Sun, fun, and safety: A pet parent’s guide to summer

Ready to turn up the heat and splash into the hottest season? 🏄 We sure are! But when the mercury rises and the beach and BBQs beckon, don’t forget that it's still your job to ensure the dog days of summer are as safe, comfortable, and enjoyable for your furry friends as they are for you.

Chill, we’ve got your ultimate guide to pet summer safety

Aussie summers bring unique challenges for pet parents: Allergies. Heat and humidity. Even creepy crawlies! Check out these hot-weather pet safety tips to live by.

High temperature and humidity 🌡️

Dogs are incredibly vulnerable to heat and can struggle to regulate body temperature when it's humid. First, panting requires more effort—it's tiring. Second, water doesn't evaporate as well when there's already plenty of moisture in the air.

Warning: While 16°C to 19°C is safe for most dogs, larger breeds, overweight dogs, and flat-faced canines may be at an elevated risk for heat stroke.


  • Know the warning signs of dehydration and heat stress.
  • Provide fresh (preferably cool) drinking water several times daily.
  • Choose less rigorous activities—shorter walks or indoor fun—when it's hot outside.
  • Go for early morning or late afternoon walks; avoid midday excursions.
  • Pick a pet-friendly route with ample shade and grass over asphalt, concrete, dirt, or sand. (Doggy paw pads are delicate. Skin damage can occur in as little as 60 seconds—but burns can take weeks to heal!)
  • Turn these dog-safe foods into refreshing ice-cold treats or smoothies.

Car safety 🚗

Never leave your pets unattended in any vehicle for any reason, ever. Even if it's just for a second, with open windows or the air conditioning running!

Warning: The temperature inside a car can spike to 43°C in 10 minutes when it's 32°C outside. Meanwhile, all it takes is 6 minutes OR LESS for a dog to die in a hot car.


  • Leave your pet at home if you're running errands.
  • If you must bring your pet along, park in shady areas and always have someone stay with your pet.
  • Secure your pet for the road with a car safety harness or appropriate carrier.

Safety around water 🌊

Sun's out, fun's out! And nothing beats a plunge in the pool, beach, river, or lake. Just stay alert.

Warning: Be wary of waterborne microbes (crypto, giardia, cyanobacteria) in contaminated water. And remember that swallowing too much salt water can be fatal to dogs.


  • Do your research! Pick pet-safe destinations before allowing your pet to dive in with you.
  • Get Fido a life jacket. Some dog breeds aren't good swimmers—they can drown.
  • Rinse your pup off after frolicking in any body of water. You want to wash away chlorine, salt, sand, and unwanted microbes. Don't forget to dry your pet's ears.

Keeping safe at home 🏡

When summer rolls around, there are new temptations and dangers to watch out for, especially in the garden.

Warning: From poisonous plants and chemicals to creepy crawlies like spiders, snakes, and cane toads (okay, not a crawler, but you get the idea)—the warmer months bring plenty of pet hazards!


  • Close curtains/blinds during the hottest times of the day. Pets can still overheat indoors.
  • Ensure air is circulating with fans, air conditioning, or open windows—provided your pet can't pull a "great escape" through them!
  • Keep an eye on your pets because corn on the cob, skewers, fruit and veg, condiments/sauces, and other food scraps can seriously harm your four-legged companions.
  • Store compost and food waste properly so they cannot be dug up and consumed.
  • Exercise caution when using garden chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and fertilisers.

Protect against pests 🦟

Certain ticks, fleas, intestinal worms, and heartworm are more prevalent in summer. Summer also brings bees and wasps!

Warning: Heartworm is a mosquito-borne disease prevalent across Australia, particularly in subtropical and northern regions of the country.


  • Keep to your pet's vaccines and de-worming schedule.
  • Consult your vet about the best heartworm prevention.
  • Get species-appropriate flea/tick control.

Useful products for summer

Life's better with these practical purchases.

  • A space-saving collapsible water bowl to bring on walks and road trips.
  • Pet-safe, waterproof sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to protect against harmful UV rays. It should never contain octyl salicylate, zinc oxide, para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA/vitamin Bx), or fragrances.
  • A digital pet thermometer to monitor body temp.
  • Soft microfibre cloths you can wet and then use to cool your pet down. Apply to the belly/groin area, ears, and paws for maximum effect.
  • This two-in-one grooming mitt for when you're on the go and need to dry your pup ASAP.

In the words of the season, 'sea' you on the flip-flop side of life. Happy summer!


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