Help your pet beat the heat this summer with our 8 handy tips.

The dog days of summer are just around the corner, which means barbecues, camping trips and long days basking in the sun, salt and sand. But more time in the sunshine with your ball of fluff calls for extra effort in protecting them from the harsh elements. So, to help your furry family beat the heat this summer, we’ve provided you with a few handy tips below.

1. Keep your pal hydrated
Be sure your precious pup or free roaming feline has easy access to clean water at all times, ideally a large bowl filled to the brim. On really hot days, remember to check your pet’s water bowl for refills throughout the day.

2. Allow time outside during cooler periods
Animals are curious by nature so let them outside during the cooler parts of the day, preferably in the early morning and late evening when the sun isn’t at full exposure.

3. Open windows and doors to maintain a cool climate
Instinctively, your dog or cat will seek out cooling breezes in the summer. If it’s too hot outside and they’re spending a majority of time indoors, open as many windows and doors as you can to allow airflow throughout your home. This will create a cool and comfortable environment for both you and your pet.

4. Never leave your pet in the car
Summer calls for vacations and long day trips. If your animal mate is travelling with you, never ever leave them in the car. Despite the numerous warnings, each summer brings many reports of dogs who die from being left in vehicles. Even if it may not seem that hot outside, or you crack a window open, the temperature inside the car can rapidly rise to dangerous levels within minutes.

5. Be mindful of sensitive paws
Our curious kitties and canine companions don’t wear shoes like us, so watch out where they walk. Carry your pet over hot sand if you’re at the beach or walk them on grass. And if you’re taking them for a walk, stick to a morning or evening stroll when the sun’s rays are minimal.

6. Trim their fur, don’t shave them
You might think by shaving your pet, you’re doing them a favour. But that’s not the case. Both dogs and cats naturally shed their coat during summer months to allow their skin to remain cool. It’s okay to give your pet a bit of a trim – just not too short or the skin will be exposed to the sun which can inevitably lead to sunburn.

7. Slip, slop, slap
If you plan on spending long days outside it’s wise to apply sunscreen to sun-sensitive areas of your dog’s body – around the lips, nose, tips of the ears, groin and belly. Just like humans, dogs’ skin can be damaged by the sun, so they require the same protection. The safest sunscreen to use for a dog is one specially made for canines.

8. Plan ahead for emergencies
We all know extremely hot weather can lead to unexpected blazes. With an increased risk of fire comes a higher need to prepare for the worst. Always think ahead and prepare a plan to safely evacuate your pet in case of an emergency.

* This information is provided as general information only. For advice and information concerning changes in any of the above behaviours in your own pet, we recommend that you seek the advice of your veterinarian. For information about what your pet insurance covers refer to the Product Disclosure Statement.