It’s about that time of the year when you start to feel the warm breeze of the summer. As Houstonians know, we don’t have much longer till the sizzling sun does its shenanigans again and our temperature reaches the 100s. Since our fury friends can’t just peel off extra layers of their fur, here’s some ways to keep them safe and cool.

1. Never ever leave a pet unattended inside a car.

What seems like a quick snack trip to the grocery store can have tragic results. During the summer the inside of a car can reach temperatures between 102 and 120 degrees even if it’s in the shade. Just because you leave a crack in the window does not make it ok to leave your pet inside for any amount of time.

2. Don’t over walk or over jog your pet.

Just because the most convenient time of day to jog for you is at 3pm, it doesn’t mean it’s the ideal time for your pet. You should avoid jogging with your pet during high humidity temperatures of the day. Try jogging in early mornings or late evenings.

3. Doggie boots to the rescue!

If you have a dog and you decide to walk him or take him on a jog, consider buying doggie boots from your local pet store. Dogs absorb and release heat through their feet. You wouldn’t like walking barefoot on the scorching sidewalk so why does your pet have to?

4. Know the symptoms of a heat stroke.

Symptoms include: excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, lethargy or collapse, seizures, bloody diarrhea, an elevated temperature, and vomit.

5. Outdoor pets need some A.C blast too!

Some pet owners truly believe their four-legged companion should be outdoors only. The ideal action to take would be to not leave your pet outside for an extended period of time. However, if your pet lives outside, provide plenty of fresh water and ventilated housing that protects from the sun. Think about maybe placing a small pool for them so they can cool off when they wish. Please remember that animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat strokes since they cannot pant as effectively.

6. Other ways to cool off.

If your A.C is failing or if you happen to be out and about make sure to keep your pet cool by laying down a wet towel for him to lie on. Go ahead and spray his paws and belly with a soft mist, it will do more than if you spray his coat.