While the longer days of summer are enjoyable for most pets (and humans), the heat can pose dangers to pets. Sunburn, heatstroke and burned paws are the more common hazards pets face during summer months. Skin cancer is also common in cats and dogs, even if their fur provides a layer of protection.

Here are some tips to keep your pet safe while having fun under the sun:

  • Slap on some sunscreen – Exposed skin can get sunburn. There are sunscreens designed for cats and dogs (the human version can be toxic for pets), which should be applied on the nose, ears and bellies of cats and dogs who stay outdoors.
  • Walk them at night – Footpaths can get really hot in the daytime so you may want to switch up their outdoor walk to early evenings when it is less hot. If they do need to go out when it is scorching, walk your pet on the grass instead of on the road or footpath to prevent burning their paws.
  • Hot cars and pets don’t mix – Never leave your dog in the car on a hot summer day. Temperature inside the vehicle can rise quickly, even with the windows down.
  • Keep pets hydrated – Keep their water bowls full and give them access to water when you are traveling. The heat can cause dehydration in pets, too.
  • Try clothing that offers sun protection – If your pet has no aversion towards clothing, it may be worth looking into ones that offer an extra layer of protection against the sun.

We hope these tips help you and your pet have a great summer. As a final tip,we recommend watching out for signs of overheating or heatstroke. If your pet is drooling excessively, is panting or has bright red gums, help them cool off and then bring them to the vet to be checked.