The Australian summertime is almost upon us! While some areas of Australia have a relatively mild summer, others by comparison endure a few months of extremely hot and humid conditions. It is important that pet owners take extra care during this time to ensure that family pets are staying nice and cool.

Just like humans, it is important to remember that your pet’s are also at risk of heatstroke, dehydration and stress during the summer months.

Keeping dogs cool

You will most likely notice that your dog’s activity levels will change when it is too hot outside. They will be less likely to jump of the couch to greet you, or slow to move on the lead if you take them for a walk.

Panting and drooling can be a sign of heatstroke, so it is important to take it seriously and consider a few things to make them more comfortable during the summer season.

Change your walking times: Consider taking your pooch for a walk in the early mornings and later evenings. As a general rule, if you can’t hold your bare hand on the hard ground surface for longer than five seconds, then it is too hot for your dog’s paws.

Give them a cool bath: There’s nothing like a nice dip in the summertime to cool you down. You can give you pooch more regular, cool, baths during summer, or invest in a small shell-style pool from Bunnings so that they can splash in the water and cool off during the day.

Provide lots of shade and water: This is one of the most important ones. If you are not home during the day, it is vital that your pet has adequate shade to rest in, and lots of water to drink. Be mindful that while you are gone, they could knock their water bowl over, so make sure they have more than one supply.

Frozen treats: Freezing various dog-safe foods is a great way to keep them cool in summertime. You can even add ice to their paddle pool for some extra fun!

Grooming: Keep their coat well brushed and groomed. This will help keep them cool by removing unwanted layers of dead coat, and you could consider trimming areas with a lot of hair such as around the face and under the belly. Have a chat to your local dog groomer and they will be able to help you decide the best way to keep your dog cool during summertime.

A summer of cool cats

Like dogs, cats will feel the heat and start to slow down during the summertime. If you see them gravitating towards your fans, windows, or doors, then they are feeling the heat!

Keep them inside: Even if they have an outdoor enclosure and are used to being outdoors, when the temperatures are soaring bring them inside where they can be in the air conditioning or in front of a fan.

Plenty of water: Just like dogs, it is important to make sure that your furry feline has plenty of fresh water to drink around the house to last them through the day.

Frozen treats: Many cats also enjoy icy treats! You can even freeze some of their wet food into a small iceblock and pop it into their food bowl to enjoy.

Somewhere cool to lay: We all know how much cats love to nap! Make sure they have somewhere cool to lay, that is not the carpet or couch. They will most likely want to stretch out on a tiled area to help them stay cool if they are not in air conditioning.

Small creatures

All small creatures are sensitive to the heat. Pets such as rats, guinea pigs and birds will need to be placed somewhere cool, preferably indoors, when the heat is extreme. You can set up a fan to blow on their cage to keep them cool, bring them into an air-conditioned room, or place some ice in their cage to play with and chew on.

This article was provided by Australian Pet Care Association (APCA). You can become a member by visiting the APCA website or emailing