US State with the Most Heat-Related Pet Deaths Each Year Serves As a Warning

If you live in a particularly warm state you've likely heard stories about pets--or even people--suffering heat-related illness in the summer. That's why it's important to help your pet stay cool! It can happen more easily than one thinks, but there's one state in particular that sees more heat-related pet deaths than any other.

In all states, though, these temperature-related animal fatalities are 100% preventable. That's why KXAN meteorologist Kristen Currie spoke with Lily Velez of to understand more.

Were you surprised to hear that Texas ranks #1 for these temperature-related deaths? We weren't completely thrown off--Texas does see some of the nation's hottest temperatures after all--but what shocked and saddened us was that a whopping 40% of these deaths came from one state.

"So what we did is collect a compilation of news and police reports that had occurred across the nation over a five-year period," Velez explained. "We analyzed heat-related pet deaths that were specifically the result of neglect or abandonment or abuse."

Their findings showed that the number of pet deaths in Texas is nearly 6 times larger than the national average. So what happened? Velez and her team were able to identify three big problems that prevented these animals from cooling off.

Firstly, there's the big issue of animals being left in vehicles. Some owners will leave their buddy in the car with the air conditioner on, thinking that this will be enough, only to have the air conditioning break due to running so long in the heat.

Second, Velez explains that her team saw a lot of cases where pets were left outside for long periods of time. Owners may have assumed that their pet would be cool enough outside in the open air, but even air temperature can rise quickly. This is especially dangerous if an animal doesn't have enough shade or water.

Lastly, a lot of heat-related pet deaths were caused by owners walking their four-legged friends at certain times of the day. Especially from 12-5 pm, pavement temperature can soar above 130 degrees Fahrenheit--hot enough to burn a dog's paws. Instead, Velez recommends walking pets in the morning or evening.

As always, make sure your pet has enough water to keep them thoroughly hydrated when temperatures warm up. It might take a little thinking ahead, but keeping your pet safe from the heat is essential!

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