Summer Safety for your Pets

Author: Amanda   Date Posted:19 January 2018 


Living in Australia, we all know the importance of protecting ourselves from the sun’s harmful rays.  But did you know that it is just as important to protect our pets?

Slip, slop, slap isn’t just for humans it’s also a message we should keep in mind for our four-legged friends. They may be covered in fur, but the sun can do some serious damage to dogs if they’re not properly protected in the heat of summer.

Any dog or cat can get sunburned, but hairless dogs and cats (eg. The Sphynx cat or Chinese Crested dog), pets with white hair, white and pink skinned pets, and those animals that have very short hair (whether natural or cut) are particularly sensitive to the sun. Outside living pets and those whose hair is clipped to expose a lot more of their skin are also more susceptible to getting sunburned.Any exposed area of a dog or cat can get sunburned, particularly where there is white or pink skin, but the most susceptible places are the ears (both inner and outer surfaces), nose, lips, snout, eyelids and belly.

If your dog is one that likes to lie on their back exposing their belly and inner thighs (generally where the hair is quite thin), then it is important also to protect them against sunburn. If a pet gets sunburn, just like humans they can suffer nasty consequences.  UV radiation is a factor in some dog cancers such as squamous cell carcinoma, a malignant cancer, which can spread to other parts of the body.  Another cancer thought to be UV-induced is dermal haemangioscarcoma. Prevention is always better than cure, so it’s important to practice sun safety on your pets.



Protecting your pet from the sun can be made simple with just a few simple tips.

  • Provide your pet shade particularly during the hottest part of the day (10am-3pm).   Your cat or dog should always have access to shaded areas around the yard, or be allowed to come inside when the sun is at its peak.
  • A great outdoor bed for dogs is the Mutt Hutt as they protect your pet from the sun and elements and keep your dog off the ground away from pesky ants and insects.  These are made of a durable fabric and are easy to assemble.
  • Apply pet sunscreen.  Pet specific sunscreens are available such as Petkin Doggy Sun Wipes, Doggy SunMist, Doggy Sun Stick, Protecta cream and FiltaBac (for use in dogs, cats, horses and livestock) . Pet-specific sunscreens are designed just for animals and these are the only ones that should be used, NRG Noze Cream can be used for horses with white noses or pink skin.
  •  Don’t use a human sunblock.  Some of the substances contained in these are toxic to animals, and if your pet licks the sunscreen off it can cause toxicity.. Zinc oxide in human sunblock can cause zinc toxicity if the dog ingests a certain amount. So for dogs, avoid zinc-containing creams and avoid PABA-containing creams.
  • Although we may think shaving our dog in summer is a great idea, cutting their hair too short can actually increase their vulnerability to the sun.  Always maintain at least a half an inch of hair.

We have a range of clippers and blades to help keep your pet's hair trimmed for summer.  Mars Coat Kings are good to use to remove undercoat  and dead hair.  Tropiclean have a fantastic grooming range for your pets to keep them clean and smelling great.


Other summer nasties

Sunburn isn’t the only thing to watch out for in the heat of summer. Heatstroke occurs when heat generation exceeds the body’s ability to dissipate heat. Heatstroke is serious and can be fatal.  It can cause organ damage or organ failure.

Pets at greater risk of heatstroke are ones that are:

  • Obese
  • Have respiratory disease
  • Brachycephalic dogs and cats  (for example - Boxer, Pugs, Bulldogs, French Bulldogs & Persian Cats)

It is important to make sure that you keep a close eye on your pets when the weather is particularly hot and humid. 



  • Only walk your dog in the early morning or evening when the weather cools down
  • NEVER leave your dog in a car unattended!  Even on mild days the temperature inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels.  For example one study that found that when the ambient temperature is 22C, the temperature in a car can rise to over 47C in 60 minutes.  Have you ever sat in a car on a hot day with the window just slightly opened?  Trust me after a few minutes you will soon realise that it is not safe to leave your dog in a car.
  • Always provide your pets with a cool, shaded area with good ventilation,. On those really hot days, bring dogs and cats indoors where the environment is cooler.
  • Dehydration can lead to heatstroke. It’s important to make sure there is plenty of clean, fresh water around for pets, enough to cope with any spillage. Some dogs like to sit in cool water or splash themselves so, if possible, try and provide a larger water container or a kid’s clamshell that allows them to do this.
  • Automatic waterers are a great idea to provide a constant supply of water for your pet.  These are great for dogs that love to splash and dig in their water bowl (like my dog Bodhi) as it will always continue to supply fresh water.  Pet fountains – Drinkwell and Pioneer are also recommended as they provide your pet with filtered clean water.  Cats (especially those that like to drink from running taps) love these fountains that provide aeratored clean running water.  Some cats don’t drink enough water, which can lead to kidney problems.  These fountains help to combat this problem.
  • Cooling mats are a great idea to allow your pet access to lie on around the house and yard.  Snugglesafe make a large and small size cooling mat that instantly lowers your pets temperature and provides them a cool place to rest.   They are also ideal to take with you and your dog if you are out at the beach, camping  or travelling in the car.
  • It doesn’t matter what age a dog or cat is, they can all suffer from too much exposure to the sun. Older dogs and cats may find the extreme heat tougher but younger dogs and cats can be just as susceptible to heat-related illnesses and conditions.
  • By taking the proper precautions, you and your pet can be free to enjoy all the opportunities for fun that the warmer months provide.
  • Ensure bird cages are moved to shaded areas and have adequate ventilation. Remember to top up their water bowls or have multiple bowls available.
  • Use a spray bottle or the mist setting on your hose to give your birds a bath.  Daily bathing for birds including parrots is important to keep their feathers in good condition.  When the temperature reaches into 30s regular misting should occur throughout the day to prevent heat stroke.
  • The Parrot Shower/Window Perch is a great product to cool your parrot down.  Simply suction on to your shower wall or window (only if safety measures are in place that your bird cannot fly away) and let them have fun in the water. For smaller birds such as budgies the Bird Bath is a great option 
  • Ensure your small animals that live in hutches outside are moved to an area where it is shaded.  Chateus, Walk up Barns and Bungalows are a good idea to place in  your small animal hutch to give them shelter and security. 
  • Provide them with multiple water bottles such as the Chewproof Water Bottles to drink from.



  • Ensure your horse has plenty of fresh drinking water available and check their water trough
  • Only ride them in the coolest part of the day
  • Hosing off your horse at the end of the day removes the sweat that attracts flies
  • Always allow your horse to have access to shaded areas in the paddock
  • If your horse is kept inside, place a fan in their stall to enable adequate ventilation
  • Always keep a salt block in your horse’s pasture so she can lick it when they like. Salt is an essential mineral that a horse loses when they sweats. A horse may sweat a lot in the summer, especially when its ridden, so it must be able to lick a salt block whenever it wants.


Signs of heatstroke include:

  • incessant panting
  • weakness
  •  fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Muscle tremors
  • muscle spasms
  • signs of mental confusion
  • Staggering
  • Collapsing

If you suspect your dog or cats  is suffering from heatstroke it’s important to start treatment as soon as possible to try and normalise their temperature. A wet towel can be used and placed over your pet’s body.  Alternatively apply or spray tepid to cool water onto the pet’s fur and skin.  A fan can be used to help normalise their body temperature.



  • This can exacerbate the problem.
  • Like sunburn, heatstroke is a highly preventable condition.
  • A First Aid Kit is an essential for all pet owners to have



Combine the fun of your dog's toy with a summer cool down.  Kongs  can be stuffed and frozen for extended play time - use chicken or beef broth or your dog's favourite flavours and place in the freezer.  Another great alternative is to place water, chicken stock, some dog biscuits and a few small toys in a container that can fit in your freezer and freeze this for the ultimate dog popsicle!  This will keep them well and truly occupied.  Alternatively fill an ice cube container with chicken or beef broth and give to your dog as a mini summer treat.




Flies are winged insects that are not only annoying, but they can transmit disease. They belong to a large, complex order of insects called Diptera. As adults, flies may feed on blood, saliva, tears, or mucus. They also spread bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Biting flies feed on animal blood. This group includes mosquitoes, black flies, sand flies, biting midges, mosquitoes, horse flies. Biting flies are certainly annoying and can cause painful bites and allergic reactions in your pets. Horses in QLD can also suffer from QLD Itch causing them to scratch, suffer hair loss and even cause bleeding. Remember mosquitoes can transmit heartworm to dogs and cats so it is important to ensure your pet is kept up to date with this preventative.

There are numerous products that are available to repel these pesky insects.



If you find that ants are ruining your cat or dog's dinner why not purchase one of the stainless steel Ant Moat Pet bowls.  Simply fill the moat with water so the ants don't have the opportunity to get to the food.

Check out our other blogs on Travelling with Pets & Car Safety & Travel Essentials for more great tips


4cyte provides the ultimate joint protection for your dog or horse! This product has revolutionised joint care products by including the ingredient - Epiitalis, which is a plant oil extract known for its joint and cartilage regenerative properties. Check out the hundreds of 5 star reviews 4cyte has by clicking on a product. 4cyte granules and liquid gel for dogs 4cyte has 2 options for dogs. The 4cyte granules or the 4cyte liquid epiitalis gel. 4cyte granules and 4cytel liquid both contain the plant oil extract epiitalis however the 4cyte granules also contain marine ingredients which are proven to assist with joint health. The ...

When it comes to grooming Absorbine has been around for generations providing the best possible skin and coat care possible. Whether your horse or pony sees the showring or not the results Absorbine gives will make you want to show them off to everyone! These products make it effortless to clean, condition, brighten and moisturise mails, tails and coats! ...

Acavallo strives to create products for the welfare and protection of your horses. With quality products, you know that you will only be getting the most superior items for your horses - which is what they deserve! As horse lovers ourselves, we use acavallo products on our horses and we do love them. If not trust us, trust some of the top riders in the world that are using Acavallo such as Charlotte Dujardin, Scott Brash, Valentina Truppa and many more! ...

The adaptil range aims to comfort and reassure dogs and puppies in times of stress and anxiety, making them feel safe, calm and relaxed. Adaptil replicates pheremones given off by the mother dog to their pups which is scientifically proven to make dogs and puppies less stressed. ...

Advance pet foods have been scientifically developed to meet all of the needs of Aussie dogs like yours! Combining top quality ingredients and world leading research Advance have created some of the top pet foods on the market. Take a look at their huge range, and see which one would suit your pet best! ...

Just because you can't see them, it doesn't mean that they aren't there. Advantage has been around for a long time providing Australian pets with the best care possible. Help your pets out today with Advantage! ...

Unfortunately, just one paralysis tick bite can be fatal for our furry friends. Advantix is here to help, treating fleas and ticks in one simple spot on application fort-nightly. It's fast acting formula means it kills fleas within 3 - 5 minutes! The best part is its water ressistant so you and your dog can still have fun in the sun and water while still being protected - what is not to love! ...

Advocate is an easy monthly spot on treatment for your pets! It is simply applied to your pets back and will absorb through the skin into the bloodstream protecting your pet just like that! Meaning Advocate provides convinient, continuous broad protection against numerous parasites depending on whether you are after the dog or the cat application. ...

Anitone is a completley natural trace mineral supplement for all animals! Anitone is the only feed supplement on the market that is fermented in a process that mimics natural digestive processes, and is therefore highly palatable and relished by most animals. Anitone contains not only essential minerals, but also amino acids, and Vitamins A, D and Vitamin E. ...

Aristopet provides a range of animals the broad spectrum care that they need on a daily basis. With products for birds, dogs, cats and small animals, Aristopet knows what they are doing, and they do it well. ...

Aussie Companion Parrot Supplies has been around for long enough to know what toys birds love! All of these toys are made with the intent to enrich your birds life in one way or another. They make creative, one of a kind bird toys that your bird will play with for hours on end. ...

All Aussie Dog Products are made safe, non toxic and durable! These products will stimulate the natural instincts of taste, sight, smell, touch and noise. Your pet will absolutely love these toys. ...

Bare Medical Supplies are quality manufacturers of medical and surgical supplies for pets. You can be rest assured that these products are manufactured to the highest quality standards. Bare medical supplies are perfect to have in your first aid kit as you never know when an emergency may arise. ...

Beau pets is an Australian brand that supplies a wide variety of collars and leads for your pets! They have been helping Australians look after their pets for over 50 years! So you know you will be getting the best. ...

Biogroom is specially formulated for pet lovers! With a huge range of shampoos and conditioners for a range of pets you are sure to find somthing you and your pet will love. Indulge them... ...

PAW by Blackmores is an innovative range of healthcare products for your pet! Each product has been inspired by nature and has been developed by world class vets. From vitamins to shampoos, Blackmores have developed a whole range of products your furry friend will love. ...

Bravecto is a revolutionary advancement in parasite protection for our pets. Bravecto provides long lasting protection in either spot on or chewable for dogs or spot on for cats! More than 80 million doses of Bravecto have been given to pets around the globe - a brand that you can trust. ...

Cavallo is a worldwide brand that stocks the worlds most trusted hoof boot. They provide comfortable, all terrain protection for our horses. They are easy to size, fit and care for! ...

The Charming pet toys are loved by all pets! Charming on the outside and tough on the inside, dogs of all sizes can enjoy the squeaking, crunching and tugging actions of these toys. They come in a huge range of colours and sizes - there is sure to be one your dog will cherish. ...

Special relationships with our pets deserve to be Cherished. Formulated to improve the lives of our pets, Cherish pet food nourishes the mind, body and spirit. Packed full of superfoods and Australian ingredients you will know that your pet is getting the absolute best. You will see a huge difference in their total wellbeing, and best of all they love the flavour! ...

Leave a comment

Comments have to be approved before showing up