Keep it cool!

Your dog still needs exercise in the warm weather, but be sure to keep an eye on him
Your dog still needs exercise in the warm weather, but be sure to keep an eye on him

Parts of South Africa are experiencing a particularly hot summer, with the mercury expected to keep rising. This is as uncomfortable for our pets as it is for us!

Animaltalk brings you tips for keeping your animals safe during the summer season.

Around the house

Your home is where your animals spend most, if not all, of their time. Always make sure that your pets have access to plenty of fresh water and shady areas all day. Cats will become increasingly inactive during the day to keep themselves as cool as possible, so don’t worry if you notice this change. You may find your cat lying on floor tiles, particularly in the bathroom, or under shady trees outside. If you keep a longhaired cat, groom her regularly to get rid of all the excess fur. If you feel that your cat needs it, you can take her to the groomer for a trim.

Some dogs may start helping themselves to a dip in the pool to cool down. For your dog’s safety, make sure that this always happens under supervision.


If you frequently take your dog out for exercise, heat management will become of utmost importance. If you go running with your dog, consider your own comfort and apply it to him as well. If you feel like you need a sip of water, your dog will too. If you feel like the heat is exhausting you, rather walk. If you’re feeling too hot, your dog probably is as well, so pour some water on his chest to cool him down.

If you’re taking your dog to the park for a walk, try to pick a park that has lots of shady paths. Always bring some water with you and offer it to your dog often.

In the car

We’ve all heard that leaving your dog in the car is a big no-no. If you’re taking your dog somewhere, make sure that you roll the windows down so that he can stay cool during the car ride. Never leave him in the car while you are at the shops or having a bite to eat somewhere. The inside of a car can heat up unbearably, even on what may seem like a cool day. Keeping the windows down is not good enough. Rather leave your pooch at home if you need to run errands.

What to do if you see a dog in the car

The best thing to do is to phone the police or the SPCA. Ask around if anyone knows whose car it is – car guards are likely to know.

Best areas of the body to cool a dog down:

  • Chest
  • Neck
  • Belly
  • Foot pads

Text: Charlotte Bastiaanse


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