Keeping Your Pets Cool & Refreshed

Hot dogs, be a cool cat this summer - avoid heat stroke.

With recent years being the hottest on record, the risk of heat stroke in dogs and cats is increasing.  Protect your pet by keeping a watch out for the symptoms of heat stroke

This life-threatening condition can easily be prevented by providing plenty of drinking water and a cool place to sleep in, among other things.

Maintaining a normal body temperature is vital for life. Cats and dogs naturally run hotter than humans at 38-39°C. If too cold (hypothermia) or too hot (hyperthermia), the body stops functioning properly.

Learn more about keeping hot dogs and cats cool this summer. They can’t do it on their own!

What is heat stroke?

Heat stroke is hyperthermia, a life-threatening condition where your cat or dog’s body temperature increases above 40°C. This can quickly become an emergency, leading to organ failure and death.

What are the symptoms of heat stroke in cats and dogs?

Depending on the severity, common signs include:

  • Seeking shade
  • Wanting more water than normal
  • Excessive panting and drooling
  • Restlessness, pacing, or agitation
  • Increased heart rate
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Lethargy or collapse


How can you treat heat stroke in cats and dogs?

If you suspect your pet is overheating, please act quickly to help cool them down by:

  • Remove them from the heat - take them into a cooler, well-ventilated and shady area
  • Turn on a cooling fan or air conditioning
  • Add ice cubes to their water bowl
  • Cool their body down by draping a cool wet towel over them and gently pour or hose cool water on them.

Acting quickly is vital - heat stroke is life threatening for your pet.

If you think your pet has heat stroke, please contact us as soon as possible so we can advise you on what to do next. 

How do cats and dogs naturally keep cool?

Cats and dogs only have a few sweat glands, just on their paws and nose. They rely heavily on panting and a cool environment to prevent over-heating, rather than sweating. In contrast, humans have sweat glands all over our body and rely heavily on sweating to bring down our internal temperature.

As our pets' cooling mechanism differs from ours, we can’t take for granted they will cool down on their own.

Keeping cats and dogs cool in summer – what can you do?

To cool down a hot cat:

  • add ice cubes to their water bowl
  • brush them to help remove shedding hair
  • put a comfy bed in the shade
  • open a window to let the breeze in
  • give them their space, cuddling is not cooling


For hot dogs, we recommend:

  • Provide easy access to clean, cold drinking water
  • Move their bed or kennel to a shaded and well-ventilated area
  • Regularly brush them to help remove shedding hair
  • Clip their hair if they have a long, woolly, or thick coat
  • Don’t leave them unattended in a car or hot room
  • Keep their sleeping area cool using a fan or a wet towel on cool floor to sleep on
  • Exercise them during cooler parts of the day - early morning and evening
  • Reduce the length or speed of their walks on hot days
  • Take a water bottle for them when out and about
  • Avoid walking on hot sand and pavements. If it’s too hot for your bare feet, it's too hot for their paws
  • Provide safe, supervised access to swimming – dog paddling pool, beach, stream, or river

Keep your cool and enjoy a safe summer season with your beloved pets. 

If your pet’s symptoms continue, you are concerned about them, or want further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

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Disclaimer: This article provides general information only. It is not intended as medical or health advice and should not be relied on as a substitute for consultation with a qualified healthcare professional who understands your pet's individual needs.

Brian is a local - he grew up in Waimate North, went to school at Ohaeawai prima