How to keep your pets cool, safe amid power outages

Just as you shouldn’t leave a pet in the car in the heat, it’s important to take measures to keep them cool and safe when the power is out at home.

HOUSTON, Texas — As Houstonians enter their third day without power after Hurricane Beryl, many wonder if leaving pets at home in the heat is safe. 

Just as you shouldn’t leave a pet in the car in the heat, it’s important to take measures to keep them cool and safe when the power is out at home. 

On Tuesday night, CenterPoint said more than one-third of customers had their power restored within the first 30 hours since Beryl moved through Southeast Texas.

They also said they are confident they’ll be able to hit their estimate of restoring 1 million customers within 48 hours of the storm’s exit from the area.

Several cooling centers have opened in the Houston Area. However, many don’t allow pets. 

Local emergency management offices can be contacted to see if there are pet-friendly shelters in the area. When calling, it’s important to ask about the number, size and species of pets. 

If you know of a friend or relative who does have power, bringing your pet to stay with them is a way to keep them safe and cool. 

Another option for getting pets out of the heat, if it’s affordable, is seeing if there are any pet-friendly hotels or motels in the area that have power, or have had it restored. 

Some boarding facilities and veterinary offices may also be able to shelter animals or recommend alternate facilities with power or the ability to help. 

If you’re staying at home, it’s important to ensure your pets have access to water to stay fully hydrated. It’s advised to leave out multiple water bowls, as they’ll likely be drinking more water than usual. 

If the pet usually favors areas in the home that get warmer than others, consider finding ways to redirect them into a cooler place in the home. 

Leaving windows and doors open can help with air ventilation, however, covering them with shades or sheets helps to prevent daytime sunlight heating. 

Create shade for pets when letting them outside to use the bathroom using a tarp or sheet. 

If you have access to a freezer, giving a pet frozen water bottles, treats and toys or using a cooling vest or mat can also help them stay comfortable in the heat. 

Signs of heat stroke in pets

According to the Humane Society of the United States, signs of heat stroke in pets include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure and unconsciousness.

HSUS said animals at a higher risk for heat stroke are those that are very old, very young, overweight, not conditioned to prolonged exercise, or have heart or respiratory disease. 

If your pet is suffering from heat stroke, move them into the shade or a cool area, let them drink small amounts of cool water and take them to a vet immediately. 

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