How to keep your dog cool in summer

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Written by Dr Andrew Miller MRCVSDr Andrew Miller MRCVS is an expert veterinary working in the field for over 10 years after graduating from Bristol University. Andy fact checks and writes for Pure Pet Food while also working as a full time veterinarian. - Our editorial process

Summertime in the UK can get quite hot, surprisingly. If your dogs don’t get enough shade, water or rest on a hot summer day could really feel the effects, potentially suffering from heatstrokesunburn and dehydration. Just think, if you’re hot in your shorts and T-shirt, your dog must be boiling in their thick fur.

Brachycephalic (flat-faced) dog breeds, such as PugsFrench Bulldogs and Boxers, overweight dogs and older dogs are all susceptible to heatstroke, so you need to be extra careful around them.

Dogs release heat through their nose and paw pads as well as panting to regulate their body temperature and keep cool. Your dog's temperature should be around 38.3℃ to 39.2℃.

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If you see your dog over-heat and start panting and have a loss of energy, quickly stop and find a shady spot and give your dog water. And of course, don’t leave your dog in the car on a hot day, even if the windows are open.

Checklist for keeping your dog cool

  • Add cold water to your dog's water dish

  • Take water everywhere you go

  • Make sure there’s plenty of shade

  • Go for walks in the early morning or evening when it’s cooler outside

  • Add more water to their Pure food than usual

  • Make a small paddling pool for your pooch

  • Give your dog access to the kitchen

  • Have fans placed around the house

  • Give your dog a cold, wet bandana to wear

  • Make frozen homemade treats

A cool, refreshing drink

This can be done by keeping a bottle of chilled water in the fridge that you fill up at the tap, or by adding ice cubes to their water and letting them melt before giving your dog the water.

Ice cubes aren’t the best for dogs, so it’s important to wait for them to melt before serving.

Take water everywhere you go

You should be doing this anyway, but be extra vigilant when it’s hot to take water everywhere you go.

Offer it to your dog every 30 minutes too; it’s better for them to turn it down than to be dehydrating while you’re oblivious.

Make sure there's plenty of shade

We all know a sun-worshipping pooch that could sunbathe all day long, but this can be dangerous.

If they’re out in the garden, make sure you put up a sun umbrella or have a shady part of the garden that your dog can rest, chill out and lie down in.

Don't walk in prime time

The pavement can get quite hot when it’s baking in the sun all day from direct sunlight. Taking your dog for a walk in the day when it’s at its hottest will be torture to your dog’s little feet.

If the pavement is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for their paws. Just think of it like you stepping on a hot beach without any shoes on. You don’t want to be doing that for any longer than 5 minutes.

Use the 5-second rule, if you can't hold your hand down on the pavement for 5 seconds because it's too hot, it's way too hot for your hound.

As well as the ground being cooler, the general temperature will drop in the morning and evening to make it more bearable for both you and your pooch.

Add more water to their Pure food than usual

This is an excellent way of helping your dog overcome dehydration and get fluids in them without them directly drinking.

Pure is completely versatile, healthy dog food, you can make it with as much water as you like. Some dogs prefer the food more watery, it tastes great either way!

Paddling pool for a doggy paddle

A paddling pool is great fun for both dogs and children on a hot day. Make sure your dog has easy access to the pool for a doggy paddle, and can come and go as they please.

This will allow them to regulate their own temperature without much assistance. Swimming on a hot day is always a fun activity.

Give your dog access to the kitchen

If you don’t already give your dog access to the kitchen, you need to consider it for hot days.

The cool tiles will help your pooch cool down their paws and even their body if they decide they want a lie-down.

You know how hard it is to get to sleep on a tight under your hot duvet, so imagine how your dog feels, they already have a furry coat on them 24/7! A snooze on the cold tiles will be a luxury.

Have fans placed around the house

This is something you’d want to do even if you don’t have a dog. Make sure you’re keeping the house cool in the summer and placing fans around the house to provide airflow and a cool breeze throughout.

Give your dog a cold, wet bandana to wear

We asked our customers on social media what they do to keep their dog cool in summer. Karen, a Pure customer, says she uses cold, wet cotton bandanas tied around her dogs’ neck next to their collars.

This is a great idea and an excellent way to cool down your pooch. Just make sure you’re also giving them water to drink.

Make frozen homemade treats

Ruby, a Pure customer, also responded to our question on social media: We freeze Kefir in small tubs with raspberries or blueberries mixed in. You can also add a bit of honey if you like. I usually hold the tubs while Ruby licks which she really enjoys.

We have a great recipe for homemade peanut butter ice lollies here. It's perfect for cooling your dog down, and it means you can tuck into your own ice cream without feeling guilty that your pooch can't have any!


There are several ways to keep your dog cool in the summer months, so you and your pooch can still enjoy the great outdoors together.

Just be careful of the dangers of the sun and constantly monitor your dog's condition. You know your dog better than anyone, so you'll be the first to recognise any signs of heatstroke.