During the summertime, we have to take extra steps to care for our pets. Usually, we’re just excited to take our dogs for runs on the beach or to play in the pool. However, the hot weather will cause some new challenges for pets. Your cat and dog are not as good at adapting to different weather as you are – especially hot weather.

When temperatures are getting extreme in Sydney, it’s important to remember your pet’s health and safety. Here are some tips for taking care of your pet while enjoying summer activities.

Your Pet Can Be More Susceptible to Heat Than You

If you think the summer weather is overwhelming, you can bet that your pet does too. While we can take a dip in the ocean, turn up the air conditioning or even just sweat to cool our body down, your pet has limited ways to deal with the heat.

For instance, dogs only release heat through their paws and by panting. If you have a flat-faced pet, like a Pug or Persian cat, they won’t be able to pant as effectively, making them more susceptible to heat stroke.  Old or overweight pets, or animals that are already ill, should also get extra special treatment.

Dehydration is a major cause of concern as well, so make sure that you keep your pets well hydrated, with access to shade and fresh water. Make sure to only walk them or take them outside to play during the coolest hours of the day.

Never leave your pet in the car unattended. If your pet has long hair, you might also consider shaving it to keep them cool.

Prevent Ticks and other Insects

At Northside Emergency Veterinary Service in Sydney, some of our most common summer emergencies are tick paralysis and insect bites and stings.

You can try to prevent tick paralysis and other insect bites and stings by giving your pet tick preventatives and by keeping the grass on your lawn cut short to reduce the presence of the insects. Avoid using fertilisers or pesticides, as these can be harmful to your pet.

Does Your Pet Need Sunscreen?

Pets with short, fine hair and pink skin can get sunburnt. Talk to your vet about whether your pet will need sunscreen and which sunscreen is safest for their skin.

Watch out for Antifreeze

Antifreeze can leak out of cars when they overheat in the summer. This leaves enticing-looking puddles on the ground that a hot and thirsty dog may just try to drink. Antifreeze tastes sweet but the results are lethal. Keep an eye on your car and your regular parking spaces and be sure to clean up any messes immediately.

Safety First in the Water

Even the strongest swimmers can have trouble in the water. Swimming with your dog at the beach or in your pool can be great fun, but make sure you always have your eye on them. If your pet loves the water but isn’t a confident swimmer, stick to safe areas and consider purchasing a dog life preserver.

Every year we see pets drown in family pools and ponds. It is important to teach them where the steps are and how to get out in the event they fall in while unsupervised. Don’t forget to check your pool and pond fencing is safe and adequate to keep pets out.

CTA: NEVS provides after hours veterinary care in Sydney. If you need some emergency care this summer, contact our experienced team.  We’re here 24/7, 365 days a year. In the meantime, stay safe, enjoy the weather and take care of your best friend at every time of year.