How to keep your dogs safe in the scorching heat


AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — Dogs don’t handle heat as well as we do.

That’s what Sarah Hammel wants dog owners to know as the temperatures continue to rise in Central Texas.

Hammel runs the shelter at the Austin Humane Society. She starts to worry this time of year that dog owners aren’t aware of the impact heat can have on man’s best friend.

“Just like people, they can get dehydrated, overheat really quickly and it can lead to them collapsing and actually dying suddenly,” said Hammel. “Dogs love to run, they love to exercise, they love to play fetch and they’re not necessarily good at self-regulating. Your dog can’t tell you when they’re too hot, they’re too tired – especially if you have a dog that loves to play.”

Hammel shared some simple things dog owners can do to keep their pets safe. She said cool drinking water is a classic option for helping dogs beat the heat. Wrapping a wet bandanna around your dog’s neck is also a great way to keep them cool. She also said going on early morning walks or runs when the temperatures are usually at their lowest is a great way to get your dog moving without exposing them to dangerous heat.

“Everybody who has a pet loves him, wants to take care of him, has their best interest in mind but maybe doesn’t know the risks they’re putting their animal through,” said Hammel.

Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon, the Austin Humane Society will have a Puppy Pit Stop set up along the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail near the Mopac Expressway. They’ll meet with dog owners along the trail and offer free water and dog temperature checks. They’ll talk to pet owners about the dangers the heat poses to their dogs.

Hammel says there’s a real simple way to think about this.

“If it’s too hot outside for you, it’s probably too hot outside for your dogs,” she said.

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