How to keep dogs cool during a hot spell and avoid heatstroke

Even at temperatures as low as 20C dogs are at risk, when animals are no longer able to keep their body temperature at a comfortable level.

It’s not just humans that can find the blistering heat too hot to handle – the soaring temperatures can also be especially dangerous for dogs.

Even at temperatures as low as 20C (70F) dogs are at risk of heatstroke, when animals are no longer able to self-regulate and keep their body temperature at a comfortable level.

Paul Houlden, Founder of, said hot weather had potentially devastating consequences for pooches.

He said: “Anything 20C or above has the potential to give your dog heat stroke. We’re experiencing a heatwave that many of us ourselves are struggling with, simply because we’re not used to temperatures like this, so consider how your furry dog must be feeling in 30C heat.”

Here’s his tips on keeping the family pet cool during the hot spell.

1. Ensure they have a shaded spot

One that is cool and well-ventilated will suit your dog fine in hot temperatures, as it gives them shade and protection from the incessant heat given off by the sun.

2. Refresh their water bowl constantly

Not only should dogs have access to plenty of fresh, clean drinking water, but it should also be refreshed regularly. It doesn’t take a lot for water to turn warm, even indoors.

3. Walk them early or late

Preferably before 8am or after 8pm when temperatures have dropped to a mild or cooler level.

Don’t over-exert them throughout the day, especially when the sun is at its highest in the afternoon.

4. Test the ground

Remove your shoes and stand on the floor with bare feet. If you yourself are struggling to stand still for at least five seconds or more, the ground is therefore too hot for your dog to endure.

5. Never leave a dog in a hot car

If you need to drive somewhere, either leave your dog at home in a part of the house where it’s cool, or take them out of the vehicle with you when you exit it yourself.

Do not ever leave them in a hot car – even if it doesn’t feel too hot. When left in the sun for just one hour, the inside of the car can easily reach 116F, with the dark interiors reaching as high as 200F.

The same goes for a conservatory.

6. Know the signs

Increased heart rate and panting, drooling, being agitated, having a bright red tongue and/or very red or pale gums, vomiting and diarrhoea are all signs that your dog has heatstroke.
If any of these symptoms arise, get them to an emergency vet straight away.

Dog sitting in river