Summer’s in full swing across Australia and at the time of writing (mid-February), Victoria is experiencing its most consistent stretch of warm weather this season. Whilst many of us love the long days and sunny skies, it’s easy to forget how much harder it is for our pets to stay cool in the summer heat. Heatstroke is a real health danger, especially for certain breeds of dog with squished faces – such as Pugs, English and French Bulldogs etc. Cats are also liable to get hot and bothered too. With that in mind, The Pets Hotel team have put together some top tips for keeping your furry friend cool this Summer and Autumn – given the warm weather tends to stick around until after Easter these days. So grab yourself a refreshing glass of water and enjoy reading : )
- Water is king, keep a full bowl nearby at all times! - Keeping your pet cool in warm weather begins with water – the most essential element to human and animal life. Dogs in particular need plenty to drink on hot days, given they can’t sweat the way we do – with panting being their only mechanism for cooling down. By keeping a full bowl of fresh water within easy reach and ideally under shade, your pet(s) will stay hydrated throughout the day. It’s also worth keeping a second or third bowl nearby – just in case!
- Ensure adequate shade during the day - Just like us, our furry friends need shelter from the harsh Aussie sun throughout the day. Plants and trees can provide great natural shade (the bigger their shadow the better) as can tall fences – although keep in mind the sun will move across your yard from morning to dusk. On really warm days (30C and above) its best to keep your cat or dog inside, especially if you have air con!
- Time walks for sunset & sunrise - Exercise is essential for our canine mates in all conditions. However, on those warm summer days, those concrete footpaths can burn their fragile paws whilst the intense heat from a glaring sun can quickly leave them dehydrated. That’s why those daily walks should be timed for the evening or early morning when temperatures tend to be much milder. Also be sure to carry a water bottle with you and try to walk on grass to protect those cute little paws.
- Never leave your pet alone in your car on a hot day - You wouldn’t wantonly leave a kid in the car on a hot day and the same rule applies for your pets! Whilst it might be a pleasant sunny 25C outside, it could easily reach a dangerous 45C inside the tight confines of your vehicle. If you do see a cat or dog in distress in a locked car on a hot day, call emergency services promptly on 000 (police or fire may need to break open the doors) and follow up by lodging a report with the RSPCA’s Animal Cruelty Hotline on 1300 852 188.
- Don’t forget to slip, slop, slap! - Believe it or not, our furry friends can also get sunburnt - especially cats and dogs with thin, smooth hair (the non-furry type) and light coloured ears or noses. So in addition to providing adequate shade on those bright, sunny days and timing walks for dusk and dawn, you should also consider buying sunscreen for dogs from your local pet goods retailer or the RSCPA’s World for Pets online store.
- Consider Doggy Daycare or Cat Suites - Last but not least, there’s always the option of leaving your furry friend in the hands of our fun-filled, climate controlled Doggy Daycare or Cat Suites at our two addresses in Port Melbourne and Lara. Staffed by professional pet lovers, our Pets Hotel team will keep them cool, calm and comfortable on the hottest of days while you go about your regular routine, safe in the knowledge they’re receiving the very best of care : )
Interested in our Doggy Daycare, Cat Suites and other services for your VIP (Very Important Pet) at our air-conditioned addresses? Contact the friendly team at The Pets Hotel (Port Melbourne) on (03) 9646 3696 or The Pets Hotel Country Club (Lara) on (03) 5282 1286.