Protect Pets From Dangerous Summer Heat

WICHITA FALLS - The Wichita Falls Wichita County Health District would like all citizens to be aware that hot summer days are just as dangerous and uncomfortable for pets as they are for humans. City ordinance requires that shade be provided throughout the day, for pets staying outdoors, either through natural or artificial means (a large tree, covered patio…etc). The shade MUST last the entire day. Doghouses and other shelters of this type are not considered sources of shade.

Water should also be provided throughout the day in a non-metal container that cannot be turned over by the pet. Animals can dehydrate quickly; fresh, clean water is a must. Owners can provide an additional source of cooling off by filling a kiddy pool with water for the pet to enjoy.

If a pet is being transported in a vehicle the animal should NEVER be left unattended. The temperature inside a vehicle rises quickly and can cause severe medical complications and death. If the temperature outside is 90 degrees, the temperature inside a vehicle will rise to 109 in ten minutes, 119 in 20 minutes, 124 in thirty minutes, 133 in one hour and 138 in an hour-and-a-half (based on a Weather Channel study).

The signs of heat distress in animals includes:

  • excessive panting
  • increased heart rate
  • trouble breathing
  • disorientation
  • loss of consciousness
  • seizure
  • respiratory arrest

If any of these signs are seen in an unattended animal or they have no food, water or shelter, citizens should contact Animal Control at 761-7824. After hours and during the weekend contact the Police Department and Animal Control will be alerted and address the situation.