How to keep your dog from overheating this summer

Matilda Hansson

Updated June 18, 2021

Summer is undoubtedly one of our favourite times of the year, but for our furry best friends it's a bit different. Overheated dogs are a big problem during the summer, here's how to spot the signs as well as how to prevent overheating.

Here comes the sun

The sun is out and shining bright, the temperatures are soaring and many of us are enjoying the long awaited heat and sunshine. But for our furry friends the sun can prove to be quite dangerous and overheating with dogs is a fairly common problem that dog owners are faced with year after year. So here are the signs of overheating as well as how best to prevent overheating.

Signs to look out for

Some common signs that you're dog is overheating can include:

  • Excessive panting
  • Fatigue
  • Disorientation
  • An open mouth (wide enough to see the teeth)
  • Vomiting

If you see any of these signs you immediately need to make sure your dog is in a cool place, stop them if they're doing any activity, make sure they drink some water, put them infront of a fan or if you have a paddling pool, let them cool off in the water. If symptoms persist call a veterinarian.

8 tips to stop your dog from overheating

Of course the ideal would be to not get to the point where your dog is overheated, so here are some tips to prevent your dog from getting too hot in the summer heat.

1. Get a trim

If you have a non-shedding breed, get it a very short summer cut. Unsurprisingly many dogs overheat due to their thick fur. Make sure to check with your vet first if it's a good option for your dog.

2. Keep your dog hydrated

This may seem obvious but sometimes dogs won't take the responsibility to drink water when they're thirsty, so keep an eye on their water intake, and encourage them to drink regularly if they're not doing it by themselves. Always carry water with you for the dog if you're leaving the house, even for short periods of time.

3. Provide shade

Always make sure that there is a cool place for your dog to be, especially if they're mainly outdoors during the day. Direct sun is a surefire way for your dog to overheat.

4. Get a paddling pool

A small kids paddling pool is the perfect way for your dog to cool off if it gets too hot. And having one in your garden at all times is perfect so your dog can take a dip whenever it wants to. A sprinkler will also do the trick, and as an added bonus it's super fun for both your dogs and kids.

5. Don't play hard ball

Although summertime is a time for games and fun, and especially if you have kids they may find themselves wanting to play more frequently outside with the dog. Just make sure to take frequent breaks and that the dog isn't playing too hard and exhausting themselves. On really hot days avoid outdoor playtime.

6. NEVER leave your dog in the car

This one should be pretty self explanatory, just as you wouldn't leave a child in a hot car in the summer you should never leave your dog in the car. Cars quickly heat up and can in worst case be fatal to the animal.

7. Keep it cool

Make sure that there is a good airflow in your home and that you either have a good AC system or fans to help keep your dog cold.

8. Cut down on the walks

Don't go for walks during the warmest time of day, the heat will exhaust the dog more than usual so their need for exercise should decrease. Try going early morning and later in the evening to avoid the hottest hours of the day. Remember that the ground will be very hot and can burn the paws of your dog, so always touch the surface you're about the walk on with the palm of your hand and if it's too hot to the touch find an alternative route, grass is great and won't overheat, or if your dog is small enough you can carry it part of the way.

Below you'll find everything you need to keep your dog from overheating this summer.

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