Now that the summer heat in full force, people may be looking for ways to help their pets beat the heat.

Sherman Animal Services Manager Ty Coleman said heat stroke is a major threat for dogs in the summer and has some tips to keep house pets safe during the summer months.

1. Nourishment is important no matter the season.

“Make sure they have proper food, water and shelter,” Coleman said. “Proper shelter is having a dog house that is not going to get flooded when it rains. We encourage people to put a piece of wood under the house to keep it off the ground. In case there is a lot of rain flooding the ground, the animals won’t get flooded.”

Coleman also stressed the need to ensure the animal has adequate shade as well as plenty of access to water. He said the water doesn’t have to be cold. It can be room temperature, but he said to be aware of how warm the water is.

2. Indoor pets are the ones who are most susceptible for getting a heat stroke.

Coleman said while some pets are used to being inside in the cool, once the animal gets outside running around and becomes active, his or her body temperature rises. The best thing to do is keep an eye on the animals activity to ensure the pet isn’t becoming over heated.

Coleman said pet owners should look for panting. If the dog is constantly panting that is a sign it is over heated, and Coleman said a dog will dig into the ground and try to get into the colder soil to cool off. If an indoor pet begins showing sign of heat stroke while indoors, take the pet out of a room with carpet and put them on hardwood or tile. Place ice packs under the dogs armpit area and wipe alcohol on the dog’s ear to help cool the pet down.

3. Fleas and ticks are another major issue.

Coleman said the winter wasn’t cold enough to kill off the fleas or ticks so they will be out in larger numbers this year.

“With ticks you want to be very concerned especially because they can give diseases to humans as well,” Coleman said. “Ticks can be in tall grass, you always want to make sure your dog or cat is in fresh cut grass. If you walk through tall grass the ticks can jump onto the dogs or cats. Make sure animals are up to date on flea and tick prevention.”

He said ticks are especially dangerous because they can transmit the diseases that are dangerous to animals as well as those harmful to humans. Keeping pets treated to fend off mosquito bites as those insects can also spread diseases to dogs and humans, especially the heart worm larva.

4. Clean your yard.

Cleaning up after the animal is imporant because many dogs like to eat droppings. Coleman said there is a powder people can get to teach the dog not to eat its own droppings which can also help.

5. Remember necessities when away from the home.

Coleman said when taking a dog to the lake, it is a good idea to bring a water dish and water supply because lake water is standing water and is more susceptible to carrying diseases.

Also be aware of heart worms and distemper. Coleman said animal shelters have had to shut down recently due to an outbreak of distemper. It is deadly to the dog and contagious, and Coleman said even if an animal recovers from distemper, they are likely to suffer brain damage.

For more information on pet care, call the Sherman animal Shelter at 903-892-7255.