Dog-in-summer

Looking after your pet in summer time

by Angela Hickey | 2 min read

July 12th, 2021

Finally the summer sun has arrived! Luckily we have been enjoying some lovely sunshine across Ireland over the last few weeks and it’s set to continue. So while we are out enjoying the sun spare a thought for our 4 legged friends. Here are our top tips to keep your pet cool and safe this summer, along with some advice should they overheat.

  1. Cool & Breezy: Make sure your pet has access to a shaded, breezy place if outdoors.
  2. Hydrate: Ensure your pet has access to plenty of cold, fresh, drinking water at all times. If travelling bring collapsible drinking bowls and offer cold water regularly.
  3. Siesta: Walk your dog in the morning or evening and try to avoid the warmer parts of the day.
  4. Burnt paws: Be aware of pavements and roads heating up and causing burns to your pet’s Paws
  5. Sunscreen: Just like people, dogs and cats are prone to sunburn and to other complications and diseases associated with sun exposure. White coloured skin is most susceptible as there is no protective pigment. Parts of the body most at risk are the ear tips, nose, belly, and groin. Only use formulas that are specifically intended as sunscreen for pets. They should not contain zinc oxide or para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), as these ingredients are toxic if ingested.
  6. Ticks: While ticks can be found outdoors year-round, summer is the most common time for bites to happen. Check your pet daily for ticks and make sure to brush them every time they come inside from a walk or playtime. Your vet will advise you on the best protection against ticks for your pet and what to look out for if your pet starts to show any potential symptoms from tick-borne diseases.
  7. Safer left at home: Think ahead when planning a day out.  Can you protect your pet from overheating on a beach or during a long walk in the mountains? If not, make other arrangements to leave them at home or with a friend.
  8. Take a dip: Encourage your dog to swim; or soak them down with water on a hot day with little shade.
  9. Never leave your pet in a car. Even 10 minutes may be enough to cause severe heat stroke or death! The inside of the car will be 20 degrees higher than the outside temperature. Leaving windows open does not keep the temperature down.

Which Pets are Most at Risk of Overheating?

Know the Signs of Heat Stroke:

This will progress to breathing becoming slow or absent; with seizures, coma and cardiac arrest.

What to Do If You See Signs of Heat Stress in Your Pet:

About the author

bio image for Angela Hickey
Angela Hickey

Allianz in-house vet and qualified psychotherapist.