Australia’s summer temperatures can be brutal for everyone, including our pets. Just as you seek a cooler place when the temperatures soar, it’s important to remember you pets and ensure they’ve got somewhere cool to hang out. Dogs are particularly susceptible to overheating because they love to come with us on walks and in the car, whereas cats and other pets are happy to lie around until the weather cools down.

Heat stroke can be just as life-threatening for pets as much as humans, so here the common signs of heat stroke and some tips to keep your pets cool.


Prevention is always better than cure, so if your pet is outdoors, make sure they have plenty of shade and cool water to drink. Use water containers that can’t easily be knocked over, and place them in different places around the yard in the shade.

Dogs love their walks, but don’t take them out in the heat of the day. Walking early in the morning or later in the evening is cooler and more comfortable for you and your dog. If your dog loves a ride in the car, take them with you when you stop and get out. Never leave any animal inside a parked car for any duration, even with the windows down. Temperatures inside cars can quickly rise to 50+ degrees. If you can’t take your pet out of the car, then leave them at home. It’s not worth risking their life.

Signs of Heat Stroke

If you suspect your pet may be overheated, check for these symptoms and get to your vet clinic immediately if one or more are present:

  • Excessive panting and lethargy
  • Trouble breathing
  • Obvious distress
  • Increased heart rate
  • Very dark or very pale gums
  • Staggering and confusion
  • Drooling and restlessness
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle tremors or seizures
  • Collapse


Heat stroke happens when your pet can no longer lose excess body heat, so it’s important to try to cool them down by moving them inside with the air conditioner, or in the shade with water.

If your veterinarian is close by, turn your car air conditioning on and position your pet next to a vent while you drive there. You can also spray them with cool water, leave a fan on and try to get them to drink plenty of fluids.

Extreme Heat

Heat stroke can cause organ failure and death, so be vigilant in extreme heat and provide a cool place for your pet. Even mild heat stroke can cause damage so get to your vet for treatment, even if your pet seems to be recovering.

Animal Hospital Port Kennedy

Your pet’s health and comfort are our top priority, so if you suspect heat stroke or something doesn’t seem right bring your pet to Port Kennedy Vets for a check-up as soon as possible. We’re open every day of the week. Call 08 9524 6644 or contact us online for any enquiries or health concerns regarding your pet. Our wellness programs make pet care easier, and with affordable monthly payments, they’re an investment in the health and wellbeing of your beloved pet.

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