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Keeping Your Pets Cool in Summer

Summer is in full swing across Australia and at the time of writing, Melbourne has just experienced five days in a row over 30 degrees. The humidity is also high, making it even harder to cool down than usual. While we love our warm weather and sun-filled days by the beach, it’s also worth keeping in mind that just like us humans, our furry friends also need a break when the mercury rises.

If you’re feeling all hot and bothered under these balmy conditions, chances are your cat or dog is too. Which is why this month The Pets Hotel team are sharing handy tips to keep your pet cool during Summer, including signs of heat stress to watch out for. So, grab yourself an icy cold treat, a shaded spot and enjoy reading!

Keeping Your Pets Cool in Summer

Signs of heat stress in pets: A silent killer

More than just an uncomfortable condition, heat stress (also known as ‘heat stroke’) can cause serious damage to your pets if left untreated. Affected animals will first show excitation, followed by loss of balance and seizures, as the blood vessels in their brain engorge. A coma can follow and heart failure is also common as many other changes in their internal organs occur. In the worst-case scenario, heat stress in cats and dogs can even be fatal. Common signs of heat stress in pets to look out for include:

  • Excessive panting (that increases with their heat stress)
  • Drooling and excessive salivation
  • Restlessness and general agitation
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting


First Aid: What to do if your pet is suffering from heat stress?

While the symptoms are distressing, heat stress can be treated effectively if you act fast. Emergency first aid is vital and begins by placing your pet out of the sun and heat into a cool room or bath, while you contact your nearest vet. Here’s those vital first aid tips in a nutshell:

  • Remove your pet from the sun or source of heat
  • Place them in a cool room with ample drinking water and if possible, a cool bath (avoid iced water). Gently hosing them down with cold water also works
  • Contact your vet to seek professional medical treatment
  • Place your wet pet in front of a fan and apply ice packs to their head
  • Follow your vet’s advice and transport them with care to the nearest clinic

Cool and comfortable: How to avoid heat stress in the first place

Thankfully, keeping your pets safe during Summer heatwaves and avoiding heat stress only requires a little common sense and preparation (a good reason to stay up to date with the latest weather forecast)! The RSPCA in particular offer the following handy tips that will have your furry friend feeling cool and comfortable:

  • Exercise your pets early in the morning or late in the evening on very hot days, to avoid the worst of the afternoon sun
  • Avoid walking them on hot surfaces (if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for their paws)!
  • If you can, bring your pets inside on very hot days, especially if you have good air conditioning
  • If your pets must stay outdoors, ensure they have ample shade
  • Indoors or outdoors, ensure your pet has easy access to plenty of clean drinking water (keep an extra bowl handy just in case)
  • Make sure you provide good ventilation, as most pets cool themselves down by panting, which requires good air flow


Last but not least, don’t forget our cat and dog suites at The Pets Hotel in Port Melbourne and Country Club at Elcho Park, Lara. Both our addressees enjoy the very best in year-round climate control with plenty of fun activities to keep your cats and dogs cool, comfortable and well cared for during those hot summer days. Whether you just need to leave them for a few hours or overnight, our team are ready to care for your furry friends!

Keen to leave your furry friends in good hands this summer? Contact us at The Pets Hotel (Port Melbourne) on (03) 9646 3696 or The Pets Hotel Country Club (Lara) on (03) 5282 1286.

About Us

After years of research in Australia and the USA, The Pets Hotel is custom designed for your pet’s health, safety and comfort, all in a fun-filled environment - which exceeds the industry Code of Practice.
The owners of The Pets Hotel have 35 years experience in the Pet industry.

The Pets Hotel is the culmination of this experience.

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Contact Information
Phone: (03) 9646 3696
Fax: (03) 9646 3695

Monday - Friday
7am-12pm & 3.00pm-6.30pm
Public Holidays

Address: 7 Phillip Court
Port Melbourne. Vic 3207