How To Keep Your Dog Cool In Hot Weather

  Summary: In this blog, we’ll explore the dangers of overheating in dogs, signs of heatstroke, the breeds that are higher risk, and effective strategies to keep your dog cool during summer walks, at home, and while traveling.   As the summer heat intensifies, it’s our job as pet parents to make sure that our […]

Oct 18, 2023·7 min read


Summary: In this blog, we’ll explore the dangers of overheating in dogs, signs of heatstroke, the breeds that are higher risk, and effective strategies to keep your dog cool during summer walks, at home, and while traveling.


As the summer heat intensifies, it’s our job as pet parents to make sure that our furry companions stay cool and comfortable.

Did you know that dogs are extremely susceptible to overheating? And, because of this, they’re more at risk of developing heatstroke and other serious health complications.

So, knowing how to keep your pup cool and prioritizing their well-being can help make this summer a refreshing and safe experience for your beloved pets.

The Dangers of Overheating in Dogs

Hot weather poses a significant threat to dogs, as they struggle to regulate their body temperature efficiently. Unlike humans, dogs don’t sweat in the same way and primarily rely on panting to cool down. This means that when the temperature rises, your dog’s cooling mechanisms can become overwhelmed, increasing the risk of heat-related illnesses, like heatstroke, which is a life-threatening condition that will require immediate attention.

Breeds at Higher Risk

All dogs are at risk of developing heatstroke, but certain dog breeds are more susceptible to overheating due to their physical attributes or genetic predispositions.

Brachycephalic breeds, such as Bulldogs, Pugs, and Shih Tzus, with their shorter snouts, are especially vulnerable. Additionally, dogs with thick coats, like Huskies, Newfoundlands, Golden Retrievers, and Chow Chows struggle to dissipate heat efficiently.

Awareness of your dog’s breed characteristics will help you take appropriate precautions.

Recognizing the Signs of Heatstroke

To safeguard your dog’s well-being, it’s crucial to be vigilant and recognize the signs of heatstroke.

Common symptoms include:

If you suspect heatstroke, it is vital to seek veterinary assistance immediately. The sooner you’re able to get help, the better your dog’s chances will be to make a full recovery.

What To Do If You Suspect Heatstroke

Taking quick action is essential to saving your dog from organ damage, brain damage, or even death. If you notice any of the symptoms outlined above, make sure you do these things:

  • Immediately remove your dog from the heat, out of the sun, and preferably somewhere that has a draft.
  • Use cool water, to wet their coat, and possibly the floor or area surrounding them.
  • If you’re inside, open windows, and turn on a fan or the air conditioning if you have one.
  • Call your veterinarian, or take your dog as soon as possible to them. Even if you just suspect heatstroke, the vet can do an examination and monitor your pup.
A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy lays next to a pool with its paw dipped into the water to stay cool


How To Keep Your Dog Cool During Summer Walks

Physical exercise is an important part of your dog’s daily routine, but in the height of summer, it can cause more harm than good.

Choose Optimal Walking Times

Schedule walks during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening, when the temperature is more mild. This will help stop your dog from overheating and the ground won’t be as hot on their paws.

Top Tip: Before you take your pup for a walk, place your hand on the ground for 10 seconds. If the ground is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws!

Provide Ample Shade

Plan your route to include shaded areas or carry a portable canopy to shield your dog from direct sunlight.

Hydration is Key

Carry a specific dog water bottle or a collapsible water bowl and an adequate supply of fresh water to keep your dog hydrated throughout the walk.

Utilize Cooling Vests or Bandanas

These specially designed accessories help regulate your dog’s body temperature and offer instant relief from the heat.


How To Keep Your Dog Cool at Home

Most states in the US will feel the temperatures rise, with Florida and Texas reaching temperatures of 90°F and over! As a result, houses will warm up, and if you don’t have air conditioning, it can get very hot. Here are a few tips and tricks to help keep your dog cool inside:

Create a Cool Indoor Environment

Ensure proper air circulation by using fans or air conditioning. Keep curtains or blinds closed during the hottest parts of the day to minimize heat buildup.

Provide Access to Fresh Water

Place multiple water bowls around the house and consider investing in a pet fountain to encourage regular drinking.

Cooling Mats and Bedding

These specialized mats and bedding options are designed to absorb and dissipate heat, providing a cool spot for your dog to rest.

Frozen Treats

Prepare homemade frozen treats using dog-friendly ingredients, such as pureed fruits or vegetables, and offer them as a refreshing snack.


A long-haired Jack Russell rests its head on a wooden table, looking at a glass of water


How To Keep Your Dog Cool In The Backyard

During the summer, many of us spend a lot more time outside in the backyard, including our pups. Take a look at a few simple ways you can help your dog stay cool in the backyard:

Plenty of Shade

Try to make sure your dog doesn’t spend long periods in direct sunlight. Encourage them to keep in shaded areas; under trees, create canopies, or build a shelter.

Provide Access to Fresh Water

Make sure you place multiple water bowls around the backyard, so your pup has access to drinking water at all times.

Baby Pool

Whether you use a large troff or buy a small baby pool, having cool water for your dog to sit, lay or play in can help regulate their temperature and keep them comfortable in the heat.

Frozen Treats

Homemade frozen treats are perfect for helping to cool your pup down when they’re inside the house and outside.


How To Keep Your Dog Cool While Traveling

Now, traveling with your dog when it’s warm out can bring some risks. Take a look at some simple ways you can help make summer travel easy and comfortable for your pooch:

Car Safety

Never leave your dog unattended in a parked vehicle, as temperatures can soar rapidly, even with the windows cracked. If you must travel by car, ensure proper ventilation and consider using sunshades to minimize heat absorption.

Hydration on the Go

Bring a travel water bottle and a portable water dispenser to keep your dog hydrated during long journeys.

Rest Breaks

Plan frequent breaks in shaded areas or pet-friendly locations, allowing your dog to cool down and stretch their legs.

Wet Towels or Cooling Sprays

Carry a damp towel or a cooling spray to provide instant relief from the heat during travel. Wet the towel and gently apply it to your dog’s fur or spray the cooling mist on their body for a quick cool-down.

Final Thoughts

As responsible pet owners, it’s our duty to protect our dogs from the perils of overheating during hot summer months. By understanding the dangers of overheating, recognizing the signs of heatstroke, and taking appropriate precautions, we can ensure our furry friends stay cool, comfortable, and safe. Whether it’s during summer walks, at home, or while traveling, implementing the suggested strategies will help prevent heat-related illnesses and keep our dogs happy and healthy.

Remember, never underestimate the impact of hot weather on our canine companions. If you suspect heatstroke or notice any signs of distress, seek veterinary assistance immediately. Stay vigilant, stay prepared, and let’s make this summer a season of enjoyable adventures and refreshing experiences for both us and our beloved dogs!


Author Williams, Krista, BSc, DVM, CCRP, “Heat Stroke In Dogs”, VCA Hospitals,

Author Higgs, Veronica, DVM, “Heatstroke In Dogs”, petMD, July 13. 2022,


Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not replace professional veterinary advice. If you have concerns about your dog’s health or well-being, consult with a qualified veterinarian.

Becca TriggB

Becca Trigg

An all round animal lover, who absolutely adores writing and researching anything puppy! Over the past few years, I have been able to gain ample pet knowledge; specifically joint health and dental hygiene. When I'm not typing away in the office, I can be found sitting in a country pub or growing chillies

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The information contained within this site is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice. PetLab Co. is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your pet has, or you suspect your pet has any medical condition, you are urged to consult your veterinarian. Medical conditions can only be diagnosed by a licensed veterinarian. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Results May Vary. Not intended for human consumption. Please consult your veterinarian regarding any change in treatment or supplementation.
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