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Top tips for keeping your dogs cool this summer

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

6 ways you can help your dog to stay cool, hydrated, and comfortable whilst it's hot out there!

We know how much fun the summer can be with your dogs, spending time outdoors getting out and about. We want to make sure your dog also enjoys the summer months whilst staying safe. So let's do our best this year to keep them cool with these top tips.

Tip #1 - Keep them hydrated

Border Collie cooling down

Of course, we all provide water for our pets, but let's get inventive. One of our nurses plays a great fruit bobbing game with her Border Collie, Harley. She fills a tub with water and Harley loves dunking his head in to get the fruits and treats out of the water.

Tip #2 - Shade, shade, and more shade.

Some dogs are sun worshippers, but it's our responsibility as pet owners to encourage them otherwise. Move their bed or a cool mat to a nice shaded area.

Tip #3 - Take an early morning walk

Some dogs live for their walks, but walking a dog in the sun can cause serious consequences. Walk your dogs before it heats up or late in the evening when it's cooled down.

Tip #4 - Grooming matters

Not all dogs need their fur to be groomed, but for some it's imperative. If your dog is a shedder, brush regularly to remove the molting fur from their coats. For long-coated/curly breeds (doodles we're talking to you) get them a nice short clip for the summer months.

Tip #5 - Leave them at home

If you're thinking of going on a day out to the beach or a long walk. Think about whether you will be able to provide adequate shade and rest for your dog. Will the pavements be hot? Will you need to pop into a shop and therefore leave your dog in the car? We would suggest not taking your dog with you. They'd much rather stay at home snoozing in their cool house.

Tip #6 - Make some fun frozen snacks

The PDSA have come up with some brilliant recipes and ideas for frozen snacks and other refreshing treats -

Which dogs are most at risk of heat stroke?

Puppies, older dogs, unwell dogs, and short-nosed breeds are all at an increased risk of heat stroke. Dogs don't sweat like people do and they also don't have the awareness of when to stop running around. Some dogs will get heat stroke easier/quicker than others. Short-faced breeds in particular are extremely high risk and can even overheat on days we wouldn't necessarily consider hot. We would advise that short-faced dogs are not exercised at all on warmer days, including stopping them from running around in the garden. Working type dogs like Springer Spaniels and Collies who don't have an automatic off switch should be watched closely as well to ensure they are not exercising too hard on hot days.

Signs of heat stroke


Excessive panting

Noisy breathing

Difficulty breathing

High temperature


Vomiting and diarrhoea

Red gums

Excessive drooling

In any case, if you are worried your dog is suffering please phone us on 01635 47170. We are here 24 hours a day for your pets.


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