How to keep your dog safe in the summer heat

Summer can get heckin’ hot for your hound. Here’s how to keep your dog safe in the summer heat without sacrificing fun in the sun!

We all want to take our dogs outside in summer for some fun in the sun, but before you head off with your hound on a big beach adventure, you need to know how to keep your dog safe in the summer heat.

Hoomans cool down by sweating but your pooch, on the other hand, pants to regulate their body temperature. By panting, your pup sucks air over their tongue, nasal passage and lungs which cools them down, which is why they pant faster when they’re hotter.

How to keep your dogs cool in summer

The key to keeping your dog safe in the summer heat is preparation. With a little planning before the weather warms up, your canine will be cool, calm and collected all summer long.

Make sure your pupperino is properly groomed

Keeping your canine cool starts with their coat. Short-haired doggos shed hair all year round, so if you de-shed them consistently they’ll be loose-hair-free and ready for the heat.

Just like hoomans swap jeans for shorts and long-sleeves for t-shirts when the weather warms up, long-haired doggos lose their winter coats in the summer months.

Long-haired doggos typically have two coats: an undercoat and a topcoat, and they shed their topcoat for summer. Your floofer usually needs a little extra help getting rid of loose fur. As the weather warms up, de-shed them weekly to remove any excess hair that will trap heat. 

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Be ready to help your hound cool down

Wondering how to keep dogs cool in summer? In the warmer months, especially in Australia, it’s inevitable that your hound will get hot, so it’s important to have strategies in place to help them cool down. Start by making sure your woofer has access to cold water at all times – add ice cubes to their bowl at a few points throughout the day to keep it cooler for longer. If your pup doesn’t like to drink, try adding water or bone broth to their food; this way they’ll hydrate while they eat.

The best ways to keep dogs cool in the summer heat are super simple! If your canine needs to cool down, fill a clamshell with water, give them a wet towel to lie on, some ice to chew on, or let them sploot on your tiled floors. A few minutes in the house cooling down and they’ll be back to bouncin’ off the furniture in no time.

Should dogs stay outside in summer?

To keep your dog safe in summer heat, sometimes they need to stay indoors. When temperatures are higher than 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit), your dog might need to stay inside. Consider the temperature, your backyard’s layout and your dog’s heat tolerance before you leave them outside for extended hours on warm days.

Some dogs cope outside in summer better than others. If this isn’t your floofer’s first experience with hot weather, think about how they behaved last time they were in the heat. If they were low energy, sought out cooler places or panted excessively, it might not be a good idea to leave them outside unattended. These are all signs that your hound doesn’t cope well in hot weather.

You should also think about how hot it is. If it’s 26 degrees (79 degrees Fahrenheit) and overcast, you’re probably ok to leave your doggo outside while you pop to the shops. However, if it’s 40 degrees, even a quick trip to the shops is likely too much exposure.

Whether your furry friend can stay outside depends on your backyard. Doggos need access to shade and cool surfaces when it’s hot. If your backyard is concrete or asphalt without any access to shade, your hound is going to overheat. If your backyard has trees and grass, it will be much cooler for your canine and more suitable in hotter temperatures.

At the end of the day, you know your house and hound best. Keeping your dog safe in summer heat means making an assessment of what heat they can and can’t cope with.

Walking your woofer in hot weather

In the hot weather, your butt-sniffin’, hole diggin’ dog still needs stimulation, otherwise, they’ll get up to mischief.

Go for walks at dawn or dusk

Wondering ‘When should I walk my dog in hot weather?’ You should avoid walking your woofer during the hottest parts of the day – this is typically between noon and three pm. Check the temperature before you leave, and pre-plan your walks during heat waves to line up with any cool changes.

If you’re taking your dog outside in summer, make sure you keep your walks short, as long walks might exhaust your woofer. Follow your dog’s lead; if they’re slowing down, match their pace. Bring water along in case they get thirsty along the way and make sure you’re stopping regularly for breaks in the shade.

Sometimes on hot days, even a short walk with your pooch isn’t possible. If your pupper is staying indoors so they can keep cool, give them mental stimulation. Dogs exert a lot of energy when they’re hunting for munchies around the house or trying to chew to the centre of a new treat. If you can’t walk you woofer, give them some mental stimulation instead.

Protect your pup’s paws

Keep your dog safe in the summer heat by being paw-tious before you hit the pavement in the heat. Your dog’s paws are just like hooman hands – they’ll burn on hot paths. The best way to test for hot pavements is to touch them yourself. Put your hand on the pavement for five seconds – if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your hound.

If your canine is seeking out shaded paths and grass or limping and refusing to walk, the pavement might be too hot for their paws. You should also keep an eye out for dark, red or blistered paws – if your doggo is licking their paws or if parts of their pads are missing, these signs suggest your pooch’s paws are burnt. If you notice these signs, contact your vet.

Look out for signs of heatstroke

Keep your dog safe in summer heat by knowing the warning signs of heatstroke. Some floofers are more susceptible to heatstroke than others, brachycephalic breeds like pugs, boxers, and bulldogs have short noses and flatter faces so panting doesn’t cool them down as effectively as it does other breeds. Dark coloured breeds whose coats absorb more heat and obese dogs who find mild exercise difficult are also more prone to overheating. If your canine fits into one of these categories, be sure to keep an eye out for symptoms of heatstroke in warmer weather.

Symptoms of heatstroke include excessive panting, dehydration, heavy drooling, vomiting, a rapid heart rate, bright red gums, seizures, muscle tremors, lack of coordination and unconsciousness. If your hound is showing signs of heatstroke, contact your vet and put them in a cool place with access to cold water.

Thanks furr-reading! We hope these ideas about the best ways to keep dogs cool in the summer heat help you and your floofer. Tell us how you’re keeping your hound cool in the heat over on our Instagram or our Facebook – we love hearing about your pupperinos!
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