How To Keep Your Dog Safe In Warm Weather

| Health & Wellbeing

Summer (if it ever arrives) is a wonderful time for outdoor adventures, picnics, and beach trips - especially when you have a four-legged friend in tow.

However, the warm weather also brings a set of challenges for our furry friends. Dogs are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illnesses, and it's crucial for pet owners to take a paws-on approach to ensure their safety and comfort.

Here are some tail-wagging tips to ensure your dog has a cool summer!

1. Hydration is Key

Just like humans, dogs need plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially in hot weather. Always provide fresh, cool water for your dog. If you're heading out for a walk or a trip, carry a portable water bottle and a collapsible bowl. Signs of dehydration in dogs include excessive panting, dry gums, lethargy, and loss of skin elasticity. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

2. Avoid the Heat of the Day

The sun is at its peak between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., making it the hottest part of the day. Try to schedule your walks in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler. Not only will this protect your dog from heatstroke, but it will also prevent their paws from getting burned on hot pavement. As a rule of thumb, if the pavement is too hot for your hand, it's too hot for your dog's paws.

3. Provide Shade and Cool Areas

Ensure your dog has access to shaded areas when outside. Whether you're in your garden or at the park, create a cool spot for your dog to rest. A portable dog tent or a simple tarp can provide much-needed shade. At home, keep a cool room or a fan accessible for your dog to escape the heat or grab a cooling dog mat which we sell in our Brighton store. A cool dog is a happy dog!

4. Never Leave Your Dog in a Parked Car

Paws-down, this is a no-no, and this cannot be stressed enough: never leave your dog in a parked car, even for a few minutes. Cars can heat up rapidly, reaching dangerous temperatures that can cause heat stroke or even be fatal. If you need to run errands, leave your dog at home where it's safe and cool.

If you see a dog in a hot car this is what to do:

5. Watch for Signs of Overheating

Dogs can suffer from heat stroke, which can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. Symptoms of overheating include excessive panting, drooling, weakness, confusion, vomiting, and collapse. If you notice these signs, move your dog to a cooler area immediately, provide water, and wet their body with cool (not cold) water. Contact your vet right away - better safe than sorry!

Pay special attention to breeds prone to Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BAOS) - such as English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pugs and other flat-faced breeds. If it’s above 20 degrees Celsius, leave them at home!

6. Protect Against Parasites

Summer is prime time for fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. These pesky critters can transmit diseases to your dog. Use vet-recommended flea and tick prevention products, and consider a heartworm preventative. Regularly check your dog for ticks, especially after walks in wooded areas. Flea and tick prevention is a must for a worry-free summer!

7. Adjust Exercise Routines

While exercise is important for your dog, it's crucial to adjust your dog's routine during the hot months. Reduce the intensity and duration of exercise on hot days. 

Swimming is an excellent way to keep your dog active and cool simultaneously. Always supervise your dog around water and ensure they can safely exit pools. A dip a day keeps the heat at bay!

8. Be Cautious with Sunscreen and Bug Repellent

Dogs can get sunburned, particularly those with short or light-coloured coats. Apply a pet-safe sunscreen to vulnerable areas like the nose, ears, and belly. Avoid human sunscreens, as they can contain harmful ingredients. Likewise, use a pet-safe insect repellent to protect your dog from bites.

9. Maintain a Summer Grooming Routine

Regular grooming can help keep your dog cool. Brush out their coat to remove excess fur and prevent matting, which can trap heat. However, avoid shaving your dog's coat completely, as their fur provides protection from the sun and helps regulate body temperature. Grooming is the secret to a cool and comfy pooch!

For more information on grooming, be sure to check out our article on keeping your dog’s coat looking its best between grooms.

10. Plan Summer Activities Wisely

When planning summer activities, consider your dog's comfort and safety. Choose dog-friendly beaches, parks, and trails where there's plenty of shade and water. Always supervise your dog, and never push them beyond their limits in the heat.


By taking these precautions, you can ensure your dog enjoys the summer safely and comfortably. Pay close attention to their needs, stay informed about the signs of heat-related illnesses, and create a cool, safe environment for your furry friend. With the right care, summer can be a season of fun and adventure for both you and your furry friend. Stay cool, dog lovers!

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