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7 Tips to Keep Your Pets Cool this Summer


As we’re beginning to see a bit more sunshine and warmer days it’s not just humans who feel the heat; our furry friends do too! Whether your pet sports a fluffy coat or sleek fur, they need extra care during warmer months to stay comfortable and safe. It’s also a great time to review your pet insurance policy. Accidents and illnesses can happen, especially with the increased activity and exposure to heat, so having comprehensive pet insurance can provide peace of mind and financial protection for any unexpected veterinary visits. Get a quote today!

What is Heatstroke?

Did you know that 1 in 7 dogs that suffer from Heatstroke sadly pass away?[1]

Heatstroke in pets, similar to humans, is a severe and potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when their body temperature rises to dangerous levels and they are unable to effectively cool themselves down. Dogs and cats are particularly vulnerable to heatstroke because they have limited ability to sweat, relying mainly on panting to regulate their body temperature.

Early symptoms of heatstroke in pets:

  • Panting, this can progress to distressed or noisy breathing as it worsens
  • Restlessness or pacing
  • Drooling
  • Red gums or tongue
  • Increased heart rate
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea

Advanced symptoms of heatstroke in pets:

  • Lethargy
  • Confusion
  • Weakness or collapse
  • Seizures

Be aware that cats symptoms of heatstroke are often more subtle than dogs symptoms.

If you notice any of these symptoms you should contact a vet as soon as possible. Treatment for conditions like heat stroke can be expensive, pet insurance can often help with the financial impacts of emergency veterinary treatment. – Get a quote today

Pets with an increased risk of heatstroke:

  • Overweight
  • Flat paced – Pugs, French Bulldogs and Persians
  • Thick coated
  • Old or very young animals
  • Pet’s with pre-existing conditions, particularly airway, lung or hear conditions. [2]

So, how can you ensure your beloved companion stays cool throughout the summer months? Here are seven tips to help you beat the heat and keep your pets comfortable all summer long.

1. Provide Shade:

A cat and dog sat under a tree in the shade

Just like us, pets need a shady spot to escape the scorching sun. Whether it’s a tree, a canopy, or a shaded area in your garden, make sure your pets have a cool area away from direct sunlight. If your outdoor space lacks natural shade, consider setting up umbrellas or tarps to create a shady retreat.

2. Hydration:

A cat drinks water in a summer garden on a hot day

Hydration is key to keeping pets cool and avoiding heat-related issues. Provide fresh water indoors and outdoors, with multiple bowls refilled regularly, especially during hot spells. When out with your pet, carry a portable water bowl and bottle to keep them hydrated on the move.

3. Avoid Midday Exercise:

Sunset silhouettes woman and dog on the walk

Schedule outdoor activities in cooler parts of the day like early morning or late evening. Stick to shaded grassy areas or tree-covered walkways to prevent burns on your pet’s paw pads from hot pavements and roads.

Learn more about safe walking temperatures for your dog here.

4. Cooling Mats and Beds:

Black and white Curley haired dog on a blue cooling mat in front of a white brick wall

Invest in pet-specific cooling mats or beds made with heat-absorbing materials for your furry friend’s comfort. Place them in favourite resting spots indoors or outdoors to offer a cool retreat during hot weather.

Make sure to supervise your pet while they’re using cooling mats.  As some are filled with gels which can be toxic if accidentally ingested.

5. Never Leave Pets in Parked Cars:

Photo of a dog left in a car during a hot summer day. Animal care. Responsible dog owner

Never leave pets in parked cars, even briefly. Cars can quickly become dangerously hot, even with cracked windows, leading to heatstroke or death. If running errands, leave pets at home for their safety and comfort.

6. Grooming and Fur Care:

Persian cat being brushed

Regular grooming is crucial for pets in warmer months, particularly those with long or thick fur. Brushing removes loose fur and prevents matting, which traps heat. Avoid shaving fur too short to prevent sunburn.

7. Frozen Treats and DIY Cooling Solutions:

Cold frozen yogurt dog treats in a bowl on a hot summer day with wooden background

Give your pets refreshing frozen treats to beat the heat. Freeze pet-safe ingredients like yogurt, fruits, or broth in ice cube trays. You can also freeze toys or treats in a shallow container of water for a DIY cooling solution.

By following these tips, you can help your pets beat the heat and stay comfortable and safe during warmer months. Remember, your furry friends rely on you to keep them cool and hydrated, so be proactive in providing them with the care and attention they need to thrive in hot weather. With a little extra effort, you can ensure that summer is a season of fun and relaxation for both you and your beloved companions.

While we take precautions to keep our pets safe during hot weather, sometimes unexpected emergencies can still occur. That’s where pet insurance can provide peace of mind. Pet insurance helps cover the cost of veterinary care, including treatment for conditions like heatstroke. It ensures that finances won’t stand in the way of providing the best possible care for your furry companion.

Looking for pet insurance?

Get a quote today

[1] ‘Dogs die in hot cars and on hot walks’ – new evidence on heat-related illness in UK dogs (

[2] Heatstroke in dogs and cats – prevention, symptoms and first aid tips for pet owners (