Seven ways to keep pets cool on hot days

Here are a few things you can do to look after your fur babies on scorching summer days, when you can’t leave them inside air-conditioned rooms.

As the owner of a beautiful, energetic and naughty black Labrador, I know too well how rapidly she starts to struggle with the heat as soon as the weather warms up a little. 

While many of us would love to be able to keep our pets inside in a cool air-conditioned environment during the summer, this isn’t always possible. 

But there are certain things you can do which can help make a big difference.

1.  Water

This one might seem obvious, but it’s also one of the most important. It’s absolutely crucial your pet has enough water for the day. On hot days they’ll need much more than they usually would, so their usual water bowl may not be enough. Have an extra couple of bowls or buckets  of water sitting in the shade so there’s always plenty of water available should they need it. Make sure their usual water bowl is also moved into the shade. 

2.  Icy treats

Put a handful of pet treats in an empty ice-cream container and fill with water, and pop it in the freezer. On hot days, put it outside for your fury friend to enjoy. Not only will it provide your pet with entertainment while you’re gone, it will also help keep them cool as they lick away at the ice block trying to access those treats inside. 

3.  Change their walk time

Consider changing up your routine so that you’re not walking your pet when it’s too hot. Try getting up a little earlier in the morning, or waiting until after dinner once the sun has set and the day starts to cool down. Alternatively, take them to an animal friendly beach, river or lake if they enjoy the water! Also don’t forget about their little (or big) paws – the pavement can become scorching hot in full sun! 

4.  Paddling pools 

This one sounds more difficult than it really is. Those plastic shell sandpits which double up as a paddling pool can be perfect for pets and can be purchased for around $20. They’re fairly durable, and as I discovered, even survive when they’ve got a puppy chewing away at their sides. Fill one of these up with water and leave it sitting in the shade so your pet can splash away if they need to cool down.  

Don’t forget to closely supervise any children who may be playing near the water, and keep in mind that pools more than 30 centimetres deep are required by law (in Victoria) to be fenced off for safety reasons. 

> Find out more: Help care for your pet with Bupa Pet Insurance

5.  Garage

This will only work for some homes, but if your back yard is connected to your garage, and it is safe to do so, consider removing or locking away any valuables and leaving the door to the garage open so your pet has a shaded area to chill out in. 

6.  Consider moving your littlest pets inside

Rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, birds and ferrets are often kept in hutches or cages, so they’re not always able to find shade themselves. Consider whether you could move their enclosure inside for the day even if it’s just in the laundry, and at very least make sure they have a shady spot to keep cool. 

7.  Never leave your pet in a vehicle

Even with the windows open, cars can rapidly heat up on hot days and it can be deadly for any creatures inside. According to the RSPCA,  tests have found the temperature inside a car on a 29 degree day can double in just 10 minutes, and triple in 20. It can take just six minutes for a dog to die in a hot car. 

Pets get into all sorts of mess. Help protect them with Bupa Pet Insurance.

Bupa Pet Insurance is general insurance issued by the insurer The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd (ACN 090 584 473; AFSL 241436) (Hollard), is promoted by Bupa HI Pty Ltd (ACN 000 057 590; AR 354269) (Bupa) and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd (ACN 075 949 923; AFSL 420183 (PetSure). Bupa acts as an authorised representative of PetSure. Any advice provided is general only, has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and may not be right for you. Consequently, before acting on this information, you should consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should obtain and consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)  in deciding whether to acquire or continue to hold, Bupa Pet Insurance.
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