Dog Hexe confined in a car

FOUR PAWS’ Summer Pet Care Tips 

Take a look at our essential tips to keep your pet happy, healthy, and protected over the summer


Cape Town, 15 December 2023 – The South African summer heat is here and the warmer it gets the more important it becomes to prioritise your pet’s safety. Global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS offers useful tips to help pet owners avoid problems with their animals so they can enjoy the hot, sunny days together.

“Your pets have specific needs just like you, and there are a few basic things that one should always remember when dealing with pets.” says Fiona Miles, FOUR PAWS director South Africa.

Take extra care of your dog in the heat as serious cardiovascular complications could lead to heatstroke. Dogs are at risk of sunburn at areas where they have no hair such as their nose and ears. Always ensure you have fresh drinking water available for your dog especially on outings and take regular breaks particularly if your dog is older. Strenuous activities with your dog such as jogging and cycling should be done during the cool of the morning or evening. Avoid hot stones and asphalt by doing the “seven-second test’’. Hold the back of your hand for seven seconds on the pavement. If you cannot hold out for the full seven seconds because the surface is too hot, then neither can your dog’s paws. Never leave your dog unattended in the car on a hot summer day. Dogs die in hot cars.

Cats will usually find a shady spot for themselves in the hot weather, so they may be in less danger than dogs but keep an eye on them. Make sure your cat always has access to fresh drinking water. Get rid of any uneaten food quickly as it will go off in the heat. Smaller mammals require constant access to fresh water in the heat. Ensure that animals in outdoor enclosures have shady places and objects they can slip under to avoid the summer sun. Pet birds must always be kept out of direct sunlight. Position aviaries away from extreme temperatures and draughts. Change their water regularly in their bathing tubs and drinking bottles daily to avoid build-up of bacteria because of the heat.  

Summertime is a fun time, but hot weather makes for some unique summer pet care challenges. Although wild animals are well adapted to the elements, companion animals can be just as vulnerable to extreme temperatures as their owners are. When the temperatures become extreme, pet safety should be pet owners’ top priority. For more information visit our website

Public Relations Officer ZA

Deidre Daniels

Public Relations Officer

+27 (0)21 702 4277

+27 (0)78 675 8220

9B Bell Crescent, Westlake Business Park, 
Green Building, Cape Town, 7945

A Public Relations professional with over eight years’ experience in fostering positive relationships between organisations and media.

FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. 

Share now!