Summer is the time to relax and soak up the sea and sun on our stunning beaches around Australia.  It’s also the time of year when our pets can suffer from heat stroke, snake bite or lose their lives in a bushfire.

RSPCA NSW Chief Veterinarian Dr Magdoline Awad says that owners need to ensure their pets are kept safe, cool and hydrated to avoid a cruel death.  We’ve gathered a few tips from a range of experts to help keep your pet cool and safe in summer.

Tips to keep pets cool and safe in summer – cool pets

  1. Extra bowls of water (in case one is accidentally tipped over).
  2. Takeaway containers filled with beef/chicken stock, frozen overnight and given to outdoor animals.
  3. Ice cubes in water bowls. Be careful, some animals will avoid drinking the water if they are concerned about the floating ice cubes. A good alternative is to freeze half a water bowl the night before and top the remainder up with cool water when putting out.
  4. Great Christmas gift ideas for dogs

    Clamshell. Photo: Bunnings

    Extra shade areas in your backyard using shade cloths and shade umbrellas.

  5. Paddling pools (clams are especially popular) filled with water and under your supervision.  More ideas on how to keep your dog cool and entertained.
  6. NEVER leave dogs in cars, even with the windows down – dogs can’t sweat; heat stress and death can occur within 6 minutes.
  7. Always walk your dog in the early morning or late evening to avoid the heat of the day.
  8. Ensure pets have easy access to shade and water throughout the day.
  9. Cool a ceramic tile or oven pan in the fridge/freezer and put out for small dogs and cats to lie on.
  10. Allow your outdoor animals to come into the house and share the air conditioning or electric fan.
  11. Some breeds such as Pugs and Bulldogs are at a higher risk of heat stroke.

If you think your pet is suffering from heat stroke, please call your local veterinarian.

Tips to keep pets cool and safe in summer – safe pets

  1. Watch out for snakes – Snakes are attracted to the cover of scrub and long grass. If this sounds like your backyard, mow the lawn. If your dog or cat is bitten by a snake, take it to a vet immediately.
  2. Be prepared for disasters.  Prepare an evacuation plan for your entire family, including your pets and keep it up to date. Share your plan with neighbours, friends and family.
  3. Ensure your pets have proper identification with emergency contact details on tags.
  4. Pack a survival kit in an easy to carry waterproof container and store in a cool dry place.
  5. Locate pet-friendly hotels, shelters and boarding facilities in advance
  6. Keep your pets safe when outside with Dr Chris Brown’s tips for a dog-friendly backyard.

Keep pets cool and safe in summer sources

Animals Australia
RSPCA
IFAW