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Australian Summer Heat and your Pets

Updated: Mar 2

Cat and dog

Brisbane can get really hot! Dogs and cats can overheat due to factors such as hot weather, excessive exercise, or being in an environment with limited ventilation.

Unlike humans, they primarily cool down through panting, in the case of dogs, through some sweat glands in their paw pads, when the external conditions or their activity level exceed their ability to dissipate heat, they can experience overheating, leading to potentially dangerous conditions.


Excessive heat here in Brisbane poses various dangers to cats and dogs, including heatstroke, dehydration, and paw pad burns. Here are 10 things to help prevent these issues:

1. Provide Ample Water: Ensure a constant supply of fresh water to keep your pets hydrated.    

Dog drinking water

2. Shade and Shelter: Create shaded areas in your yard, and ensure your pets have access to shelter during hot days.

3. Avoid Hot Pavements in Brisbane: Walk dogs on cooler surfaces to prevent paw pad burns; asphalt can become extremely hot.

4. Limit Exercise in Heat: Schedule walks and playtime during cooler parts of the day to prevent overheating.

Dog swimming in a pool

Swimming is a good alternative exercise

5. Never Leave in Cars: Avoid leaving pets in parked cars when you are out about about in Brisbane, even with windows cracked, as temperatures can quickly rise to dangerous levels.

Lonely dog inside a car

6. Proper Grooming: Regular grooming helps keep your pet’s coat in good condition, aiding in heat regulation. There are lot s of great pet groomers in Brisbane.

Cat grooming

7. Indoor Retreat: Create a cool indoor space for your pets during hot weather.


Mini fan on top of a table

8. Monitor Signs of Heat Stress: Watch for symptoms like excessive panting, lethargy, or vomiting and seek veterinary attention if needed.

9. Adjust Diet: Consider adjusting your pet’s diet during hot weather, consulting your veterinarian for advice.

10. Cooling mats Pet cooling mats typically work through a combination of cooling gel or materials that absorb and dissipate heat. The specific mechanism can vary between different brands and models, but here’s a general overview:

11. Cooling Gel or Materials: Many cooling mats contain a special gel that absorbs and retains heat when the pet lies on it. This gel is designed to stay cooler than the pet’s body temperature.

12. Phase Change Materials: Some mats use phase change materials that can absorb, store, and release heat at a specific temperature. These materials change from a solid to a liquid state and vice versa, maintaining a consistent coolness.

13. Pressure Activation: When your pet lies down on the mat, the pressure applied causes the cooling mechanism to activate, ensuring that the cooling effect is concentrated where your pet is in contact with the mat.

14. No Electricity Required: Most pet cooling mats are designed to be portable and require no electricity. They work passively, making them a convenient and safe option for keeping pets cool.

Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use and maintenance of the cooling mat to ensure its effectiveness and longevity. Additionally, it’s crucial to monitor your pet while using the mat to ensure they are comfortable and not experiencing any adverse reactions.

Relaxing dog

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