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Tips & Advice

How to Keep Dogs Cool in the Summer

Dog enjoying the shadeSummer is a fun time of year for all of us. Many of us including our dogs enjoy being outside despite the heat, whether it’s to play or just relax.

Dogs can't sweat like humans!

The main thing to remember is that dogs cannot cool themselves by sweating like us as they have no sweat glands, they may sweat a small amount through their pads, but the main way a dog cools off is by panting which releases excess heat from the body. Unfortunately, panting is not enough when it's extremely hot and humid. So here are a few fun but useful tips that can help keep your dog cool yet entertained.

Change your walking times

It’s a great idea to change your dog's walking times preferably to early in the morning or in the evening once the sun has set. By taking your daily walk before or after the sun is at its hottest will essentially be cooler for your dog and the ground will be nicer on the pads of their paws. Always try to stick to soft grassy surfaces during the summer. A good tip is, if the ground is hot on your feet it will definitely be far too hot for your dog to walk on and can cause blisters on their pads.

Dogs die in hot cars

NEVER leave your dog in a car on their own even for a second! Leaving your dog in the car is extremely dangerous and often fatal. A car is a metal box with lots of windows results in something called the greenhouse effect, which will make the inside of your car much hotter than it is outside. 

Keep hydrated

This is an obvious one, hydration! Make sure your dog has cool water at all times. Also, if your dogs are as nutty as ours, why not let them have a dip in a paddling pool. If you don’t have a paddling pool to hand, a big plastic dog bed also does the trick!  

Steer clear of the sea

It's recommended to not allow your dogs in the sea at this time of year due to the salt water dehydrating the dogs more and the lack of shade for the dogs to rest. If you do decide to go to the beach, always rinse the salty water off immediately.

Frosty treats!

A favourite of mine, lovely homemade treats that not only help keep your dog cool but are delicious for them to eat too! Here's a simple recipe for some lovely banana and peanut butter frosty treats.


  • 4 average size cups
  • 800ml of plain low fat yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 4 bananas, peeled and mashed


  1. Blend all the ingredients to a puree in a food processor or by hand.
  2. Pour the liquid evenly between the 4 cups.
  3. Freeze until firm.
  4. Pop the cup in a bowl of slightly warm water to be able to pop the treat out the cup
  5. Watch your dog enjoy this yummy treat!
  6. Store in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

Give them a hair cut and use sunscreen!

Some dogs suffer more than others. Dogs with thicker and longer coats will obviously be affected more by the heat than some shorter haired breeds. Speak to your local groomer about what would be best for your dog for this time of year. However, dogs with short hair or bald spots need care too. Many people don’t realise that dogs can get sunburn. It’s common in pale and short-haired dogs, often on the bridge of the nose, tips of the ears, belly, groin and insides of the legs. Use a sunscreen specifically for use on animals.

Finally remember heatstroke is very important to look out for in any animal this time of year so finally here are a few signs to look for and enjoy your summer!!

Try a cooling coat

Cooling jackets which use cool water inside them to help keep your dog cooler are also becoming increasingly popular for any dog who suffers with the heat but it’s very important to read the instructions before using any new equipment.

Watch out for heat stroke

Courtesy of the Dogs Trust & RSPCA

  • Panting excessively
  • Anxious behaviour
  • Very red gums turning blue in extreme circumstances
  • Salivating
  • Very rapid heart rate
  • In cases of severe heat-stroke - collapse, convulsions, shock

What to do if your dog is suffering with heat-stroke

  • Seek veterinary attention immediately as it can be difficult to be sure how serious the situation is and urgent treatment may be needed
  • Remove the dog from the hot environment
  • Reduce body temperature immediately 
  • Immerse the dog in tepid water, cooling gradually, using either a shower spray or similar. Then douse the dog in cool water, particularly the head and neck - avoid using ice-cold water; or cover your dog with wet sheets.  Use a fan to increase air flow over the dog as this aids cooling.
  • Allow the dog to drink in small quantities at a time
  • Continue to douse the dog in cold water until his breathing starts to settle  
  • Seek veterinary attention as soon as is safe to do so

I hope these tips will help you all with your pooches throughout the summer! There are hundreds of things you can do in your own home to help keep dogs cool, whether it's simply giving them an ice cube, or keeping them cool on cold floors. There are plenty of toys and equipment these days on the market such as Kongs that you can put all your dogs favourite treats inside and freeze it or even simply freezing a carrot or banana for your dog to enjoy a good chew on. 

Charlotte Rose Stanton

Charlotte owns and runs Pooches Paws, a dog grooming and pet care company based in Sussex. Charlotte's life-long dream has always been to work with animals. She has a Diploma in Advanced Care of Canines and Felines. She also trained with a trusted ABTD School of Dog Training & Behaviour. Charlotte has a rather interesting range of pets, including two cheeky Chinchillas and some very spoilt mice and degus. She also has three gorgeous dogs. Visit Pooches Paws or Charlotte's Google+ profile to find out more.

Charlotte Rose Stanton

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