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How to keep your dog cool in the hot summer weather

How to keep your dog cool in the hot summer weather

Tips on keeping your dog cool in the hot sunny summer weather

When the sun is out, we love nothing better then putting on our beachwear and hitting the beach or park for some sun bathing. When we get too hot we can cool down easily by sweating and refreshing ourselves with hot and cold liquids. But what about your dog? How do dogs cool down in the hot weather?
Unlike us humans, dogs don’t sweat and are covered in fur so cooling down is more difficult for them. When a dog becomes hot they cool themselves by panting and they normally like to to rest in a cool shady area.
Dogs can also suffer from heatstroke so should never be exposed to the sun for long periods of time. Sometimes it may be best to leave your dog at home with plenty of shade and water rather than tire them out and get them all hot and bothered.

Strolling along

Fitness facts and advice about walking with a dog stroller
If you have to travel with your dog in the hot sunny weather then a dog stroller is a great way to keep them cool while on the move. A pet stroller will provide your dog shade, a cool and ventilated environment and numerous opportunities to rest, especially for small and vulnerable dogs.
It also means that you can include your dog in many of your summer activities, instead of leaving them all alone at home. Your dog adores being with the rest of their family or ‘pack’, it’s what a dog carves for, to be around the ones they love.
A pet stroller is also a perfect way to transport your dog on vacation. They are great to travel with on any train and bus and can be folded easily to put in the boot of your car. A pet stroller also provides your dog with a bed if your holiday accomodation does not provide you with a dog bed, which many of them don’t.
Turn your Trixie bicycle dog trailer into a pet stroller with the Trixie conversion kits
You can also include your dog on any cycling trips you may wish to take during the summer months. A bicycle dog trailer is a great and fun way to travel with your dog. The dog trailer can be easily attached to your cycle and it will also keep your dog cool and ventilated due to the mesh panels included in the design.
You can also purchase stroller conversion kits which easily transform your bicycle dog trailer into a walking stroller. By simply adding a front wheel and a handle you can then stroll along with your dog. That will enable your dog to hop out for a quick walk then hop right back in when the heat gets too much for them. It’s a perfect cool. secure, shaded haven for them to rest in.

Handy tips to help keep your dog cool in the sunny summer weather

Whether you are out and about or just at home enjoying the sunny weather, you have to make sure your dog is able to deal with the sun and the heat it causes. Your pets need extra care and attantion in the hot summer months, so here are a few handy tips on how to keep them cool and relaxed in the hot weather.

Keep water at hand

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It is an obvious tip but you need to make sure that your dog always has plenty of water at hand. Always keep their water bowl replenished with cool fresh water. Dogs really need water when it’s hot as it will keep them cool and hydrated. If you happen to travel with your dog, always make sure you take water out with you. You can buy foldable dog water bowls that fit into your bag.
You can also buy a dog bowl and bottle kit that is handy to take with you when you are out and about in the hot weather. If you are going to a place where water is going to be unavailable, make sure you take some with you. Make sure that the water you give your dog is cool and NOT too icy cold as this can upset their stomach.
Also make sure that there is plenty of water available for your dog during the night. Check their water bowl before going to bed and top it up if need be.

Never feed your dog ice cubes on a hot day

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NEVER feed your dog ice cubes or icy water on a hot day. It can be tempting to give them ice cubes in the hot weather but this is highly dangerous and potentially fatal as it can cause the onset of Gastric Torsion, otherwise known as ‘bloat’. The dogs stomach muscles can go into spasm and it can kill within a couple of hours.
Also avoid cooling down your dog with ice cream and frozen ice lollies. This again can cause stomach upsets and the fat, dairy and sugar isn’t any good for your dog.
A nice cooling treat for your dog in the hot weather is fruit or vegetable chunks. Dogs love things like cucumber, watermelon (pips removed), carrot, frozen peas and any other high water content fruit or vegetable. The high water content also helps keep them hydrated.

Let them play in water

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Letting your dog play in water is a good way for them to cool off. If you happen to have a shallow kids padding pool or garden sprinkler let your dog enjoy playing in them.
Letting your pooch play in the water with your children also gives your dog a boost. Never leave your small dog alone in a pool or bath. They could easily drown so always best to keep a eye on them.
If you happen to own a swimming pool or visit the beach with your dog, always make sure that your dog is fitted with a life jacket or dog flotation vest. There are life jackets that are designed soley for dogs. Not all dogs can swim well, especially smaller and short nosed breeds with little legs. For more advice on life jackets for dogs read our article on ‘Life Jackets for Dogs. Dog safety in the water.’

Plenty of Shade

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Always make sure your dog has some shade available for them at all times. Make sure your garden has a shady spot for your dog to chill out in. If you don’t have a shady spot, them make a little canopy for them by draping a blanket over something suitable to give them some shade.
A child’s pop up tent is also a great way for your dog to seek some shade, that way they can still play in the garden with your children and not be confined to being indoors. The tent is also good for your kids to keep out of the sun too. A pop up tent or dog stroller is also a great way to keep your dog cool on the beach or in the park.

Shade on the move

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If you wish to travel with your dog in the height of summer then a dog stroller is an ideal way to keep them cool. The pet stroller enclosure not only gives your dog lots of shade but it will protect them from the harmful UV rays from the sun.
Dog strollers are also fitted with mesh panels so that the air circulates inside the stroller, keeping them cool while you and your dog are on the move. You can also store their food, water and water bowl in the stroller compartment underneath so you don’t have to lug a big bag or back pack around with you.

Never leave your dog in a car

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NEVER leave your dog in a car in the hot sunny weather. The heat and temperature inside a car increases rapidly and can be fatal to your dog. The temperature inside a locked car can become fatal within minutes on a hot sunny day. Even leaving the car windows slightly open does not cool the inside of a car.
It is also illegal to leave your dog in a locked car. Take a look at the temperature chart below. You will see how quickly a car can heat up on a hot sunny day. Also take a look at our useful article: ‘Danger! Dogs locked in cars on hot sunny days can be fatal.’
Car interior temperature heat chart

Never leave your dog in a locked conservatory

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Just like locked cars, leaving a dog in a glass conservatory at home or even in a caravan is also a dangerous thing to do in the summer. A locked conservatory can become a very hot place due to the large amount of glass windows. Even on a cloudy summer day the temperature in a conservatory can reach dangerous levels.
A glass conservatory will also not provide your dog with any shade, especially with the sun glaring in from all the windows and even from the roof.

Limit their exercise in the hot weather

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Walking, running, playing in the sun can really take it’s toll on your dog, so keep activity to a minimum when the weather is hot. Even us humans take it easier when the sun is out. Keep your dog’s activity to a minimum and make sure they always have enough water available or nearby to drink.
It’s a good idea to do their daily walks early in the morning or later in the day when it’s much cooler. It will be good for both of you too!

Keep them groomed

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A dog covered in long fur can really get overheated in the summer months. Get your dog groomed before summer and always get it done by a professional, never attempt to do it yourself.
Give your dog a good daily brushing to remove any unwanted loose hair. Their fur traps the heat and makes them warm in the winter, so you can imagine how uncomfortable it can be for them in the hot weather.
A good daily brush is also good for your dog’s skin, oils and circulation too. It can also remove any unwanted debris and tiny critters too like mites and fleas

Hot floors

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Pavements and many outdoor surfaces can get extremely hot in the hot sunny weather and can cause damage to the pads on your dogs feet. Think back to that time when you had to walk on hot sand in your bare feet!
Let your dog walk on grassy paths in the hot weather or you can fit your dog with protective shoes which are also designed to protect your dog’s feet from the ice and the snow too.
A good way of cooling down your dog at home is to place a damp towel on your kitchen floor. It makes a cool refreshing mat to lay upon when they are feeling hot all over. A fan placed near their dog bed is another way of providing a cooler resting place for your dog.


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Like humans dogs can suffer from sunburn too. With sunburn the best way to avoid it is to make sure your dog is not exposed to the sun for too long. Dogs with light noses and light coloured fur can be burnt by the sun very quickly.
You can actually buy sunscreen specially designed for your dog. If your breed is short haired then they will be more prone to sunburn than longer haired dogs.
If you are out and about with your dog, a pet stroller is an ideal way to protect them from sun exposure due to the durable weatherproof covering.


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When a dog is exposed to high temperatures, heat stroke or heat exhaustion can result. Heatstroke in dogs is far more serious than heatstroke in humans. Dogs find it much harder to cool down their bodies mainly because they do not sweat like we do. Dogs do not sweat through their skin like humans – they release heat primarily by panting and they sweat through their foot pads and through their nose.
The best way to avoid heatstroke in your dog is prevention. Unfortunately, too many dogs succumb to heat stroke when it could have been avoided in the first place. By reading the list below you can learn how to recognize the first signs of heat stroke and prevent it from happening to your dog.
The symptoms of heatstroke in dogs include:
  • Very heavy panting
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Extreme lethargy
  • The tongue and mucous membranes appear bright red
  • Saliva is thick and tenacious
  • Dog may vomit or suffer from diarrhoea
  • Dizziness and lack of coordination
  • Reluctance or inability to rise after collapsing
  • Loss of consciousness in extreme circumstances.
Treatment of heatstroke in dogs:
  • Deal with heatstroke immediately
  • Move the dog out of the sun and into a cool room
  • Put on air conditioning or place an electric fan nearby
  • Take the dogs rectal temperature every 10 minutes
  • If temperature is above 104°F spray dog with water or immerse in cool water (not cold or icy) for 2 minutes
  • Cool packs can be applied to the groin area
  • Also wiping their paws off with cool water helps.
  • Monitor rectal temperature and continue the cooling process until the rectal temperature falls below 103°F (39°C)
  • At this point, stop the cooling process and dry the dog. Further cooling may induce hypothermia and shock.
  • Seek the advice of your vet as soon as possible, even when your dog has cooled down. Your vet may wish to check your dog to make sure there are no internal issues due to the heatstroke.
  • If you are taking your dog to the vet, take a cool, wet towel to help your dog to cool down.
How to PREVENT heatstroke in dogs:
  • NEVER leave your dog alone in the car on a warm day, regardless of whether the windows are open or not. Even if the weather outside does not appear to be extremely hot, the inside of the car acts like an oven. Temperatures can rise to dangerously high level in just a matter of minutes.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise on warm days.
  • When outside, provide your dog with shady areas.
  • Keep fresh cool water available for your dog at all times.
  • Certain types of dogs are more sensitive to heat – especially obese dogs and brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds, like Pugs and Bulldogs. Use extreme caution when these dogs are exposed to heat
  • Use a pet stroller for small and vulnerable dogs, especially if you are travelling with yiour dog or taking them on holiday with you. The dog stroller allows them to stay cool, be protected from the sun and harmful UV rays and it also allows them to rest rather than over exert themselves.
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