Keeping Your Pet Safe in Summer

As the temperatures rise, summer can be a season of joy and adventure for pet owners and their furry companions. However, it's also a time when pets are susceptible to various health risks associated with heat and outdoor activities.

Ensuring your pet's safety and well-being during the summer months requires careful attention and proactive measures. Here are some essential tips from 365 Vet to help keep your pet safe and comfortable during the summer season.


One of the most critical aspects of pet care during summer is ensuring they stay well-hydrated. Pets, like humans, can suffer from dehydration and heatstroke if they don't have access to enough water. Make sure your pet always has fresh, clean water available, especially when spending time outdoors. Consider carrying a portable water bottle and bowl during walks or trips to the park. Signs of dehydration include excessive panting, dry gums and lethargy, so be vigilant and provide water frequently.

Never leave pets in hot cars

Leaving a pet in a parked car, even for a few minutes, can be extremely dangerous. Cars can heat up rapidly, reaching deadly temperatures within minutes, even with the windows slightly ajar. This can lead to heatstroke, which can be fatal. If you need to run errands, it's best to leave your pet at home where they are safe and cool.

Provide shade and cool resting places

When outdoors, ensure your pet has access to shaded areas to rest and escape the direct sun. This can help prevent overheating and sunburn, particularly in pets with short or light-coloured fur. At home, create cool resting spots inside by using fans or air conditioning. Cooling mats or damp towels can also provide relief from the heat.

Limit exercise during peak heat

Exercise is important, but it's best to avoid intense activity during the hottest parts of the day, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Early morning or late evening walks are safer and more comfortable for your pet. Keep an eye on the pavement temperature as well - if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your pet's paws. Protective boots can help prevent burns.

Watch out for signs of heatstroke

Heatstroke is a severe risk during summer. Symptoms include excessive panting, drooling, difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate, vomiting, diarrhoea and collapse. If you suspect your pet is suffering from heatstroke, move them to a cool area immediately, offer water and contact your veterinarian. Applying cool (not cold) water to their body can also help lower their temperature.

Be cautious with water activities

While many pets enjoy swimming, it's important to supervise them around water. Not all pets are natural swimmers, and even good swimmers can get tired or face difficulties. Use pet life jackets for added safety and rinse your pet off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from their fur. Be cautious of blue-green algae in lakes and ponds, as it can be toxic to pets.

Protect against parasites

Summer is the peak season for fleas, ticks and mosquitoes - all of which can carry diseases harmful to pets. Ensure your pet is on a veterinarian-recommended preventive treatment plan. Regularly check your pet’s fur and skin for signs of parasites and promptly remove any ticks. Keeping your garden clean and treating it for pests can also help reduce the risk.

Grooming and coat care

Regular grooming helps keep your pet’s coat in good condition and can help them stay cooler. However, avoid shaving your pet completely, as their fur provides some protection against the sun. Instead, opt for trimming and regular brushing to remove loose fur and prevent matting.

Always consult your veterinarian for advice tailored to your pet’s specific needs, and stay vigilant to protect your furry friend from summer hazards. With a little preparation, you and your pet can make the most of the sunny season.