26 Dec 2018

Remember Rover: Top tips for pet dogs this summer

11:09 am on 26 December 2018

Owners need to relax on holiday but that doesn't mean pets need any less love and attention.

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Owners need to relax on holiday but that doesn't mean pets need any less love and attention, the SPCA says. Photo: Pixabay

Whether you're heading away or staying home this holiday season, the SPCA has some tips on how to keep your pet dog happy and healthy.


If pets are joining the family on holiday it's essential to take some things which are familiar to them, such as bedding or toys to make sure they are comfortable in their new environment.

"And if you're leaving them at home and someone else is looking after them, it's good to have that person around for a trial date so they know your routines and the pet routines," SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen said.

"[That will] just keep your pets comfortable and not stressed."

Holiday leftovers

Save doggy treats for the dogs and the human treats for the humans this holiday season.

As people gather with family and friends it's tempting to include pets in the celebrations, but if owners intend to treat their pets with extra food it is important adjustments are made on other days.

"If it's getting a lot of treats around Christmas time cut down on the food you'd normally give it," Ms Midgen said.

"Make sure they don't get access to chocolate Santas on the tree because that can be fatal for dogs."

If a pet is overweight its health and wellbeing is compromised.

Fines over pets left in hot cars

In a new move this year, infringement notices attracting fines of up to $300 can now be issued to anyone who leaves a pet in a hot car.

The new process is similar to a parking ticket or speeding fine, and Ms Midgen hopes it will raise awareness of the dangers of leaving pets locked in vehicles on hot summer days.

"We know now even cracking the windows a little bit is not enough and they get stressed and start panting.

"Last year, unfortunately, we had a few instances where a dog died from it, so hopefully this will get people more aware and to report it when things aren't right."

If people see a distressed pet locked in a car they should call the SPCA or police, then see if they can find the owner in a nearby cafe or business.

Keeping cool

She said generally it is important that pets have adequate water and shade from the hot sun, especially smaller ones such as rabbits and guinea pigs.

Ms Midgen said a good way to keep cats and dogs cooler is to put ice cubes in their water.

She said if a pet becomes over-heated it should be wrapped in a damp cloth.

"It just brings the overall body temperature down, so just like you do with children, if you see your cat or dog really stressing out, suffering a little bit from heat exhaustion and very restless or panting, then just wrap them in a cool towel."

Many people forget about heat of surfaces around the home, such as pavements or metal objects, which can be dangerous for animals in the summer sunshine.

"If you can't put the back of your hand on a hot surface for a few seconds, then the cat or dog shouldn't be walking on it.

"Make sure they're not putting their paws on it."

Just because you are wanting to relax on holiday doesn't mean your pets need any less love and attention, she said.