Summer Tips for Pets

Summer Tips for Pets

As the weather warms up and summer rolls in, many of us are eagerly preparing for outdoor adventures and relaxation. But it's important to remember that our pets experience summer a little differently. Hot pavements, high temperatures, and loud noises from summer festivities can be tough on them. Following some summer pet safety tips can help ensure they enjoy summer just as much as us humans do.

At Austin and Kat, we believe holistic pet wellness shouldn't take a vacation during the summer months. That's why Kat and our team have put together some simple summer tips for pets to help you and your furry friend have a safe and happy summer.

3 Keys to a Cool Summer for Pets

As each season changes, so do the needs our pets. During summer, it's essential to focus on three key summer safety tips for pets: making sure your pet stays hydrated, finding shady spots for them, and watching out for signs of overheating.

Staying Hydrated

Our pets need consistent access to clean, fresh water to stay refreshed - and during the hot weather, they need more water to stay hydrated. Dehydration in pets can set in quickly, leading to dire health consequences.

Always ensure that your pet's water bowl is full. Add some ice cubes or freeze a large block of ice to give your dog a refreshing treat.

And bring your dog plenty of water if you're heading out for a day trip, or even a walk - dogs generally need about 1 oz of water per lb per day, and they'll need more than that to stay hydrated on extremely hot days. Don't forget to carry a portable bowl with you too!

Finding Shade for Dogs

With their furry coat on 24/7, our pets can find the relentless summer sun overwhelming. Make sure that wherever your dog is hanging out, they have the option of a cool, shaded retreat. A shady tree canopy will do just as well as a specially designed pet tent, or a cool room inside.

If you've observed your pet during summer, you might notice them frequently changing spots, instinctively seeking cooler ground. By ensuring they have these cooler areas to relax in, you're aiding their natural instincts and ensuring their comfort.

At a certain point, access to shade is not enough! Don't leave your dog outside all day on very hot days. Not all dogs are able to comfortably spend tons of unsupervised time outdoors, especially during the dangerous conditions of an unusually hot summer day.

Warning Signs of Overheating

Dogs cool down differently from humans, so it's important to know the signs of heatstroke. They release heat primarily through heavy panting, (and a negligible amount of sweating through their exposed skin like their sensitive paw pads and nose.) This means it's much more difficult for your dog to cool down once they start overheating.

Signs of overheating can include excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, and even fainting. Regularly monitor your pets during peak heat, especially after play sessions or walks.

Immediately help them cool down at the first sign of distress to prevent overheating. Cold towels on the ears and neck can provide much needed relief. Act quickly and see a veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet is suffering from heat exhaustion.

Summer Safety for Dogs & Cats

From safeguarding against heat-related illnesses to making mindful adjustments in routines, let's explore some key pointers for keeping your pets cool, comfortable, and content throughout the summer. 

Summer Safety for Dogs

Avoiding Heat Stroke

Avoid letting your dog get too hot by keeping them cool and not letting them do too much exercise in the heat. Overheating prevention is key to summer dog care. (See our tips above!)

Create a Safe Exercise Plan

Dogs, like us, thrive on routines. But when the summer sun is blazing, it's wise to adjust these routines for their safety. Try to walk and play with your dog in the cooler parts of the day, like early morning or late evening.

If there's pent up energy to release, you can help keep your pets safe by letting them exercise in short bursts and a cool place.

Practice Good Paw Pad Care

Hot pavements can burn your dog's paws, so check if it's too hot before taking them for a walk. Knowing how to know if concrete is too hot for your dog can help with paw protection.

If you're not sure if the pavement is safe for your dog to walk on simply place your hand on the pavement... If it’s too hot for you within a few seconds, it’s too hot for them.

Limiting walks and exercise to cooler parts of the day will help avoid painful pavement encounters, you may also try protective booties. These not only shield their paws from the searing heat but also prevent potential injuries from sharp objects.

Summer Safety for Cats

Indoor Cat Comfort

For our feline friends who prefer the indoors, summer care still applies. Even within the confines of a home, temperatures can soar, making spaces uncomfortable.

Make sure your indoor cat has cool places to hang out and access to water to ensure summer cat safety. Cats are experts at finding the coolest spots in a home, so don’t be surprised to find them sprawled on tiled floors or near windows with a draft.

Monitor for signs of distress or overheating, like panting or lethargy. Remember, it’s not just dogs that face heat-related risks; cats are equally susceptible.

Outdoor Cat Care

Regular check-ins, even if your cat outdoor cat is very independent, can make a difference in their health and safety in the summer. Outdoor cats should have shady spots and water to drink all day, and it's a good idea to get them an outdoor enclosure for summer cat safety.

Consider an outdoor cat enclosure, to give them access to the yard without exposing them to the potential hazards of free range roaming (like neighborhood critters and unattended lawn care chemicals.)

Keep an eye on the weather forecast and bring kitty inside for a break from the heat on especially hot days.

Pet Diet & Nutrition in Summer

As we transition from the gentle breezes of spring to the glaring heat of summer, it's not just our activities and wardrobes that need adjusting - our pets' diet does too.

Summer Portions

Just as we often modify our eating habits during summer (think salads over hearty stews), our pets too may require some dietary tweaks. If your pet is less enthusiastic about physcial activities during the heat - adjust their portion sizes to match their activity level.

Sneak a little extra hydration into their meals by adding a bit of water too!

Regular check-ins with your veterinarian can provide guidance on the ideal portion sizes tailored to your pet's needs.


Summer can be particularly taxing on a pet's skin and coat. Exposure to the sun, increased shedding, and interactions with outdoor allergens can all contribute to potential skin issues.

At Austin and Kat, our commitment to pet well-being shines brightest during such challenging times. We've poured our heart, soul, and extensive research into crafting summer supplements that champion your pet's health. Our formulas, rich in hemp extract and antioxidants, are designed to fortify skin health, impart a lustrous shine to their coats, and elevate their overall well-being.

They're more than just supplements; they're a testament to our unwavering dedication to ensuring every pet feels their best, inside and out.

Foods to Avoid

Summer outings often come hand in hand with delightful treats. But before you slide that BBQ leftover to your pet or share that juicy fruit - double-check! Not all human foods are safe for pets.

Foods like grapes, onions, and chocolate are well-known hazards. But even certain BBQ staples – like leftover bones, fatty cuts of meat, corn on the cob (choking hazard), cherries, avocados, and sauces rich in salt and sugar – can be harmful.

Watermelon (without seeds or rind) can be a refreshing treat. 

Water Safety for Pets

Summer Water Safety for Dogs

Just as parents childproof their homes, pet parents need to be proactive in ensuring their furry family members are safe when splashing about.

The First Dip

Venturing into water can be a novel experience for many pets. While some might dive right in with enthusiasm, others might approach with caution or even fear.

For those pets, it's essential to introduce them to water gradually. Start by letting them paddle in shallow waters, like a kiddie pool or the edge of a lake. Praise and treats can be used as positive reinforcements, associating water with happy experiences.

Remember, patience is key. Just as we wouldn’t force a child to swim, we should never force a pet into the water. Let them take their time, ensuring their first dip is a pleasant and stress-free experience.

Pool Precautions

Backyard pools are a summer favorite, but they come with their own set of considerations when pets are involved. Pool chemicals can irritate a pet's skin and eyes. Rinse your dogs off with fresh water after a swim.

Moreover, not all pets are adept swimmers. Always supervise pool play and ensure they can easily get in and out. Consider setting up a ramp or stairs if the pool’s design doesn’t already allow for easy access. Familiarize your pet with these exit points so they can safely navigate their way out of the water.

Beach Tips

A day at the beach can be invigorating! The combination of sun, sand, and salt water presents a unique environment for pets. Firstly, ensure that the beach you're visiting is pet-friendly. Always provide a shaded spot for them to retreat to and fresh water to drink.

While saltwater and cold water can be enticing, drinking it can lead to dehydration and other health issues. Encourage your pet to drink water from the freshwater you bring along. Furthermore, be mindful of the hot sand which, just like hot pavement, can scorch your dog's paw pads, and rinse off saltwater when you're done at the beach to prevent irritation.


An often-overlooked safety tool, lifejackets for pets are a game-changer. Even strong swimmers can benefit from the buoyancy they provide, especially in open waters with currents. They're particularly useful for breeds not naturally inclined to swim or for elderly pets. Many pet lifejackets come equipped with handles, making it easier to guide them in the water or lift them out easily.

Summer Parasite Protection

Summer brings out bugs like fleas and ticks, so it's important to focus on flea and tick prevention to protect your pet. As with many aspects of pet care, prevention is the best defense - a little prep ahead of time will help keep pests at bay.

Summer is Prime Pest Time

Scheduling regular vet visits is not just about vaccinations or routine check-ups; it's about staying one step ahead of your pet suffering potential parasite problems. Summer vet visits can be instrumental in keeping your pet parasite-free, ensuring they enjoy the season to the fullest without the itch and irritation of unwanted guests.

A vet can offer guidance on the best preventive measures tailored to your pet's specific needs and local pests unique to your area. 

Natural Remedies

At Austin and Kat, we're always keen to make the most of nature's bounty. While there are numerous chemical solutions available to deter and treat parasites, natural remedies can be gentler and just as effective.

Specific pet-safe herbs and essential oils known for their pest-repelling properties - include lavender, lemongrass, and cedarwood. But, as always, use as directed and make sure any essential oils are diluted to a safe concentration for your pet.

Always ensure any natural solution you consider is safe and suitable for your pet's specific needs. Make it easy on yourself by looking for products formulated specifically for pets.

Safer Summer Adventures with Your Pets

Summer memories are much better with our faithful dogs and cats by our side! However, taking pets on the road requires a bit more planning and foresight.

It's essential to ensure their safety and comfort, so those treasured memories are free of any unexpected mishaps.

Put Together a Travel Kit

Just as you wouldn't leave home without your suitcase packed with essentials, your pets have their own travel needs. A pet-friendly travel kit should include...

  • plenty of fresh water

  • bring ice packs to help keep their water cool
  • your pet's regular food
  • any medications
  • a pet-friendly first-aid kit
  • a favorite toy or blanket (helps comfort your furry companions in unfamiliar settings)

    Don’t forget important documents like their vaccination records, especially if you're crossing state or country borders. And ensure their ID tag and microchip registration is up to date!

    Car Travel

    Hitting the open road with your pet can be an exhilarating experience, but certain precautions are non-negotiable. The cardinal rule? Never leave pets in a parked car. Not even for a few minutes. Even with the windows cracked open, the temperature inside can soar rapidly a hot car can lead to tragedy..

    When driving, ensure your pet is safely restrained, either with a seatbelt harness or within a carrier, to prevent injuries in case of sudden stops.

    Plan for regular breaks, so they can stretch, hydrate, and relieve themselves.

    The Best Vacation Spots for Spot

    Not all holiday destinations are equal when it comes to bringing our pets along. Before you head out, research accommodations and activities that are pet-friendly. Many places now boast of being pet-inclusive, offering amenities tailored for four-legged guests. 

    A friendly reminder - most national parks only allow pets on-leash in developed areas, not on trails or backcountry areas.

    Pet Safety in the Great Outdoors

    The allure of the great outdoors is hard to resist during summer. Camping under the stars or hiking through pristine trails can be even more rewarding with your pet by your side. However, nature outings come with their own set of guidelines.

    Always, keep your pet or pets on a leash to ensure their safety and that of local wildlife.

    Familiarize yourself with the area's flora and fauna to avoid any dangerous encounters or toxic plants.

    And, as always, leave no trace behind; clean up after your pet to keep the environment pristine for others.

    Summer Grooming Tips

    Warm weather and high humidity not only affects our pet's internal health but their external well-being too. From their fur to their skin, proactive grooming can make a huge difference in ensuring that your pets enjoy the summer as much as you do.

    The Summer Trim

    While fur keeps our pets warm in winters, the summer months can make be quite unbearable with a lush fur coat on 24/7!

    Certain breeds, especially those with thick or long fur, can genuinely benefit from a seasonal trim or even a shave. Not only does it help them stay cool, but it also reduces the chances of matting and tangling, which can be more frequent with summer activities.

    Consult with a professional groomer or veterinarian before making any drastic changes. They can guide on the appropriate length, ensuring that your pet can maintain a comfortable body temperature while their fur still helps protect their skin from the sun.


    It's a common misconception that fur is an all-encompassing shield against the sun's rays. The truth is, pets can get sunburned, especially in areas with sparse fur like their noses, ears, and bellies. White-furred pets or those with light skin are particularly susceptible.

    To protect them, consider using pet-safe sunscreens, especially if you plan to spend extended periods outside.

    Regularly provide shaded areas, and avoid direct sunlight during peak hours, which is typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

    Skin Checks

    Summer can be hard on a pet's skin. Increased humidity, outdoor activities, and even allergens can contribute to skin issues. Hot spots, which are localized areas of skin inflammation and bacterial infection, can appear suddenly and spread rapidly. They're often itchy and painful.

    Regularly checking your pet's skin can help in early detection and treatment. Look out for any signs of redness, swelling, rashes, or even unusual behaviors like excessive licking or scratching.

    If you notice any issues, consult your vet promptly. Integrating supplements (like ours!) can also aid in maintaining skin health during these warm months.


    Sunny days are perfect for bonding, for new adventures, and for creating memories that last a lifetime. 

    This summer, as you lay out beach towels, plan hikes, or simply enjoy a tranquil moment in your backyard, let the love you have for your pets guide your actions. Ensure their water bowls are filled, their paws protected, and their health prioritized. After all, there's no greater happiness than seeing our pets healthy and comfortable, making every summer day truly golden. 

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