RSPCA shares tips on how to keep your pets sun safe this summer.

Canberra is going to be in the 30’s and we’d like to remind people to care for their pets during the intense heat.

Do they have sun protection? Did you know that your pet and experience sunburn and heatstroke? Provide shade and other sun barriers whenever possible to reduce their overall sun exposure. Don’t forget the sunscreen! It’s a good idea to use a non-toxic, hypoallergenic sunscreen formulated specifically for use on pets.

Recognise the signs of heatstroke – This includes but not limited to excessive panting, weakness, vomiting, lethargy and eventually unconsciousness and death. Please ensure your pet has access to shade and clean water at all times.

Avoid the hottest part of the day – If your pet enjoys a long walk or run, it’s best to save that for early morning or evening when the day (and ground) has had time to cool down. Their paws can actually be burnt from cement if we’re not careful!

So you want to take your pet swimming – Despite what many people may believe, not all animals can swim! For example, some dog breeds actually find it quite difficult such as Bulldogs, Corgis and Greyhounds. If you take your pet to the water, ensure they’re supervised at all times and you may even want to invest in a pet life jacket. That way they can be stylishly cute AND safe.

Ensure it’s pet-friendly –  Make sure wherever you’re going allows animals. Some beaches and campsites that normally allow them may have different rules during busy periods. Additionally, if you’re going to be on the road for extended periods, try and take the most direct route possible. Also, consider getting a copy of your pet’s medical history in case something unexpected happens. It’s a good idea to visit the vet before taking your pet on holiday. They can do a check-up of the animal’s health.

Don’t leave pets in hot cars! It only takes six minutes for an animal to die in a hot car. We cannot stress enough how imperative it is. Additionally, if your pet travels on the back of a ute please do a touch test of the area first to ensure it won’t burn.