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Keep pets safe: Houston heat can be just as dangerous for four-legged family members

Even a quick walk can be dangerous for your dog. The concrete was over 120 degrees around 12:30 p.m. Friday. Just 30 minutes later, it jumped over 130 degrees.

HOUSTON, Texas — The Houston heat is no joke this weekend, and if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pets. 

So before they go outside, make sure you take some precautions because when the air is hot, the ground is even worse. The concrete was over 120 degrees around 12:30 p.m. Friday. Just 30 minutes later, it jumped over 130 degrees.

“We don’t think about it because the dogs just keep up with us because they love us so much," dog owner Trent Thomas said.

Asphalt is even hotter. An infrared thermometer measured it at more than 140 degrees Friday afternoon.

In the scorching heat, Thomas takes extra care to make sure 2-year-old Marley doesn’t burn her feet.  

“Instead of walking her to the park, because I live nearby, I put her in the car and carry her to the locations we’re going to be, and try to stay in the most shaded areas," Thomas said. 

BARC has tips too.

“Walk in the grass, walking at later hours where it’s cooler outside, so the pavement is not as hot for them," BARC Public Information Officer Cory Stottlemyer said. 

And it's not just the sidewalk. Other spots get even hotter. The back of a truck measured at nearly 180 degrees, and a car dashboard nearly 190 after an hour outside.

“If the heat it going to be affecting you as a person, it’s going to be affecting your animals as well," Stottlemyer said. 

Stottlemyer says pets can suffer from heat exhaustion if left outside too long. 

“If they’re really impacted by the heat, you’ll notice a change in their demeanor, some mental sluggishness, they might be drooling more. If you’re noticing any of those extreme behaviors, it’s time to kind of take some quick actions with your pets," Stottlemyer said. 

And there are laws in place today to make sure outdoor pets have shelter, food and water during extreme temps.

The city says you can report animals in danger to the Harris County Animal Cruelty Task Force. To do so, call 832-927-PAWS.

Janelle Bludau on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

   

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