Protect Your Pets From The Summer Sun | Village Vets

The summer sun is finally here and so are the long days at the beach and picnics in the park enjoying the rare Irish heat. Unfortunately, while we are a nation of sun worshipers, our furry friends and family pets struggle in the summer heat and sunshine, regularly resulting in illness. To prevent this from occurring, we at Village Vets, a family owned and run practice have compiled expert tips to help owners keep their pets safe and cool this summer.


  • Add sun cream: Sun cream isn’t just for humans. Despite popular belief, animals can suffer from sun burn too. Cats are particularly susceptible, as they love to lounge in the midday sun. To prevent your pet being diagnosed with a dangerous skin related condition, apply sun cream to the tip of its ears the moment sunshine appears.

    sun cream for cats, dog sun cream, cats and sun


  • Think before you shave: It’s not always a good idea to shave your dog in the summer heat. In fact, the fur provides some protection from the sunburn.  Leave at least one inch of hair when shaving your pet.
  • Protect their paws: Hot pavement can burn your dog’s paws and overheat its body. There are a number of unique items that can protect your pooch including dog shoes, socks or even suspenders. For an at home solution, simply apply moisturiser to your dog’s paws to prevent them from burning. Check the temperature of the ground because if it's too hot to touch, then it is too hot for their paws.


  • Not all dogs can swim: Taking your canine companion to the beach for a swim sounds idyllic, however, Village Vets want to highlight that not all dogs were born to swim. Keep this in mind when choosing your next swimming location and make sure your dog can paddle in and out at their own leisure.


dogs and summer, village vets, dogs and summer


  • Never leave pets in hot cars! : This goes without saying! The temperature inside a car parked in the hot summer sun can present a risk of death. Even if the temperature outside is bearable, inside the car can be suffocating, so never leave your pet in a close parked car, conservatory or greenhouse.


  • Choose their walks strategically: Be clever about when you take your dog for a walk. Opt out of the midday sun troll and instead take your pooch for a morning or evening walk, when the heat of the sun has died down.
    summer walks with dog, dog walking, summer and pets


  • Frozen treats: While freezing ice-pops for you and the kids, why not freeze some treats for your furry friends. It’s a nice way to reward then and cool them down throughout the day
  • Salty water: Letting your dog to swim in the pool or at the local beach is a great way for them to cool off and have fun. Just make sure you rinse the salt water afterwards.
    salty water and dog paws, protect dog paws, summer tips for dogs


  • Know the warning signs of heat stroke: heavy panting, disorientation, increased heart rate, blue or bright red gums or a tongue, convulsions, vomiting or diarrhea, glazed eyes, excessive drooling dizziness or lack of coordination, fever, lethargy, and loss of consciousness, seazure.

    What to Do if Your Dog Is Overheated

  • Immediately move your dog to a cooler area, either indoors where there is air conditioning or in the shade under a fan.
  • Use cool, wet cloths or towels to help him out. Place your cool wet cloths on his neck, armpits, and between his hind legs, and you can also gently wet his ears and paw pads with cool water.
  • Offer water to your pet but don't force it.
  • Get him to the vet quickly. If you haven't already done so, call ahead so they can be ready to take immediate action as soon as you arrive.

Learn more by listening to Alan, our Head Nurse, on Dublin City FM 


Check us out in Irish Tatler giving tips on hot weather!


Learn more by listening to Aoife, our Clinical Director, on Dublin City FM talking about pets in the hot weather:


Learn more by listening to Avril, our Clinical Director, on Today FM, (The Last Word With Matt Cooper, 52.45 minutes in), talking about pets in the hot weather:


For those who have any concerns or issues with their pet’s health during the summer months, Village provides a 24/7 emergency vet service.