Pet Care

Be ready for the summer heat: tips to keep your pet safe


Summer is a fun season because it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy activities with our pets. It’s the perfect time for outdoor activities and adventures with our furry friends.

But with the warmer temperatures and exposure to the sun, we must take extra care so they aren’t overheating or becoming dehydrated.

Dogs are known to cool down differently than people do – dogs pant to keep cool and sweat through their paws, cats clean and lick themselves as a method to cool down with their saliva.

It’s very important to keep an eye out for signs of heat exhaustion, such as excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, or vomiting. If you suspect your pet is overheating, move them to a cooler area, offer water, and contact your veterinarian. Be aware also that Flat Faced dogs and cats, like pugs, bulldogs or Persians and even rabbits are more susceptible to heat stroke, as they have more difficulties in cooling down.

We have some tips to help you be mindful of your pets’ needs, to make sure they stay safe and healthy during the summer months.

  • Provide enough water: fresh drinking water should always be available. Water can also be provided by way of ice cubes, be creative and make an ice-pop for your dog or cat as a fun treat or toy.
  • Provide access to cool places, shade and shelter. There are special cooling mats for pets, but simple cooling tricks such as popping a plastic water bottle in the freezer for them can also help.
  • It might seem like a good idea to be outside in the fresh air, but  in the hottest moments of the day, beaches or open parks are not always a good idea as there is no shade.
  • Avoid intensive exercise during the day. Dogs suffer faster from heat than people, so schedule exercises in the early morning or late evening. Dogs often do not know their own limits and will keep on playing fetch with a ball until they overheat.
  •  Brush your dog or cat regularly, but do not shave them! Their fur is a protection against the cold but also against the heat, as it works as an isolating layer.
  • Short-haired breeds can get sunburned, so use a pet-safe sunscreen. Not sure if your pet needs sunscreen? Ask your vet! Be extra careful if your cat has white ear tips as there is a link between sunburn and malignant tumours in cats. In these cats the use of sunscreen is a must.
  • Pay extra attention to their paws! A hot pavement can burn your pet’s paws, so it’s always better walk on the grass or in the shade.
  • Pay extra attention to hygiene. Warm weather makes Bacteria and Algae grow rapidly. So be careful with water in puddles or ponds. And don’t leave open pet food packs outside the refrigerator for too long. Always remember to thoroughly clean their food and water bowls daily..
  • In summer we also see more parasites like ticks and fleas: ask your veterinarian to advise you on the best protection products for your pets as they are the experts.
  • Lastly, but very importantly: NEVER leave pets alone in parked cars, even when you leave the window cracked open! The inside of a car can quickly reach dangerously high temperatures. If you see a pet in a closed vehicle, try to contact the owner of the car or the police to save the pet.