How To Keep Your Pet Cool In The Sweltering Heat

How To Keep Your Pet Cool In The Sweltering Heat

Australian summers can get ridiculously hot. We’ve already covered ways to survive the heat for us humans, but let’s not forget about our dear pets who can’t exactly turn on the air conditioner while we’re away from home. Here are a few tips to keep your pets cool this summer.

Cool dog image from Shutterstock

Keep Them Indoors

It’s a no-brainer, but one of the best ways to protect your animal companions from the hot weather is to keep them inside. This is particularly important for smaller animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs and birds because they’re more susceptible to heat.

Tiled rooms such as the bathroom or laundry provide added insulation from the heat so if you’ll want to keep them in those places.

Ice, Ice, Baby

If you really can’t keep your pets indoors, consider leaving them with an ice pack or a frozen water bottle that they can lean against. For larger animals like dogs, you can even stash frozen fruit around the backyard for them to find and snack on. This keeps them entertained throughout the day and is a nice refreshing treat.

Be Mindful Of The Humidity

Noting the ambient temperature of the day is important but pet owners should take humidity into consideration as well.

“Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels — very quickly,” Dr. Barry Kellogg, a veterinarian for the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association.

Take extra precautions on days when humidity is high to prevent your pets from getting heat stroke.

Exercise Your Pet Early In The Morning Or Late At Night

This mainly applies to dogs although I’ve seen people walk their cats these days. If your pets need to be exercised, take them out for a stroll early in the morning or late at night, when it’s a lot cooler.

Just Add Water

According to the RSPCA, wetting your pet’s feet is a way to keep them cool. This method works for dogs, cats, ferrets, domesticated birds as they control their inner temperature through their feet.

For bird owners, just don’t go drenching their whole body in water because they could potentially go into shock. Dog owners can set up a kiddie pool for them to wade through when the temperature gets really hot during the day.

Be sure to leave your pets with plenty of fresh, clean water so they can stay hydrated.

Do you have your own secret method that you use to keep your pets cool in the summer? Let us know in the comments.


  • Move to Perth. This summer has been crazy mild. I think in the last month, the highest it’s been has been maybe 34? and that was only maybe twice

  • my next door neighbours just moved into their newly built house. they keep their pomeranian x fox (it has the hair of a pom) out the northern side of their house in a 2m x 3m chicken wire fenced area. there is also a little dog house, but come rain or shine, the dog is out there. after we mentioned we had a spare kiddy pool and umbrella they could borrow they assured us the dog was only outside because they were sorting stuff out inside. but sure enough, poor dog has been out there in 30+ degrees and pouring rain.

  • Oh dear. Absolutely none of this would help up in Darwin. It’s hot. It’s humid. You cannot escape it. Can’t do ice as it lasts about 3 minutes. Power prices are so shit that you can’t run aircon 24/7. Cats seem to find a way by finding the coolest tiles in the house and sleeping their way through the day and then wig out during the early morning/evening when things are cooler. 35+ with 80% humidity in the norm during the day at home inside.

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