Surviving tile for webSummer is a great time to be out and about with your dog; swimming, taking long walks, exploring parks, camping and more. However, Dogs NSW warns the hot weather also brings unexpected dangers that can be deadly for our four-legged friends!

Pet owners need to protect their pets from many summer threats, such as bushfires, snake and tick bites, sunburn, thunderstorms, heat stress and dehydration, said veterinarian Dr Karen Hedberg BVSc.

Dr Hedberg is spokesperson for Dogs NSW, the peak body in New South Wales responsible for promoting breeding, showing, trialling, obedience and other canine-related activities, and the ownership of temperamentally and physically sound purebred dogs across the state. She is also a Dogs NSW registered breeder and chair of the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) Canine Health and Wellbeing Committee.


With a dangerous bushfire season on the cards, it’s important to include your animals in your Bushfire Survival Plan, said Hugh Gent OAM, a NSW Rural Fire Service Captain of the Theresa Park Rural Fire Brigade, as well as President of the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) and Honorary Life Member of Dogs NSW.

bushfire“It is crucial to understand how to protect your property and most importantly yourself and your family, including your pets, from the threat of fire!

A Bushfire Survival Plan must include your animals!” he said:

• If there is a bushfire threat, leave early!

• Have ready to go crates, dog trailers, food and water bowls, medication and blankets.

• Ensure your dogs are secured so that you can load them up quickly. Precious time can be lost rounding up dogs that are running loose and who may be distressed by smoke, fire sirens, helicopters and other unusual activities associated with bushfire fighting.

• Don’t just drive off without a plan! Determine beforehand where you  are going to relocate to, at a location not in a danger zone. Dogs NSW’s Bill Spilstead Complex for Canine Affairs at 44 Luddenham Road, Orchard Hills, may be used as a  temporary refuge.

For more advice on preparing a Bushfire Survival Plan for your pets, please contact the NSW Rural Fire Service or visit



Snake bites can be fatal and your dog’s survival depends on the snake type, bite location, amount of venom injected and how quickly the anti-venom is administered, explained Dr Hedberg. mulga snake

Some signs of a snake bite include shaking or twitching of the muscles, difficulty blinking and breathing, hind limb weakness followed by collapse, loss of bladder and bowel control, vomiting, paralysis, salivation and enlarged pupils.

“If you suspect a snake bite, keep your dog calm and quiet, and get to the vet immediately. It will be the difference between life and death!” she said. “Also be prepared, by locating local vets who stock anti-venom.”

To protect against snake bites, keep your dog away from high grass and rocks where snakes like to rest and remove excess rubbish (ie wood piles) from your backyard where snakes love to hide!

ticksTick bites release a toxin that leads to tick paralysis, which can also be fatal! Ticks can be found on any part of your dog’s body, including between the toes and under the lip! Common signs of tick paralysis include gurgling, choking and inability to bark properly due to paralysis of the throat. Some animals may begin to have trouble breathing or cough when eating or drinking, said Dr Hedberg.

“Consult your vet for advice on tick prevention products, and if you notice any signs of a possible tick bite, get your dog to the vet immediately, she warned.



Did you know it takes only 10 minutes for the inside of a car to skyrocket by 20 degrees*? That’s why it’s important to NEVER leave your pet in a hot car!

Dogs NSW is turning up the heat on leaving kids and dogs in hot cars by reminding families that a child left in a parked car in warm temperatures can very quickly become distressed, dehydrated and can die from organ failure. Kids and Dogs Die in Hot Cars Sticker 2 web

"Dogs can’t sweat to cool themselves, so they can develop heat stroke and die very quickly in hot conditions,” said Dr Hedberg. “Very young, senior and brachycephalic (flat-faced) dogs are also more susceptible to heat.”

Signs of heat stress are excessive panting, reddened gums, blood shot eyes, rapid breathing, salivating, wheezing, vomiting, weakness, staggering and loss of consciousness. If your dog is showing signs of heat stress, get them to a cooler environment right away, and continue to hose/wet them down with tap water (not iced) until the breathing settles down. Offer your dog some water if he wants and call your vet immediately for advice, said Dr Hedberg.

“Dogs also enjoy lying under the sun and those with a white coat and bare belly are at increased risk of sunburn and skin cancer,” she said.



dogs ba thunder storms1Thunderstorms can be frightening for many dogs and their fear can get worse over time. Some dogs are so terrified that they injure themselves and destroy the house, said Dr Hedberg. Signs of thunderstorm phobia include panting, drooling, pacing, trembling, howling, barking or trying to escape from home to get away from the powerful rumbling.

“To help reduce anxiety, ask your vet about calming pheromone products or using a storm jacket. Consulting a veterinary behaviourist may also help your dog get through the summer storm season,” she said.

In preparation for any emergency, make sure your dogs are wearing a collar and ID tag at all times and they have updated microchip details with a mobile number!

Pet insurance also gives you protection if your pet gets into summer health trouble.

For more information, contact Dogs NSW on (02) 9834 3022 or email

Reference: *


SUMMER COOLING TIPS FOR DOGSdrinking ice waterchicken broth ice cubes

• Provide shade and cool, fresh water.

• Leave your dog where it is well-ventilated.

• Keep your dog out of the sun between 10am - 4pm.

• Hot footpaths may burn your dog’ feet in the summer. Take a walk early in the morning or when the sun goes down.

• Give your dog ice blocks to lick. You can add vegetable or beef stock for taste!

• Consider pet sunscreen for protection. Consult your vet which product is most suitable for your dog.


MEDIA CONTACT Brian Crump Dogs NSW media 0419 417 813

About Dogs NSW

Dogs NSW is the peak body in New South Wales responsible for promoting breeding, showing, trialling, obedience, and other canine-related activities and the ownership of temperamentally and physically sound purebred dogs across NSW. The association promotes responsible dog breeding, showing, obedience, agility, working and sporting dog trials and other canine-related activities, as well as the ownership of temperamentally and physically sound purebred dogs by individuals in NSW. Dogs NSW has over 10,000 members, with over 300 affiliated breed and kennel clubs throughout NSW. More than 50 of these affiliated clubs conduct dog training classes as a community service in local government areas, normally on a weekly basis. Dogs NSW is a member body of the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC). To discover more, visit