Texas summers can be scorchers. Those in charge of animal care have to take extra precautions to ensure pet safety in hot conditions. Mark Jousan, DVM, is a Texas-based licensed veterinarian who knows this all too well. He and his team treat all types of pets and animals at Shelby Veterinary Associates, PLLC, a full-service animal hospital near the Texas/Louisiana border.
“Heat is a real concern for us. Once our shelter’s air temperatures reach 80-85°F, it gets really hot, really fast for the dogs,” Mark says. “Just in the way heat stress can come on fast for humans, it can come on equally quickly quick for dogs, so extra precaution is key when it is hot.”
Mark and his team are dedicated to pet health and well-being. They have been utilizing two Portacool evaporative coolers in their kennels for air flow in the open space for more than five years.
“Using the Portacool evaporative coolers are crucial to our outside shelter operations for at least six months out of the year to keep our dogs and other animals protected against the dangers of heat stress,” Mark says. “Working with older, aging and non-active animals, as well as with those who have health conditions such as heart disease, the evaporative cooler is must-have to ensure they have cool airflow.”
The benefits also extend beyond health to impacting animal’s overall quality of life. Mark notes that dogs that are pleasantly cool will behave better because they are less stressed and agitated overall. Not to mention that the vet team’s working conditions are vastly improved as well. The increased airflow helps cool them as well as the animals and it also improves the air quality by helping to dissipate the smells from animal waste.
Relative to taking care of animals at home, Mark encourages pet owners to proactively approach the hot months and take the time to acclimate pets if they will be kept outdoor for extended periods in the heat. He suggests setting up a covered patio area or shaded space, keeping hydration nearby and consider the use of an evaporative cooler on the patio.