Close this search box.
Home SAFETY TIPS & ADVICEDog Summer Care How to Keep Your Dog Cool and Safe During the Summer Months

How to Keep Your Dog Cool and Safe During the Summer Months

by Bella Woof
Dog Summer

How to Keep Your Dog Cool and Safe During the Summer Months

Summertime is a season that we all eagerly anticipate – picnics, barbecues, and days spent outdoors enjoying the sunshine. However, rising temperatures also bring their fair share of challenges, especially for our furry friends. Dogs are more susceptible to heatstroke and dehydration due to their inability to regulate body temperature as efficiently as humans do. As responsible pet owners, it’s crucial to take necessary precautions and ensure our dogs stay cool and safe during the scorching summer months. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on methods to protect your four-legged companions from heat-related issues, along with answers to frequently asked questions regarding this topic.

1. Hydration is Key

Just like humans, dogs need to stay hydrated to beat the heat. Ensure that your dog always has access to fresh, clean water, both indoors and outdoors. When heading out for walks or any outdoor activities, carry a portable water bottle and a collapsible bowl for your dog. Dogs tend to dehydrate faster than we do, so it’s vital to offer water breaks regularly, especially during intense exercise or prolonged outdoor exposure.

2. Create a Cool Environment

Keeping your dog in a cool environment is essential to prevent overheating. If you don’t have air conditioning, make sure your dog has access to shaded areas in your home. Place a cooling mat or pad in their favorite spot to provide additional relief. These mats are designed to absorb and dissipate heat, offering a cooling effect when your dog lays on them. You can also use fans or provide raised beds to allow air circulation, ensuring your furry friend’s comfort during hot summer days.

3. Never Leave Your Dog in a Parked Car

Leaving a dog unattended in a parked car, even for a short period, can be extremely dangerous. The temperature inside a car can skyrocket within minutes, reaching life-threatening levels. Even if you think it’s not that hot outside, remember that cars act as heat traps, and the temperature can rise rapidly, causing your dog to suffer from heatstroke. If you must run errands and can’t bring your dog with you, leave them in the safety of your air-conditioned home.

4. Limit Exercise during Peak Heat Hours

Exercise is crucial for your dog’s physical and mental well-being, but it’s crucial to be mindful of when and how you exercise them during the summer months. Avoid strenuous exercise, such as running or intense play, during the hottest parts of the day. Instead, plan your walks or activities during the early morning or late evening when the temperatures are cooler. Be mindful of your dog’s exhaustion and never push them beyond their limits, as overexertion can increase the risk of heatstroke.

5. Protect Your Dog’s Paws

The scorching pavement and sand can burn your dog’s paw pads, causing discomfort and potential injury. Before going for walks, check pavement temperatures by placing your hand on the surface. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. Opt for grassy areas or shaded pathways and, if necessary, use paw wax or invest in protective booties to shield your dog’s paws from the heat.

6. Provide Access to Water Play

Dogs love water, and it can be a great way to help them cool down during the summer. Set up a small pool or provide access to a shallow, safe body of water for your dog to splash around. Not only does it offer them a fun activity, but it also helps regulate their body temperature. Always supervise your dog during water play and never leave them unattended, as not all dogs are proficient swimmers, and accidents can happen even in shallow water.

7. Watch for Signs of Heatstroke

Heatstroke is a severe condition that can be fatal for dogs if left untreated. Be vigilant and watch for signs of heatstroke, which include excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and difficulty breathing. If you notice any of these symptoms, immediately move your dog to a cool, shady area, offer water, and dampen their fur with cool (not cold) water. Contact your veterinarian immediately, as heatstroke is a medical emergency that requires prompt treatment.

8. Be Cautious of Sunburn

Yes, dogs can get sunburned too! Certain breeds with thin or light-colored fur, such as Dalmatians, Boxers, or Bull Terriers, are more prone to sunburn. Protect your dog’s skin by applying dog-specific sunscreen to exposed areas, such as the ears, nose, belly, and any bald patches. Avoid using sunscreen designed for humans, as they may contain ingredients that can be toxic to dogs. Consult your veterinarian about the most suitable sunscreen for your furry friend.

9. Never Shave Your Dog’s Coat

Contrary to popular belief, shaving your dog’s coat does not help them stay cool. In fact, a dog’s coat acts as a natural insulator, protecting them from both the heat and cold. Shaving can expose your dog’s skin to harmful UV rays and increase the risk of sunburn. Instead, opt for regular grooming and brushing to maintain a healthy coat and prevent matting, which can trap heat close to the skin.

10. Consult Your Veterinarian

Each dog is unique, and it’s always wise to seek advice tailored to your beloved furry friend. Consult your veterinarian about your dog’s specific needs during the summer months. They may provide additional recommendations based on your dog’s breed, age, overall health, and any pre-existing medical conditions. Your veterinarian can also guide you in recognizing early signs of heat-related issues and suggest appropriate remedies.


Q1. Can I leave my dog outside during the summer?

Leaving your dog outside during the summer is not advisable, especially during peak heat hours. Dogs can suffer from heatstroke even in shaded areas, and they may not have access to water if they are left unattended. It’s always better to provide a cool and safe environment indoors, or if your dog prefers being outside, ensure they have shaded, well-ventilated areas, and plenty of fresh water.

Q2. Are some dog breeds more prone to heatstroke than others?

Yes, certain dog breeds are more susceptible to heatstroke due to factors such as their coat type, body size, and respiratory system. Brachycephalic breeds like Bulldogs, Pugs, and Shih Tzus, with their flat faces and narrowed airways, are particularly vulnerable to heat-related issues. Additionally, dogs with thick, dark coats may struggle more in hot weather. However, it’s important to note that all dogs are at risk of heatstroke, and preventative measures should be taken for all breeds.

Q3. Can I use a fan to cool my dog down?

Yes, a fan can be used to help cool down your dog, particularly indoors. It promotes air circulation and helps dissipate heat, providing relief. However, ensure that your dog never has direct access to the fan, as their fur may get tangled or stuck in the blades. Also, be mindful of the noise level of the fan, as some dogs may find it distressing or stimulating.

Q4. Can I give my dog ice cubes to cool them down?

While giving your dog ice cubes to chew on can provide temporary relief, it’s not a reliable method for cooling them down. Ice cubes may help regulate body temperature slightly, but they won’t significantly impact the internal heat build-up in your dog’s body. Instead, focus on providing access to fresh water and creating a cool environment for your dog.

Q5. Are there any alternatives to outdoor walks during the summer?

If the outdoor temperatures are too high for walks, there are alternative activities you can engage your dog in to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Indoor games, obedience training sessions, puzzle toys, and interactive treat-dispensing toys can be great alternatives to keep your dog active and entertained when going outside is not feasible.

Taking care of your dog’s well-being is a year-round responsibility, but it becomes even more crucial during the summer months. By following these guidelines and implementing preventive measures, you can ensure that your four-legged friend stays cool, safe, and healthy when the temperatures rise. Remember, always prioritize your dog’s comfort and monitor them closely for signs of distress or heat-related issues. Stay informed, be prepared, and enjoy a fun-filled summer with your furry companion!

You may also like

Leave a Comment