Warm Weather Awareness For Dogs: Keeping Your Canine Friend Cool And Comfortable


As the summer sun finally graces us with its presence, it’s essential to remember that our furry friends can struggle with the heat more than we do. Dogs don’t sweat like humans and can easily become overheated. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to keep your dog cool during warm weather, recognise signs of heatstroke, and engage in fun, safe activities that avoid the risk of overheating.

Top Tips to Keep Your Dog Cool

1. Hydration is Key: Ensure your dog always has access to fresh, cool water. Consider adding ice cubes to their water bowl to keep it colder for longer.


2. Shade and Shelter: Provide plenty of shaded areas where your dog can escape the sun. A cool, well-ventilated shelter is ideal.

3. Avoid Midday Walks: The temperature is highest between 11 am and 3 pm. Opt for early morning or late evening walks when it’s cooler.

4. Cooling Mats and Vests: Invest in cooling mats or vests. These can significantly lower your dog’s body temperature.

5. Paddling Pools: Let your dog splash around in a shallow paddling pool. It’s a fun and effective way to stay cool.

6. Fans and Air Conditioning: Keep the indoor environment cool with fans or air conditioning. If these aren’t available, create a cross-breeze by opening windows.

7. Grooming: Regular grooming helps to remove excess fur, which can trap heat. However, avoid shaving breeds with double coats as their fur protects them from sunburn.

Fun Activities to Keep Your Dog Cool

1. Indoor Games: Play games like hide and seek, tug-of-war, or interactive puzzle toys that stimulate your dog’s mind without the need for strenuous activity.



2. Scent Work: Set up scent work activities indoors or in the garden. This low-energy game is excellent for mental stimulation and keeps your dog cool.   


3. Frozen Treats: Make DIY frozen treats using dog-friendly ingredients like peanut butter, yoghurt, and fruit. **Important**: Ensure the peanut butter you use is xylitol-free, as xylitol is toxic to dogs. Frozen Kongs are also a hit.

4. Agility Course: Create a mini agility course in a shaded area or indoors. This keeps your dog active and entertained without exposure to direct sunlight.

5. Water Games: Apart from paddling pools, you can also use a garden hose or sprinklers for some supervised fun in the water. **However, be cautious when using a garden hose. Ensure your dog doesn’t inhale too much water at once to avoid water intoxication.**

Recognising Signs of Heatstroke

Heatstroke in dogs is a serious condition that can be life-threatening. It’s crucial to recognise the signs and act promptly:

– Excessive Panting: While panting is normal, excessive and rapid panting is a clear sign of overheating.

– Drooling: Increased salivation and drooling can indicate your dog is too hot.

– Lethargy and Weakness: Your dog may seem unusually tired, weak, or unable to stand.

– Vomiting and Diarrhoea: These can occur as your dog’s body struggles with the heat.

– Red or Pale Gums: Check your dog’s gums; they may appear bright red or pale and tacky to the touch.

– Confusion or Dizziness: Disorientation and stumbling are severe signs of heatstroke.

– Collapse: In extreme cases, a dog may collapse or have seizures.

What to Do If You Suspect Heatstroke

1. Move to a Cooler Area: Immediately bring your dog to a shaded or air-conditioned space.

2. Provide Water: Offer small amounts of cool (not cold) water to drink.

3. Cool Down Gradually: Use cool, damp cloths to gently lower your dog’s body temperature. Place these on their neck, underbelly, and paws.

4. Seek Veterinary Attention: Contact your vet immediately. Heatstroke is a medical emergency and requires professional treatment.


By taking these precautions and being mindful of the signs of heatstroke, you can ensure your dog stays safe and comfortable during warm weather. Remember, keeping your dog cool isn’t just about avoiding discomfort—it’s about protecting their health and well-being. Enjoy the summer safely with your canine companion by incorporating these tips and activities into your routine.

An enrichment activity to get the dogs nose engaged in finding his dinner in the garden, a way of promoting calmness and rest in your dogs on those warm days

Scatter feeding

Stay cool, and happy tails!