Keeping your pooch cool and safe this summer is all about planning and preparation. As Australia faces seasonal bushfires and scorching summer conditions, pet owners are urged to consider their furry friends’ safety alongside the rest of their family.

Bushfire safety:

Despite the ease in some fire conditions across Australia, pet owners are being urged to stay alert and vigilant in affected areas. It’s time to ensure your bushfire survival plan includes measures to protect your four-legged family members too.


  • Pack for your pooch – include all medications, food, water, a small toy, collar, lead and any important medical/ vaccination documents
  • Plan for housing – if your home is evacuated, ensure your accommodation is pet-friendly
  • Have towels and woollen blankets ready to protect your furry friends
  • Identification – ensure your dog is microchipped or has a collar or tag with your contact details listed

Tips to keep your pooch cool: 

Even without the threat of fires, summer can deliver blistering bouts of heat! Don’t let your pooch break a sweat. Ensure you’ve planned ahead for those warmer days with the following tips:

  • Put wet towels down
  • Freeze ice cubes for them to play with and/ or add them to their dog bowl and bed
  • Ensure there is shade / shelter for them to lie in. PatchPets has a comprehensive location-based directory of pet-friendly cafes if you need to mix up the scene, there’ll be plenty of shade at some of your local hang-outs!
  • Provide constant access to cool water (always provide more than one bowl, just in case one is knocked over)
  • Beware of hot concreted areas – your pooches’ paws are sensitive to this, just like our bare feet!
  • Never leave your dog alone in a hot car.
  • Where possible, leave a fan or the air-conditioning in your home on, to keep your pooch cool
  • Have a long-haired dog? Try giving them a summer cut and clip their locks to increase their comfort

Signs of heat exhaustion

If your dog presents with the following symptoms, they may be suffering from heat exhaustion. This is especially serious for dogs and can prove to be fatal, so ensure you’re monitoring your dog’s behaviour this summer, and keep your eyes peeled for:

  • Panting
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Excessive salivation
  • Weakness or restlessness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Muscle tremors

If you suspect your dog may be suffering from heat exhaustion, seek the help of a Veterinarian. The PatchPets app has a whole directory of vets in your area based on your location!

Heading out:

While you may still want to treat your pup to some outdoor activity, there are many things to consider in summer to ensure your pawsome adventure goes to plan! Reflect on the following before picking up the lead:

  • On hot days, walk your dog in the early morning or late afternoon when temperatures are cooler
  • Remember that if you can’t hold the back of your hand on the pavement for 5 seconds, it’s too hot for a dog’s paw
  • Bring water, H2O is the GO
  • If you are in an area affected by bushfires, check your park or walking trail is safe from fire danger before heading out

(NSW and ACT residents should check location closures ahead of time with the current conditions, as of 21/11/19).

Forward planning and preparation are the keys to keeping safe this season, so don’t let the heat spoil your plans and have a barking great summer!

Disclaimer: Please note the information contained within this site is not brought to you by a professional, qualified, practicing veterinarian. This information is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. This website cannot see your animal – your local vet can.