With another record-breaking summer coming to an end, it’s important we don’t get complacent about the heat and continue to take active steps to keep ourselves and our pets cool. Even moderately hot temperatures in the high twenties and low thirties can cause life-threatening heat stress in some of our more vulnerable pets. Read our tips below on how to keep your pets cool during the warm weather.
Shade and ventilation
Nothing beats shade and a good breeze for keeping cool. Always ensure your pets have access to shade throughout the day and consider improving airflow in areas such as garages and patios. Baby safe fans and portable fans can greatly improve ventilation in areas and help keep pets cool. Small pets in cages and hutches should be brought into the shade and kept in a cool place all day.
Keep water in large, non-spill containers in the shade for your dogs, supply water in multiple containers for all pets and consider misting your birds throughout the day to keep them cool.
Although some pets don’t like ice, many pets will enjoy licking a frozen ice block on a hot day to keep cool. Freeze ice cream and takeaway containers with water overnight and place those ice blocks in water bowls to keep the water cool during the day. Consider making ‘pet popsicles’ by using salt-reduced diluted stock and water to make chicken or beef flavoured iceblocks for dogs.
Share the aircon
If you’re inside on a hot day with the aircon or fans going, consider bringing your pets inside to enjoy the cooler temperature too.
Avoid exercising in the heat
Dogs love their walks and will probably still be enthusiastic for their regular walk even when the temperature and humidity are high. However, walking when the temperature is high increases the risk of heat stress and ideally you should only walk your dog during the coolest part of the day (late at night or early morning). Some dogs need extra care during the heat, such as brachycephalic pets or the very young and old.
Keep an eye on vulnerable pets
Some pets are more at risk in the heat compared to others. Brachycephalic pets such as French Bulldogs, British Bulldogs, Pugs and Persian cats are at increased risk of heat stroke due to their flat-faces faces. Old and young dogs are also at increased risk, as they don’t have the same ability to regulate their temperature as adult dogs. Exotic pets such as birds, rabbits, mice and guinea pigs are also at increased risk, as they are often kept in cages and are unable to escape the heat.
Don’t leave pets in the car
Never leave your dog in the car unattended. Even with the windows down, temperatures within cars can increase rapidly with dogs trapped in hot cars dying in less than 10 minutes. It’s not worth the risk, so avoid taking your pets in the car during hot days.