OSU News Feed –
Summer is in full swing, and with it comes many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.
Pet owners often like spending time outside with family, friends and pets.
A lot of animals like spending time outside, and therefore, pet owners need to take
precautions to ensure their animals stay safe in the summer heat, said Dr. Laura Nafe,
assistant professor of small animal internal medicine at the Oklahoma State University
Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.
“Just as you hydrate yourself and take precautions such as applying sunscreen and
staying cool in the heat, it’s vital to keep a close eye on your pet when spending
time outdoors, especially on a hot, sunny day,” Nafe said.
Dogs do not sweat like humans. Instead, they cool themselves primarily by panting.
Excessive panting indicates your pet is overheated. Dogs also will seek shade to help
cool themselves in the heat of the summer, and they enjoy a nice, cool breeze just
like the rest of us.
“If you’re out for a walk or playing in the yard and your dog stops to sit or lie
down, he is telling you that he is unable to keep cool enough for the activity,” she
said. “A dog’s gums can be a good indicator of being overheated. Gums often appear
more red early on when an animal is overheated, and become more pale if the dog is
excessively overheated. In addition, a dog’s gums may be dry or sticky if the animal
is not staying adequately hydrated.”
If you are spending time at a pond or lake with your dog, do not assume your pet will
drink water from that source. Always bring water and a bowl with you and try to keep
the water cool if possible. Your dog is likely accustomed to and prefers city water.
Dogs often love to travel …