Report cruelty | Contact | News | eNews sign up
Home  >  Health and Behaviour  >  Seasonal health  >  Summer  >  Keeping your pet cool during summer

Keeping your pet cool during summer

See below for some handy summer pet care tips.

 Companion animals

All pets must be kept in cool, shady areas. It is ideal to bring pets indoors on hot days.


Small pets, such as rabbits, guinea pigs and birds, are particularly susceptible to heat. Please bring these animals indoors during hot weather. If allowed free run in a laundry or bathroom, they will benefit from the cool tiles. If this is not possible, drape their cage with wet towels and provide a sturdy icepack or frozen water bottle for the animal to lean against so it can to regulate its own body temperature. Make sure the animals' enclosures are out of direct sunlight and protected from the sun as the shade moves throughout the day.


Provide plenty of fresh, cool water in large water containers. Be sure to provide numerous sources of water in case one is spilt. Ensure the containers are in the shade and add some ice to the water to keep it cool.

Place a clam shell pool in the shade and fill it with water so your dog can wade in the water to keep cool. If your pet's share your yard with children, remember to have all necessary precautions in place, including fencing, in order to keep children safe.


Walk your dog in the coolness of the early morning or evening, especially on very hot days. You may even take your pet to the local beach, creek or river to let it have a paddle to cool down. This will help your pet avoid possible dehydration, sunburn and potentially painful paws and it will help you and your pet enjoy the walk more.


If your pet seems to be in discomfort, try wetting its feet and misting water onto its face. This is an option for dogs, cats, ferrets, poultry and caged birds as many animals control their inner temperature through their feet. Its important not to saturate a bird's feathers as this can cause them to go into shock.

For information on how to plan and prepare for the safety of your pets in a bush fire visit the CFAs site here 

 Horses and livestock
Make sure your horses and livestock have access to shade.

Provide extra water for your horses and livestock.

The CFA has provided information here on how to plan and prepare for the safety of your horses in a bush fire. 
 Animals in hot cars
NEVER leave your pet in the car in warm weather. It takes only minutes for an animal to suffer an agonising death if left in a hot car. If you see an animal locked in a hot car, immediately phone police on 000Learn more here.

Leave small bowls of water in your garden so wildlife can keep cool.

Click here to learn what to do if you come across heat-stressed wildlife.

Snakes become more active in the warmer months. Click here to learn how to protect your pets from snakes, and what to do if you think your pet has been bitten.

Emergency planning
With hot weather comes the increased risk of fires. Be prepared and plan early to ensure you will be able to safely evacuate your pets in the event of an emergency. Learn more here.


Summer care for your pet

> Learn more

Dogs in hot cars

> Learn more

Emergency assistance

> Learn more


Contact us
Find local RSPCA
Latest news
Media releases
RSPCA shop
Site Map
AEC terms of reference

About us
Adopting animals
Education team
RSPCA Pets Place
Vet clinics
Pets for adoption
Adopting from us
Senior pets
Kittens in pairs
Pets in apartments
Adoption fees

Happy Tails
Get involved
Regular giving
Corporate Involvement

Our sponsors:

Health and behaviour
Cats and kittens
Dogs and puppies
Guinea pigs
Horses and ponies
Mice and rats
Reptiles and frogs
Seasonal health
RSPCA Pet Insurance
Cat welfare
Humane food
Puppy factories

Report cruelty
Dogs in hot cars
Emergency contacts
Emergency planning
Lost and found
Report a lost pet
First aid for pets
Mobile Animal Care Unit (MAC)
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved | The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Victoria) | ABN 56 749 449 191 | ACN 131 965 761 | Privacy Policy