As parts of Texas face heat advisories, you may want to check how your animals are coping with the heat. Just like people, animals can become dehydrated, exhausted, and even develop heat stroke.
The heat can be even more brutal on certain animals. For instance, some horses (mainly in the South) develop a perplexing disease called Anhidrosis, a disease a disease that hinders or completely inhibits a horse’s ability to sweat.
While it varies depending on the animal and the animal’s lifestyle, horses normally drink around 8-14 gallons of water a day while cattle drink around 15-20 gallons.
There are various symptoms animals will show if they are struggling from the heat. A panting horse or cow with dried mucus membranes could be overheated or dehydrated. Another way to see if a horse is dehydrated is to pinch the skin on its shoulder. If the skin retracts slowly the horse is probably dehydrated. If the animal looks sluggish and miserable, chances are they probably are.
Helping your animals beat the heat:
• Allow access to shade, clean and cool drinking water, and electrolytes
• Check to make sure they aren’t lathered in sweat or seriously panting
• Feed at cooler times of the morning and evening
• Refrain from working or handing during the heat of the day