As temperatures rise in Texas, fend off the heat from your furry friends this summer

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Rodger Mallison / Star-Telegram archives

As the summer months approach, North Texans — and their pets — have already felt the heat in May with record-breaking temperatures.

[More: Prevent heat exhaustion with these tips for fun in the sun this summer in North Texas]

Officials with the Fort Worth Animal Shelter issued reminders for keeping your pet safe from the heat this year.

What are signs of heat stress in pets?

High temperatures and humidity create difficulty for animals to lose body heat. Some signs of heat stroke to look for in your pets include panting, increased respiration rate, increased drinking, loss of appetite and lethargy, according to animal shelter officials.

How can I keep my pet safe in the summer heat?

The Fort Worth Animal Shelter advises pet owners to keep these tips in mind during the summer:

  • Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle. According to the city of Fort Worth, the inside of a vehicle can reach 109 degrees within 20 minutes when the outside temperature is in the 80s.

  • Keep shady places available to dogs and cats, with clean, fresh water easily accessible.

  • Feed animals in the morning or evening when outdoor temperatures are cooler.

  • Take your dog for a walk in the early morning or late evening when it’s less hot. Dogs’ paws easily burn, so protect them by walking on grass or other cooler surfaces.

Heat stroke can be life-threatening for dogs and cats. To report animals that may be in distress, call 817-392-1234 for assistance.