Looking after your dog in the hot weather

26 Aug, 2021

Looking after your dog in the hot weather

We hope you are enjoying the #PAWsome summer weather!

Our dogs also enjoy this weather, however we must bear in mind that the heat can affect them differently and they may not always be able to tell us!

Dogs regulate their body temperature by panting however, when warm weather is combined with high humidity our dogs can have difficulty regulating their body temperature.

This becomes particularly difficult if the dog is in a confined warm place such as a car or a conservatory on a sunny day. The temperature and humidity will rise rapidly in these situations. Remember, even with car windows open the temperature can reach a staggering 49°C on a relatively mild day.

Dogs can also suffer from heat exhaustion if they are too active on a warm sunny day. This exhaustion can progress to heatstroke.

Here are some tips from our Dog Care and Welfare team to make sure your dog enjoys the sun as much as you do:


  • Manage the level of exercise you give your dog. It is advisable to wait until the cooler evening to allow your dog a free run.

  • Overweight and older dogs will suffer more in summer weather. Keep your dog at his/her ideal weight.

  • Feed them when you get back home in the cooler evening. Your dogs may not have the same appetite during hot weather.

  • Groom your dog frequently. Removing loose hair will help the dog’s skin to cool faster in warm weather.

  • If travelling in a car with your Guide or Assistance Dog, you should keep the window open for ventilation. If going on long journeys ensure frequent stops and that your dog is consuming plenty of water.

  • Supervise all exercise. Dogs will run until they drop so it’s recommended to control the exercise during free-runs, etc.

  • Always have fresh water available - take a supply with you if you go out.

  • If you are relaxing outside, ensure your dog can rest in the shade. Leave their bed and water bowl in the shade.

  • Paddling pools can help keep your dog cool in hot weather.

  • Hot pavements during the midday sun can burn a dog's paws. Avoid walking at hottest time of the day. Use the five second rule; if it is too warm for you to hold your hand on the path for 5 seconds it is too warm for your dog to walk on it.

  • Use frozen Kong toys to help your dog have fun and cool down.

  • In extreme heat lay down wet towels for your dog to lie on to help them cool down!

  • If you put a wet towel on your dogs head to cool down make sure it's cool water and not very cold water.

  • Willingness - working dogs may not be as willing if temperatures get higher. Don’t expect too much especially from older dogs.

  • Dogs drink to cool down, don’t forget they may need to urinate more often.

Enjoy the heat and mind yourselves and your dogs!

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