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Oklahoma State University
Center for Veterinary Health Sciences

Healthy Animals - Healthy People

Warm Weather Pet Safety

Wednesday, June 22 2016

dog on a leash lying in the water on the edge of a pond

Summertime means hot weather. Warm temperatures can pose some health risks to pets.

Make sure your pets have unlimited access to fresh water. Replenish their water with cool water frequently.

If they are outside, they need access to shade.  The dog house may become hot so under a tree or porch might be better. 

Keep your pets free of parasites such as fleas, ticks and heartworm. Consult your veterinarian for the best parasite control for your pet.

Leave your pets at home if possible when out and about. Never leave a pet in a car. Even if the vehicle is in the shade and the windows are cracked, the temperature inside can rise to deadly levels very quickly.

Provide different temperature levels within your house for your pet’s comfort.

Know how to recognize the signs of heat stress: anxious, excessive panting, restless, drooling, unsteady, abnormal gum and tongue color or collapse.

If it’s hot outside for you, it’s even hotter for your pet. Take walks, hikes or runs during the cooler hours of the day. Avoid hot surfaces such as asphalt that can burn your pet’s paws.

Ask your veterinarian if you pet would benefit from a warm-weather haircut or sunscreen. Do not trim your pet’s coat without consulting your veterinarian first.

When exercising with your pet, bring water for both of you. Take frequent breaks during warm weather. Overweight pets and short-nosed dog breeds have higher risk of problems with warm-weather exercise.

Know the risks of warm weather and be prepared to help keep your pet safe.

by Elisabeth J. Giedt, DVM

Veterinary Viewpoints is provided by the faculty of the OSU Veterinary Medical Hospital.  Certified by the American Animal Hospital Association, the hospital is open to the public providing routine and specialized care for all species and 24-hour emergency care, 365 days a year.