News and Media

Preparing your pets for summer

November 21, 2016
Adopted dog, Levi, enjoys summer adventures with his family. Photo: @misterleviwatson / Instagram

Summer is a fun time when we get to enjoy the great outdoors with our pets. But, we also see more extreme weather events, like severe heat, thunderstorms and bushfires.

These scenarios are inevitable and can occur without much warning, so it’s important that we plan early to ensure the safety of our pets. There are five key things all pet owners should prepare for in time for summer:

#1 Know how to keep your pets cool during hot weather

On warm days, it’s especially important that our pets always have access to shade and plenty of cool, clean drinking water. On very hot days, it’s a good idea to bring our pets indoors.

If our pets are too hot, they can suffer from heat stress or heatstroke. These are very serious conditions that can lead to death. Monitor your pet for signs of heat stress or heatstroke and seek immediate vet attention if you observe any of these signs:

  • Excessive salivating
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Shaking
  • Dry nose and gums
  • Whining
  • Constant panting

Download factsheet: Heat stress and your pet

#2 Be ready to help your pets cope with thunderstorms and fireworks

As the warmer weather rolls in, so do those loud summer storms. And with end-of-year celebrations about to kick off, the skies will soon be alight with fireworks. Thunderstorms and fireworks can be terrifying for pets, causing them to flee their homes in fear and become lost or injured.

If your pet has previously shown signs of fear or anxiety during storms or fireworks, book an appointment with your vet before summer. They’ll be able to suggest treatment options based on your pet’s individual needs. The below factsheet contains tips on what to do before and during storms or fireworks to help your pets cope.

Download factsheet: Fireworks, storms and your pet

#3 Update your pets’ microchip details

Microchipping gives you the best chance of being reunited with your pet if they go missing. But, this is only effective if the details on the microchip are kept up to date. If you change phone number or move house, remember to give the microchip registry a call to update your details.

If you have your pet’s microchip number handy but aren’t sure which microchip registry they’re listed on, click here to find out. Your vet will be able to scan your pet’s microchip if you’re not sure what their microchip number is. If you have a question about your pet’s microchip or identification, phone National Pet Register on 1300 734 738.

#4 Include your pets in your bushfire survival plan

Bushland, grassland and coastal scrub are beautiful features of the Australian landscape. But, they’re especially prone to fires during summer. No matter what area we live in – city, suburban, coastal or rural – fires can affect us all.

Every family should prepare a bushfire survival plan before summer. It’s important to include our pets in these plans – after all, pets are family and rely on us for care and protection. Visit the CFA website for information on how to keep your pets safe this fire season.

#5 Make holiday arrangements for your pets well in advance

Planning a trip over the summer holidays? It’s best to get in early when making arrangements for your pets, otherwise you might miss out. Whether you’re considering pet-friendly accommodation, or leaving your pet in the care of a trusted family member/friend, professional pet sitter or reputable boarding facility, book early to avoid plans falling through.

Download factsheet: Holidaying with your pet

Download factsheet: Holidaying without your pet