Pawsitively Cool: Keeping Your Furry Friends Safe & Happy this Summer!

Summer is here. The days are longer, the sun shines brighter, and the temperatures keep rising. With the scorching temperatures, it’s essential to remember that our furry companions may need some extra TLC during the heat. Whether you’re a proud cat lover, a doting dog parent, or small furries enthusiast, it’s crucial to ensure your pets stay safe, cool and comfortable throughout the hot months. We’ll share some helpful tips to keep your pets safe and cool this summer.


  1. Create Cool Spaces: Cats love to lounge, so make sure they have access to cool spots like shaded areas or rooms with good airflow.
  2. Hydration Station: Always keep fresh water available to prevent dehydration. You could consider investing in a cat water fountain to entice them to drink more.
  3. Frozen Treats: Offer your feline friend some frozen cat-friendly treats or place a few ice cubes in their water dish to provide relief from the heat.
  4. Grooming Routine: Regular brushing helps remove excess fur and reduces the risk of matting, which can trap heat against their bodies.
  5. Keep Them Indoors: Cats can easily overheat in the summer, so try to encourage them indoors during the hottest parts of the day.
  6. Suncream: Lighter coloured cats are vulnerable to sunburn which could lead to cancers. Use a pet-safe suncream on exposed areas like ears, noses and areas with little fur.


  1. Morning & Evening Walks: Schedule walks during cooler times of the day to prevent heat stroke
  2. Paw Protection: Surfaces such as tarmac and sand can get extremely hot in the sun. If it’s too hot for you to touch, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
  3. Cooling Mats: Cooling mats are great way to help keep your dog cool. You can even create a DIY cooling mat by dampening a towel with cold water and placing it in the freezer for a short while before laying it out for your dog to choose to use.
  4. ‘Pupsicles’ Frozen Treats: Prepare some homemade frozen treats. You can use their favourite treats and their kibble mixed with water and frozen in an ice-cube tray to create delicious cooling summer treats.
  5. Doggy Pools: Set up a small pet pool in the shade where your dog can splash around and cool off.
  6. Four wheels: Even on a mild day, the temperature inside a parked car or vehicle can quickly rise to dangerous levels. Even with a window open or parked in the shade the temperature can soon become deadly, so ensure your dog isn’t left alone in your car.
  7. Summer holiday: This summer, if you’re taking your pooch on a dog friendly holiday, before you arrive familiarise yourself with the local vets in the area in case of an emergency. Hopefully, you won’t ever have to use it, but it’s better to know and be prepared.
  8. Breed specific: All dog breeds will certainly feel the heat during the summer months. But certain breeds are particularly at risk from overheating and need that extra bit of TLC. Brachycephalic breeds (those with flat faces) such as pugs and bulldogs can overheat very quickly.

Small Pets

  1. Relocating Hutches: Move outdoor hutches to shaded areas to protect them from direct sunlight and ensure adequate airflow.
  2. Plenty of Water: Provide fresh water daily in a spill-proof container to keep your small furries hydrated.
  3. Ice Packs: You can place a frozen water bottle wrapped in a towel inside their enclosure for them to lean against when they need to cool down.
  4. Fresh Veggies: Offer water-rich vegetables like cucumbers and lettuce as treats to help keep them hydrated.
  5. Indoor Time: If possible, consider bringing your outdoor small furries (such as rabbits and Guinea pigs) indoors during the hottest part of the day.
  6. Cleanliness: Flystrike, especially in rabbits, is a severe and potentially life-threatening condition. It’s caused when flies lay their eggs on rabbit’s fur, usually around their rear end. These eggs hatch out into maggots that feed on your rabbit’s skin. Sadly, flystrike is often fatal within 24 hours. Fly strike is more common in warmer months, as flies thrive in higher temperatures. Rabbits should be checked twice daily in summer and keeping their environment clean with fresh bedding will also help keep flies away.


Heatstroke in pets, also known as hyperthermia, occurs when their body temperature rises to dangerously high levels, usually due to exposure to excessive heats. Pets are more susceptible to heatstroke than people because they cannot regularly their body temperatures as effectively as we can. Heatstroke can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.

Symptoms of heatstroke in pets may include:

  • Excessive Panting
  • Salivation
  • Lethargy
  • Disorientation
  • Vomiting
  • Collapse

If you suspect your pet has heatstroke and is showing any of the above signs, its vital to take immediate action. A new study by the VetCompass team at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) stresses the importance of “cool first, transport second” when providing first aid to your pet.  Immediately begin to cool your pet by following these important steps:

  1. Move to a cool area: Get your pet out of the heat and into a shaded, breezy or air-conditioned space
  2. Water: Offer small sips of water to your pet (but do not force them to drink)
  3. Cool using water: either cold-water immersion for young and healthy dogs, or pouring water of a temperature that is cooler than your pet over them combined with air movement from a breeze, fan or air conditioning for older or unwell animals.
  4. Contact us straight away: Once you have started these steps, call us. It’s always best to call first as we can give you more instructions and prepare for your arrival. Even if your pet seems well, it’s important to have them checked.

Prevention is essential to avoid heatstroke in pets. Ensure your furry companions have access to cool, shaded areas and always provide fresh water. Avoid leaving pets in parked cars and do not take risks exercising them in hot weather. Taking these precautions will help keep your pets safe during hot temperatures.


As pet parents, it’s our responsibility to ensure our furry friends stay comfortable and safe during the sweltering summer months. By following these tips, you can keep your pets safe throughout the summer season. Remember, prevention is always better than cure. By taking proactive measures to keep your pet cool in the summer, you can help ensure their safety and well-being.

If you have any more questions, then contact us …


Hall et al. (2023) “Cooling Methods Used to Manage Heat-Related Illness in Dogs Presented to Primary Care Veterinary Practices during 2016–2018 in the UK”

The DOI for the paper is:

The full paper is available online at:

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