Summer Safety

There are times in our area when the mercury can push all the way past 40 degrees. None of us feel like hanging out in this kind of weather, in fact we do our best to get cool and stay cool.

Pets, especially those who are dark skinned, can find the heat tough. There are some great things that you can do to keep the summer stress away. Summer can actually be a great fun time as we all try to keep cool and out of the sun's harmful rays.

Heat Hazards

Pets heat up in cars just as quickly as babies do. There is no excuse or reason for this. Not even to pop quickly to the shops or pick up the kids.


Dogs in this situation will die from heat stroke in minutes - literally. Even if you do leave the window open a bit when parked in the shade. I cannot stress enough the dangers of leaving dogs in cars, especially in the summer. Try to plan your outings with your pet and avoid activities that leave your pet alone in the vehicle.

Read about signs of heatstroke to understand what to do if your pet overheats.

If your dog is outside on a hot day, make sure he has a shady spot to rest in. Kennels can sometimes trap heat and aren't effective places to cool off. You may want to fill a child's wading pool (eg clam shell) with water and keep it in the shade for your dog to cool off in. Sometimes you can get these kiddy pools really cheap and they are great for big dogs. Ensure water levels are safe against drowning and the size of your pool suites the size of your dog so they can sit, stand and rest on their tummy without difficulty and get in and out easily. You must also consider the safety of any children that may be around when using wading pools for dogs.

These days, farmers modify their utes to help keep their loyal workers safe in the heat. A shaded area on your ute with a water bowl will go along way to keep workers cool in their travels.

Always provide plenty of cool, fresh water at all times for your pet to drink. You can get nifty travel bowls that fold up and do the job really well. You can even get automatic refill bowls that keep the supply up to them. Avoid containers that can be easily knocked over as pets can run out of supply pretty quickly if they like to play with water.

Avoid strenuous exercise on extremely hot days. Take walks in the early mornings or evenings, when the sun's heat is less intense. Try to avoid prolonged exposure to hot bitumen or sand, which can burn paws. A great test is to place your hand on the bitumen for 10 seconds. If it gets too hot for you, its too hot for the dog.

Dogs that are short-faced like bulldogs, boxers, pugs and alike, have an especially hard time in the heat because they do not pant as efficiently as longer-faced dogs. Try to keep your short-faced pet inside with air-conditioning or fan on when it's really hot.  In saying that, all pets would benefit from a cool spot indoors when the temps get really high.

Water Safety

Most dogs enjoy swimming, but some cannot swim, and others may hate the water.

If your pet enjoys your pool with you, make sure your pets know how to get themselves out. Be sure that pool covers and fences are firmly in place; dogs have been known to slip into pools through openings in the pool covers and drown. Never leave your dog unattended in water and supervise dogs and kids inside and outside the water. Avoid throwing pets into water as this can leading to drowning.

If planning a trip to the coast, be careful swimming at the ocean. Take care of strong tides and be aware that pets can get sick if they drink salt water. Don't let your dog overdo it; swimming can be hard work and they may tire easily.

Fun family water comps can be something your pet can get into and a great way for us all to cool off. Avoid high-pressure water sprayers as they can hurt. A great tip is to use the hose on low pressure especially if you have a plastic gentle spray nozzle on the end (being mindful of water supplies of course). Make sure the water coming out of the tap is not hot. Watch for your pet's clever tactic. This is the type of thing you see at bath time and you'll find yourself TOTALLY DRENCHED.

Soaking up the Rays

Sometimes it's nice to catch some rays but pets (especially white skin ones) can, like us, be susceptible to skin cancer from the sun. There are great sun shirts available these days for dogs and if yours likes a sun soaked outing, wearing these shirts will help protect them from the harmful UV rays.

If your pet likes to sunbathe in the window, pet purpose sun cream applied to the tips of ears, the nose and other sensitive areas like the belly can provide some protection. Treatment for sun cancer can sometimes mean quite extensive surgery, so be mindful of protection and prevention as it can save the stress later on.

Give us a call on 6884 9900 if you have any questions relating to your own pet. Remember that Summer can be fun but there are also hidden danger so be mindful in the heat and sun.

Big Blue Digital