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Hot dogs: How to keep your pets safe in summer

Author: The Simple Bit

Category: Short Cuts

The summer heat can be dangerous for our furry family members but with a bit of know-how, you can easily keep your ball of fluff safe.


The simple bits:

  • Summer heat can be dangerous for your furry or scaly friends
  • Pets can also be affected by dehydration, burns, heatstroke and bites
  • Watch out for hot pavement on paws
  • Move smaller pets into the bathroom on extreme days
  • Pay special care to Brachycephalic dog breeds (like bulldogs and pugs)
  • Crikey! Don’t forget the wildlife

Sometimes we wish our pets could talk. Granted, they’d spend a lot of time nagging us for second breakfast. (Or first this morning. Woops). But it’d be handy in summer if a pet could tell us just how they’re tracking when the mercury soars. 

The heat can be dangerous for our furry family members. Just like us, they can be affected by dehydration, burns, heatstroke and insect bites. It’s great to see tech innovations like temperature-regulated cars that protect animals against the heat. But with a bit of know-how, you can easily keep your ball of fluff safe and get back to that fun-soaked, carefree summer you see in movie montages. No chatterbox pet required.



The barefoot check

Would you walk with bare feet on the pavement in this heat? If the answer’s no, it’s not safe for your dog either. In the summer, boiling-hot bitumen can burn dogs’ paw pads. To double-check if it’s safe, place your hand against the pavement for 5 seconds and see if it causes any discomfort. Try to walk your dog in the early morning or late evening once the temperature drops.


Garden of paradise 

With a paddling pool and plenty of shade, a garden can be a pet’s Bali beach club in summer. Just pop ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’ on the speakers. But even if it looks like bliss, there are a few watch-outs. Make sure any insecticides used in the garden won’t harm your pet if ingested. When sitting outside, keep citronella candles, mozzie coils and tiki torches well out of reach. And always clean up after a BBQ, especially raisins, grapes, onions or chocolate that are toxic for dogs and cats.


Coats are cool

Just one look at a shaggy-haired pet on a hot day is enough to make you sweat. But before you reach for the clippers, spare a thought for clever evolution. A dog or cat’s coat acts as insulation to keep them cool in summer but warm in winter. Shaving them might actually cause them to overheat or even get sunburnt skin. Instead, keep your pet well-groomed by trimming long hair or brushing out the undercoat before summer begins. 


Swap hutch for house

When the heat really gets going, bring your small pets inside and let them run around in the bathroom. They’ll benefit from the cool tiles and you’ll have an easy clean-up operation. If this isn’t an option, keep a wet towel draped over their cage (making sure that air can still circulate) or put a frozen water bottle in the cage so your pet can lean against it and regulate their body temperature.


Beware of the Bulldog

And Pugs, Pekes and Boxers. These Brachycephalic breeds have short snouts which mean they can’t pant as effectively. As dogs don’t sweat, panting is their only effective method to cool themselves down. Flat-faced breeds are at greater risk of heatstroke, so keep them inside or hosed down with easy access to water and shade when it’s hot.


Wildlife warrior

As an animal lover, don’t forget about wildlife during a heatwave, too. Leave bowls of water out in shady locations in your garden or balcony. Use shallow dishes for small animals, or add a rock or stick to larger containers so wildlife can easily climb out. Crikey! We might have to start calling you Steve.