Protect your family and pets from the heat this summer

May 28, 2021

As temperatures rise, the City wants to remind you to protect your family and pets against hot temperatures and heat-related illness on local summer excursions.

Protect pet paws

In hotter temperatures, it becomes increasingly dangerous for your dog to go on walks on concrete and asphalt. Asphalt absorbs heat throughout the day and stays hot even after the sun goes down, which can burn a pet’s paw pads. Pro tip: Take short walks in the early morning and stay in the shade. If it’s too hot for you to keep your hand on the asphalt/concrete for more than five seconds, it’s too hot for your dog.

Stay hydrated

It is important to remember to drink water to prevent dehydration and heat-related illness.

Dogs usually need three to four times the normal amount of water in hot weather, depending on their size and activity level, to stay hydrated. If you’re taking them for a hike or day at the lake, make sure to take plenty of extra water for them. Watch for signs of dehydration, such as pale gums and lethargy. Pro tip: Adding a touch of low-sodium broth can encourage drinking.

Don’t leave your dog or small children in a parked vehicle

Leaving your pet or child in a parked car on a warm day can be a deadly mistake. The temperature in a parked car can heat up like an oven, even with the windows cracked. For example, it can reach 140 degrees in less than 15 minutes. Open windows and shaded parking areas won’t save your pet’s life in temperatures that high.

Dogs pant to cool off and only excrete sweat through their paw pads instead of sweating through their skin like people. With only hot air to breathe, your pet can quickly suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke. Pro tip: This time of year, leave your pets at home. If you must take them (on vacation or to an appointment), plan your day so that you can drive directly to the destination.

If you see a dog left in a hot car in Georgetown, and it appears to be in distress, call 512-930-3510, ext. 6, for Animal Control.

Children in hot cars can experience the same effects. If you see a child unattended in a vehicle, please call 911.

Prepare and stay safe

Knowing the signs of heat-related illness and how to respond is important. You can find more information for how to prepare and stay safe in the heat at

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