Keeping Dogs Cool in Hot Weather

canstockphoto15170968Keeping dogs cool in hot weather is important to your pets welfare – if it’s too hot for you, then it is definitely too hot for your pet. For example, if walking across the sand burns your feet, it will do the same to your dog’s paws. So if you like walking your dog along pet beaches, make sure it is at a time when the sand is cool enough for doggie paws.

Here are some tips to keeping dogs cool in hot weather and making sure that your beloved pet stays safe:

Do not shave your dog in the summer

This seems counter-intuitive but a dog’s fur helps to regulate their body temperature. In general, a summer coat helps protect your dog from both overheating and from sunburn.

We all know that dogs have no sweat glands in their skin, so they cannot sweat to cool themselves down. Instead dogs have to either pant to cool down – losing heat by evaporation or lie down in cool places – on tiles, in the shade or in water – to lose heat by convection.

Do not leave them unattended in a parked car

It takes only a short time for the internal temperature of your car to rise to dangerous levels. Leaving a window open slightly is not enough to keep your dog cool.

So if you wouldn’t leave a child in your car unattended in hot weather, do not leave your dog in the same situation.

Give them ample shade and lots of water

If you leave your dog in the garden when you go out, make sure there is sufficient shade to shelter them from the sun and lots of fresh water to drink. And it is important that the type of shade allows good air flow to help keep them cool.

Allowing your dog to lie under the pergola or under a shady tree in your yard is far better than in a kennel or other structure that increases the heat rather than dissipates it. And remember if you visit pet beaches with your dog – do so in the cooler hours of the day and take along fresh water for them – it’s thirsty work at the beach!

Exercise during the cooler hours

Isn’t there something about mad dogs and Englishmen going out in the midday sun? Our dogs love us and will do anything we ask of them and follow us anywhere – so do not endanger your pet by exercising them during the midday heat. Be sensible and walk or play with your dogs in the cooler hours of the morning or late afternoon.

Because dogs are so loyal they will walk beside us until they wobble and fall over from exhaustion and heat stroke. It is up to us, as good owners, to recognise when it is not safe to walk our dogs – and to make sure that we do right by our beloved pets.


Pets are an important part of our family and keeping dogs cool in hot weather is essential to their welfare. Other ways to enjoy your pet are to take them on holiday – and there are some great Family Holidays with Pets available in Australia and NZ. And if you want to locate dog friendly parks or pet beaches near your home download this great app!

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