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If you haven't noticed, it is extremely hot throughout all of the state of Texas. Temperatures across the state will reach well above 100 degrees multiple times this week. Here in Lubbock, we could see a high around 108 degrees on Tuesday, and no we won't be the hottest in the state. Parts of the Dallas-Fort Worth are expected to hit 109 on Tuesday and possibly Wednesday. Wichita Falls will be hitting highs around 114 degrees on Tuesday, and Abilene will hit around 110 degrees. Much of the same is expected throughout Texas, which means it will be miserable and even dangerous.

But it's not just humans who are at risk during extreme heat. Our pets can face danger as well. Across the state, veterinarians are seeing more injuries and deaths of pets due to the extreme heat and owners who aren't seeing the warning signs.

According to KXAN, Austin Pets Alive! has seen many heat-related injuries. The most common injuries being seen are paw burns and heat stroke. Heat stroke can be deadly not only for humans, but for dogs and cats as well.

So how should you protect your pets during the extreme heat? Here are some tips and things to look for to keep your pets safe.

  1. Take your pets on walks in the morning or at night. According to KXAN, hot concrete and be like a stovetop and can burn the paws of your dog and your dog may not alert you to the pain right away. Professionals say to check your pet's paws after a walk. "Smith and Hernandez suggested to spray rubbing alcohol on burnt paws, because it draws some of the heat out."
  2. Know the signs of overheating and heat stroke. this can include increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, and of course excessive panting according to the  ASPCA. Seizures, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and body temp over 104 degrees are all symptoms to be on the lookout for. According to the ASPCA, dogs with flat faces are most at risk of a heat stoke.
  3. Be sure to keep a lot of fresh water around.
  4. If your pets are outdoors, make sure they have shade so they can get away from the sun.
  5. Buy a mister or mister set. Misters that connect to your water hose and can be installed along a fence, deck, pergola, etc. are great for pets and humans. They can make the temperatures around them feel cooler. The same can be said for for misters with a stand. I bought one this Summer and my dog loves it.
  6. Don't leave your pets outside. During the heat of the day, bring them inside.
  7. Don't leave you pets inside a locked car. This is just common sense.
  8. Take them for a swim, but make sure you don't leave them alone. Not all dogs know how to swim and dogs can drown if left unattended in a back yard with a pool or at a river or lake.

Much of this is common sense and easy to do. Take the time to keep yourself and your pets safe from the extreme heat this week and the rest of the summer.

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