Keep your Dog Cool this Summer

Author: Amy Holloway

Soaking up the Summer sun can be sheer bliss for many people. But what about your dog?

Soaring temperatures and midday sun can play havoc with your dog’s health. Here are some of our top tips to help you keep your dog happy and healthy in the Summer sun.

One of the most common health problems dogs can experience in the summer is heat stroke, which is very serious in dogs and can be fatal in a matter of minutes.

If it’s a hot day, you need to remember these 4 things:

  • CAR SAFETY – Don’t leave your dog in a car, even with the window open as the dog can still overheat. When travelling in a car with your dog, turn the air-con up high and use window shields to keep some of the heat and the UV rays out.
  • HYDRATION – Keep your dog hydrated, take plenty of water and a drinking bowl wherever you go.
  • SUNBURN – Watch out for sunburn; you can get non-toxic waterproof human sunscreen, or a formula designed for pets, to put on your dog’s ears, face and areas with little hair – this is especially important for pale coloured dogs. Remember to re-apply sunscreen regularly, especially if they have been swimming.
  • STAY COOL – Don’t exercise your dog during the hottest part of the day, try to keep them in the shade between 11 and 3pm. Try shorter walks more often to avoid over-heating.

What are the symptoms of heat stroke in dogs?

“Symptoms of heat stroke include collapse, excessive panting, and dribbling,” says Emily Ashcroft RVN at Clent Hills Vets.

If you are worried and suspect your dog is suffering from heat stroke, take them to a cool place, wet their coat and paws and contact a vet straight away. Avoid over cooling, especially if your dog is very small.

Skin cancer in dogs

Your dog can suffer with sunburn and can develop skin cancer. If your dog develops sore or crusty areas on the skin, this may be damaging sunburn and you should consult your vet.

How to avoid paw burn

If the pavements are extremely hot, try to avoid those areas or walk your dog later when it’s cooler. Did you know you can buy dog shoes to protect their paws? If the pavement is too hot for you to hold your hand on for a few seconds, it’s too hot for your dog to walk on.

For more advice on how to keep your dog happy and healthy this Summer, watch our video on ‘taking your dog to an event or festival’, which includes lots of handy tips for travelling with your dog, fast food and more.


If you would like advice on any of the above issues, please contact Clent Hills Vets and we’ll be happy to help.

If you own a small furry pet, such as a rabbit, hamster, guinea pig or gerbil, read our top 10 tips on how to keep them cool too this summer.