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With all the 30+ degree days Canberra’s copped so far this summer, we spend a lot of time working out how to keep cool.

But, what about our pets?

While most of them can be pretty self-sufficient, sometimes a bid of shade and water just won’t cut it.

So the RSPCA ACT has issued these summer survival tips:

Hot Car

Did you know it only takes six minutes for an animal to die in a hot car?

Temperatures in a car can rise rapidly, sometimes to more than double the outside temperature.

Parking in the shade or leaving a window slightly open doesn’t help that much, either.

There was the recent case in NSW when police had to smash open a window to free a seven week old distressed puppy locked inside a hot car at Oran Park.


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The inside temperature was a scorching 65 degrees!

The message is simple – do not leave your pets locked in hot cars. If in doubt, leave them at home.


Regularly brushing your pets not only keeps your house cleaner, it helps get rid of thicker fur animals don’t need in summer.

As for pets that don’t shed like poodle mixes, the RSPCA advises to still brush them regularly, to avoid overheating, dreadlocks and skin issues.


Consecutive hot days, like what Canberra’s experienced, can be deadly for wildlife.

Some sort of shade structure and water dish in your backyard can help – but don’t try to feed wild animals yourself.

Also, try to keep the shades and water away from potential predators.


Whether you’re taking your pet with you or leaving them in someone else’s care while on summer holiday, make sure their microchip details are up to date!

ID tags come in handy if your pet gets lost, and there’s even editable ones where you can include the address and contact details of where you’re staying, or who’s looking after your pet.

Sun Protection

It’s not just us humans that are vulnerable to sunburn and heatstroke – our pets are too!

Shade and any sort of sun barrier helps reduce sun exposure, especially on those super sunny days!

There’s even sunscreen for pets – best to use a non-toxic, hypoallergenic one specifically for animals.


Image Credit – Kovacs Agnes Zsofia/123rf.com


Even though ticks are mainly found near the coast, they’re becoming more prevalent in the ACT.

Paralysis ticks can be deadly – so make sure you get your pet to the vet if they have one!

Ticks should be killed with an insecticide before being removed.


If you’re heading off on a fantastic summer trip, make sure the place you’re staying actually accepts and caters for pets.

Some beaches and campsites that normally allow pets may have different rules in busy periods.

To be extra safe, it’s also a good idea to take your pet to the vet just for a general check-up before you go away.


Some dogs are naturally comfortable in the water, but some aren’t!

For those that find it difficult to swim, it could be worth investing in a pet life jacket.

Don’t let your pet eat anything off the beach (especially seaweed) and keep an eye out for wildlife and hazards that may pose a danger to your furry friend.

Clean Water

This one’s a given and super important. Make sure your pet always has access to fresh, clean water!

Pets can often be tempted to drink chlorinated or salt water in summer – which can be dangerous.

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