An Australian summer is a wonderful time to spend outdoors with your furry friends, whether it’s at the beach, by the pool, or going for walks.

However, sometimes hot weather can cause your pets to feel uncomfortable, or worse, it can be dangerous to their health.

Our dogs, cats and other beloved pets rely on us to take care of them and keep them safe. That’s why we’ve put together our top safety tips for looking after your furry friends this summer.

1. Provide plenty of water

Animals need to drink lots of water on hot days, especially after outdoor activities. Fill a few bowls with cool, clean water or use a fountain system to make sure your pet doesn’t get dehydrated. You can also take a special dog water bottle with you on walks.

2. Keep your pet cool

Cool your pets down with cooling mats, or use a wet cloth to wipe down their legs and paw pads. Make sure they have a shady place to rest and keep them indoors when it’s too hot to be outside.

3. Go for walks in the morning

On summer days, dogs will find the footpath very hot on their paws. In some cases, the cement may burn their paw pads, making walking very painful. That’s why you should time your walks for the early morning or late evening when everything has had a chance to cool down or walk your dog on the grass instead.

4. Keep fur trimmed

Get your dog’s fur trimmed to keep them cooler this summer and brush your cat more regularly. Remember that animals need fur to protect them from sunburn, so speak to your vet before getting your pet’s fur shaved.

5. Get a check-up

Ticks and fleas love summer just as much as we do, which is why it’s important your pet is up-to-date with treatments and worming.

6. Don’t leave your pets in the car

Vehicles get hot very quickly, which is why you should never leave your pet in the car. Heatstroke can cause death within minutes. Don’t take the risk. Leave your furry friends at home.

7. Recognise the signs of heatstroke

If your pet is panting and drooling excessively, having difficulty breathing, is lethargic, or vomiting, they might be suffering from heatstroke. Particularly keep an eye on older pets who are more susceptible to heatstroke. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke, contact a vet immediately.

8. Supervise your dog when swimming

An overheated dog is an exhausted dog, so while it’s great for your dogs to cool down by having a swim, make sure you keep an eye on them in case they get into any trouble.

While there can be health risks to your furry friends in the summer months, they are easily prevented by following our simple tips.

At Illawarra Animal Hospital in Yallah and Figtree, we can help with your pet’s health checks, medical consultations and vaccinations. To learn more, make an appointment to speak with one of our caring and knowledgeable vets today.