Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Keeping Dogs Cool in Hot weather

As Britain and much of Europe wilt under the sudden onset of some extremely hot weather it is vitally important that we protect our dogs from the heat.  All too easily they can suffer heat stroke which in extreme cases can lead to death and therefore helping pooch to stay cool is vital in hot weather.

How to protect dogs in hot weather

Drinking Water

Make sure they always have plenty of fresh cold water available. 

NEVER leave them in a car

The temperature in a car can soar so quickly even if the window is open and the car is in the shade.  What if you were delayed getting back?  The shade could be lost and the consequences do not bear thinking about.  Quite simply, NEVER leave a dog in a car on a hot day.

Restrict exercise

Take your dog out in the cool of the early morning or late evening and if possible choose a shady route.  Do not allow them to run manically under the midday sun.  Remember too, that if the pavement is too hot for you to hold your hand on then it is too hot for your dog to walk on ... so wait until it is cooler.  You may also want to shorten your walks until the weather cools down.

Shade and Cool Places

Make sure your dog has access to cool and shady places - tiled floors are good and Saari loves getting deep under our thick hedge.


If your dog enjoys water then allow them to paddle or swim.  Do however be aware of water affected by blue-green algae which can be fatal to dogs - more details can be found here: Blue-green Algae and it's risk for dogs

Recognise the symptoms of heat stroke

Dogs can only lose moisture to cool themselves through panting and via their paws so they can be susceptible to overheating and to suffering from heat stroke.  A dog with heat stroke will exhibit some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Excessive panting 
  • Increase heart rare and respiratory rate
  • Raised body temperature - a dog's normal temperature is between 37.8° and 39.2°C (slightly higher than humans) and this can go up a degree or so with normal exercise.  However a temperature above 40°C is too hot and your dog is at risk of getting heat stroke.
  • Drooling
  • Weakness
  • Bloody diarrhoea or vomit
  • Stupor or collapse
  • Death
Dogs with thick coats, those with squashed faces (eg pugs) who struggle to pant effectively and those not used to the heat are most at risk.

Treating heat stroke

Straight away get your dog to a cool or air conditioned place.  Apply cool damp towels to it's head, neck or chest and gently pour cool water over it ... but NOT cold which could shock it into having a heart attack.  If your dog will drink allow them to have a small amount of water.  Monitor the dog carefully until it has returned to normal.  However, if the above symptoms continue or its temperature stays at or above 40°C you need to get it to the vet as soon as possible.

Like people, some dogs will enjoy the heat more than others but they are ALL at risk of heat stroke.  Follow these straightforward steps though, and your pet should stay safe this summer.

Do you have dogs who are not enjoying this hot weather. Do yo have any more tips to help keep them cool?



  1. When I had dogs they all were able to come inside via a doggy door whenever they wanted and there was always a lot of water for them to drink

  2. Excellent tips! It's our responsibility as pet owners to keep them safe. My dog is black and doesn't seem to bothered by the heat and of course doesn't know about its dangers. I keep her inside and only do short walks in the shade. The pavement is so incredibly hot as well. I put my foot on it to check yesterday and could barely keep it on the pavement for more than 3 seconds. Brutal! (wish we had air conditioning)

  3. This is very important and you've covered some great tips here x

  4. These are such important tips as it is starting to be summer time. Thankfully we have shaded areas of the yard and lots of water for them so they don't get too hot.

  5. Plenty of good advice here Rosie, a lot of it applies to humans too!


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