News & Features

Tips for keeping your pet cool in the warm weather

Wednesday June 18, 2014

With the lovely hot weather the DSPCA are advising pet owners on how to keep pets cool in the warm weather

All pets need to be kept cool in this warm weather. 


•             Keep rabbits and guinea pigs who live in hutches in the garden in a shady spot with constant access to fresh cool water.

•             Keep goldfish out of direct sun and in a ventilated room.

•             Make sure horses have access to shady trees, etc, and that they have access to fresh drinking water.  Also check for photo sensitivity on their skin that lead to serious sunburn.

•             If you dog or cat have white ears or a pink nose, make sure to keep them out of the sun and to use a high factor children’s sun cream regularly to protect them from sun burn.

•             Your dog must always be able to move into a cooler, more ventilated environment.

•             Your dog must always be able to move into a cooler, more ventilated environment.


•             Never leave dogs alone in cars, glass conservatories or caravans even if it’s cloudy – the temperature may become too hot.


•             Always provide good supplies of drinking water, in a bowl that can’t be knocked over. Carry water with you on hot days when out and about on walks or in the car.


•             If you do leave dogs outside, you must provide a cool shady spot where they can escape from the sun at any part of the day.


•             Never allow dogs to exercise excessively in hot weather.


•             Groom dogs regularly to get rid of excess hair. Give long-coated breeds a haircut at the start of summer (check with groomer if your dog is a suitable breed for a hair cut!).


•             Dogs can get sunburned – particularly those with light-coloured noses/fur on their ears. Ask your vet for advice on pet-safe sunscreen.


•             Remember, if the tarmac path is too hot for you to walk on in bare feet it will be too hot for your dogs paws!


Dogs can die in hot cars!

Don't leave your dog alone in a car.  When it is 22°C outside the temperature inside a car can reach 47°C within 60 minutes.


A dog will pant to keep cool and inside hot stuffy cars they can not cool down.  Even leaving a window open or a sunshield on windscreens won’t keep your car cool enough.


If you see a dog in a car on a warm day, call the Gardai.


Heatstroke can be fatal. Some dogs are more prone than others.  Heatstroke develops when a dog can not reduce their body temperature. Symptoms include:

•             heavy panting

•             profuse salivation

•             rapid pulse

•             very red gums/tongue

•             lethargy/listlessness

•             lack of coordination

•             reluctance/inability to rise after collapsing

•             vomiting

•             diarrhoea

•             loss of consciousness.


Quick action can save an animals life as heatstroke can be fatal!  If dog is showing any signs of heatstroke, move them to a shaded, cool area and ring your vet immediately.


You need to urgently but gradually lower the dogs body temperature by doing some or all of the following:

•             Immediately douse them with cool (not cold) water.  To avoid shock use a shower, gentle hose and place them in the breeze of a fan.


•             Let them drink small amounts of cool water, not too much as it could make them vomit.


•             Continue cooling  until their breathing settles – never cool dogs so much that they begin shivering.


Once your dog is cool, bring immediately to the vet.

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