Whether you’re going on a road trip or basking in the Australian sun from thecomfort of your own home, no matter where pet owners spend their summer, theymust consider the safety of their pet as temperatures rise.

More than a quarter of Aussie pet owners take their pets on holidays or roadtrips1, and with endless pet-friendly beaches and activities this country hasto offer, summer is the perfect time to explore your local surrounds and enjoytime in the great outdoors with your pet.

To ensure all pet parents can enjoy a safe summer with their buddy, PETstockVET Dr Sasha Nefedova has compiled an essential summer survival guide.

Provide plenty of water and shade

Warm weather combined with a limited supply of water or shade can lead to yourpet suffering from severe heat stress and dehydration. Keeping your petcomfortable on a hot day, whether you are at home or not, is yourresponsibility as a pet owner.

The most common signs of dehydration include loss of skin elasticity, actingflat or lethargic, sunken eyes, excessive panting or even collapse. If younotice any of these signs, take them to your local vet immediately for anexamination.

Never leave your pet in the car

Even if it’s just for a ‘quick’ trip to the shops, you must never leave yourpet unattended in a car, especially during the warmer months. The temperatureinside a car can take as little as one to two minutes to rise from air-conditioned levels to ambient, and seven minutes to reach 40 degrees2. Leavingthem in a hot car can result in dehydration, heatstroke or even cause death.

If you see another pet owner’s dog in a car and are concerned for its safety,you can call emergency services and explain the situation. If the car is in apublic shopping centre or supermarket car park, approach the customer servicedesk and advise them of the situation along with license plate details so theycan make a public announcement on their PA system to alert the owner.

Pet sunscreen

Just like humans, pets too can get sunburnt and there are certain breeds whoare more susceptible to the sun and require preventatives such as sunscreen toavoid skin cancer or other sun induced skin diseases. It’s important thatowners take pet-friendly sunscreen on all daily walks or trips to the beachduring summer and apply regularly to minimise the risk of their pet developingsun-related health issues.

Ensure your pet has access to all day shade and shelter and fresh water dailyduring all four seasons.

your walks

The best time to take your dog on their daily walk is either early in themorning or late afternoon when the temperature has dropped, unless you haveaccess to body of water or shade that can work to keep your pet cool. If youdo walk them during the day, walk on grassed areas and always avoid hotpavement to ensure the heat doesn’t burn your pet’s paw pad. As a rule ofthumb, put your hand on the pavement for seven seconds before heading outdoorswith your dog. If it’s too hot for your hand, then it’s also too hot for yourdogs’ paws.

If you let your dog off the lead remember snakes like to live around riversand creeks. If you notice your dog come back from a run in tall grass or neara creek looking wobbly, vomiting or just not quite right contact your vet forfurther advice.

Beach safety

Be prepared by packing essential items such as plenty of fresh water, a bowl,waste bags, sunscreen, and towels.

Keep an eye on your buddy and always be on the lookout for risks such assnakes, fishhooks, or jellyfish. Inquisitive dogs may get bitten, stung oringest dangerous items. Make sure your dog is always within eyesight (andearshot) so you can catch them before they touch something they shouldn’t.

After a day at the beach, monitor them back home and be aware of any oddbehaviour as your buddy could be dehydrated or feeling unwell from ingestingsaltwater. Contact your closest vet immediately if you are concerned.

Fire safety plan

During bushfire season and days of high risk where there is an increasedchance or erratic winds and hot, dry weather, pet owners need to ensure theirpets are safe when facing a possible emergency evacuation.

Important things to include in your pet plan include bedding, food and water,towels and woollen blankets to cover and protect your pets. If you decide toleave early, know where you could house your pet and discuss with neighboursabout protecting your pet if you are not at home during a bushfire. For moreadvice visit the CFA website .

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