outside, she said to make sure they have fresh water and some kind of shade.

“Well, sometimes you can get kiddie pools and fill them with water, that the dog can get in and use the water to cool off. Or they have cooling pads,” Whitlock said.

Whitlock said during the heat wave, she keeps her cats inside and encourages other pet owners to do the same.

For dogs, the reason to keep them inside is that they don’t sweat like people.

“So, they do not have an efficient way to cool off. So, a temperature that may seem OK for a human might be too hot for a dog because their only way of cooling off is by panting,” she said.

Whitlock added some dogs are worse off than others, specifically northern dog breeds and black-haired dogs.

The City of Corpus Christi often receives calls about dogs left in freezing weather or extreme heat. A city official said it will vary from case by case, but if they need to respond to a call of an animal left unattended outside, they will first try to educate the owner before giving them a fine.

For the latest local news updatesclick here, or download the KRIS 6 News App.