Keeping dogs cool in hot weather

Dogs, Pet health, Welfare


If your dog is agitated, breathing rapidly, has skin hot to the touch or is drooling or vomiting, this could be heatstroke – rub them with a cool damp towel and contact your vet immediately. 


Keep your walks shorter and in the early morning or late evening, and don’t go jogging with your dog on hot days.

Pavements heat up as the day goes on, and by afternoon can be very hot to the touch, which can burn and blister your dog's paws.

Most dogs would prefer to stay home and siesta through the day, but if you must take them out with you take water and a collapsible bowl with you.

Grooming help

Give your dog a brush to remove excess fur and you can clip some dog coats (ask a groomer for advice and book in). For an extra cool down, brush with a cool slightly damp towel to help cool them off. Never dunk them in water or force under a hose as this may cause shock.

Cool surfaces

Buy a cool mat, which is a seat pad that has cooling gel in so no need to freeze. A homemade option can be made by freezing a bottle of water, wrap in a tea towel to prevent it touching their skin directly, and place just under their bedding.

Outside, some dogs love a sand pit or paddling pool. Provide shade by stringing sheets overhead if there are no plants giving a natural canopy.

Something cool to eat or play with

You can buy doggie ice cream (never give them human ice cream, the milk will upset tummies and chocolate is poisonous), or make up ice cubes or a Kong with a soft or liquid filling, plug the end with a biscuit or clingfilm and freeze. Remove the clingfilm and defrost Kongs for about half an hour before giving to your dog.

Fave popsicle recipe Low fat plain yogurt with some or a mixture of mashed banana, mashed carrot, swede and/or potato. Mitzy (above) is enjoying yoghurt and blueberries!

Quick treats Rinse (but don't dry) a carrot and pop it into the freezer. 

Cool toys You can buy toys that can be frozen or float in water for some summer fun.

Dogs die in hot cars

We don’t need to tell you – don’t leave your dog in the car even for ‘a couple of minutes’ as temperatures rise quickly inside the metal and glass box. A crack in the window is never enough. 

If you have to travel, then shade the windows and stop regularly for drink stops.

» Click here to find out more about walking your dog on hot days

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