By Allan Jamail

July 18, 2023 – Dog owners in Texas are being watched more closely now with the extreme heat wave bearing down on pets. Dogs must have free easy access to fresh cool water and must get at least one ounce of water per pound in normal temperature conditions. Dogs outside or going walking needs more, and on hot days, water bowls kept outside should be poured out regularly and replaced with cool water placed in the shade.

According to animal experts temperatures between 80-90 degrees means your dog is a lot hotter than a human because of the dog’s hair. If a dog must get outside with those temperatures it should never be for long periods of time and then it should only be in the shade and have plenty of cool fresh water. Dog owners sometime fail to realize the pavement temperatures is hot on the dogs paws exactly as it would be on their own bare feet.

Dog must have adequate shelter from the outside elements, which means a sturdy shelter and not a cardboard box. With enough room that allows the dog while in the shelter to stand erect, sit, turn around and lay completely down in a normal position. Dogs must be allowed to have shade from direct sunlight and or getting over heated and have an area which allows the dog to avoid standing in water and exposure from animal waste (urine and or feces).

A dog collar must be of a comfortable band width of material (not a chain) specifically designed for dogs that doesn’t choke or interfere with its normal breathing or swallowing. Harnesses must be made out of materials specifically designed to fit comfortably.

Texas law forbids dog owners or those in custody of a dog to leave a dog outside unattended unless they have adequate shelter from inclement weather as, wind, rain, severe cold or hot weather, access to fresh food and water, and are not leashed (tethered) by a chain, weighted chain or object, or other unsuitable restraints. It also specifies that the length of an outdoor restraint must be at least five times the dog’s length measured from the nose to the base of its tail or never shorter than ten feet. The law does not apply to a dog left unattended in an open-air truck bed that’s not exposed to harsh weather providing it’s only for a reasonable time necessary for the person responsible for the dog to complete a short temporary task. Nor does the law prohibit a person from walking a dog on a hand held leash on a surface that’s not too hot for its paws.

Isaiah Jamail, a college student and son of parents Al Jr. and Rachel Jamail of Crosby, make sure their pet dog Bloo is kept healthy and never exposed to high temperatures or freezing temperatures.

Isaiah said, “Never leave your dog unattended in direct sunlight or in a closed vehicle. Heatstroke can occur and lead to brain damage or death. Signs of heatstroke are panting, drooling, rapid pulse and fever. Immediately immerse the dog in cool water and seek emergency veterinary assistance.”

“The outdoors exposes dogs to the elements. Dogs may need extra brushing and bathing to stay clean and healthy,” Isaiah said.

Call your local law enforcement agency any time you suspect an animal’s basic needs are not being met. Phone numbers to keep in your cell phone for reporting any crime:

Houston Police – 713-884-3131,
Harris County Sheriff Office 713-221-6000,
Jacinto City Police – 713-672-2455,
Galena Park Police – 713-675-3471,
Constable Pct. 2 Jerry Garcia – 713-477-4070,
Constable Pct. 3 Sherman Eagleton – 713-274- 2500.