Hot dogs! How to help your pet cope with heat.

Here are some handy tips on keeping your dog cool and safe in the sun.

1. We humans protect our feet on daily basis with footwear, we therefore are unlikely to notice an increase in temperature on tarmacked, cement and asphalt surfaces during hotter months. Our dogs, however, don’t have the same protection, plus they are closer to the ground so their body is exposed to greater heat levels and their paws are at risk of being burnt. Keep walks to a minimum and during cooler times of the day i.e. early morning and late evening. Also check the ground temperature with your hand – if it’s hot for you then it’s too hot for your dog!

2. Make sure your dog has access to plenty of fresh drinking water at all times including when travelling in the car and when out walking.

3. When outside make sure there’s always shade available for your dog, and in the garden, treat them to a splash about in a paddling pool or a run through a hose or sprinkler to bring their body temperature down.

4. Unless your dog is required to wear one, try not to use a muzzle on dogs during heatwaves and hot weather as this inhibits their ability to pant, which is their natural cooling mechanism!

Infrared Image of a Dog

5. Never ever leave your pet in a parked car, not even for short periods or if parked in the shade. Cars can reach excessive temperatures in a matter of minutes.

6.For longer hair breeds a lightweight summer haircut can help prevent overheating, although don’t ever shave to the skin as your dog needs one-inch of protection to avoid getting sunburned. For some breeds it’s not advisable for them to be sheared as dogs fur is there for many reasons, principally for maintaining body temperature.

7. Consider the temperature and how this might impact your dog. The handy chart below (source gives a guide on when is a sensible temperature to exercise.

Keep your dog happy and healthy this summer with our Health & Diet advice.