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Media Contact:
Dr. Steven L. Marks, 919/513-6130
Chad Austin, News Services, 919/513-4798

June 28, 2006

Donít Let Pets Be Dogged During Dog Days of Summer

With the dog days of summer approaching, pet owners should take precautions to protect their animals from the summer heat. Dr. Steven L. Marks, a clinical associate professor at North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, offers these tips to help keep pets cool and safe on sultry summer days. Marks is available to discuss these and other suggestions for pet owners with the media. He can be reached by phone at 919/513-6130 or by e-mail at steve_marks@ncsu.edu.

  • Make sure your pet has access to shade and water at all times. Carry a dish or collapsible water bowl and water with you while out on walks or runs. Pet owners can give their pets water from a bottle or container, but dogs prefer to lap their water.
  • Outdoor pets left at home during the workday should also have access to shade and water at all times. Pet owners should know where the shade is located in their yards as the sun moves throughout the day and make sure their dog has access to it. Water bowls should be checked for leaks and placed in areas where it’s unlikely for them to be tipped over.
  • Customize pet activity to the weather on a given day. Stay inside during the hottest time of the day, typically the middle of the afternoon. When you are out, be mindful how hot the sidewalk or pavement is. If the surface would be hot to your bare feet, it’s also going to be hot to your dog’s paws.
  • Take frequent rest breaks for you and your animal. Marks recommends assessing pet condition and behavior every 30 minutes of activity.
  • Signs of heat-related problems for your pet include excessive panting and discoloration of gums. If a pet exhibits these symptoms, seek shade immediately and cool the animal with water or a fan.
  • Signs of advanced stages of heat-related illness in pets include difficulty walking or an animal that has collapsed. If a pet exhibits these symptoms, seek veterinary care immediately.
  • Never leave a pet inside an unattended vehicle for any period of time.

- austin -


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