Dog with tongue out

How to protect your dog in the hot weather

Summer is here, and many of us will be planning UK getaways with our four-legged friends.

But while we might enjoy the warm weather, it’s not so much fun in a fur coat. So how can you keep your dog cool and comfortable?

The Kennel Club’s advice includes not walking your dog during the hottest parts of the day, never leaving your dog in a car — even with the windows down, ensuring your dog has access to water and a shady place, and checking that all planned visits or trips, including to beaches or pitstops during a longer journey, are dog-friendly.

Dog in the sun

Dogs aren’t as good at dealing with hot weather as we are, explained Nick Sutton, health expert at the Kennel Club.

“When they’re hot, dogs mostly cool down by panting, but sometimes this just isn’t enough. As their temperature rises, it can make them very unwell and this can be fatal.

“Many people know that it’s absolutely vital to never leave your dog in a hot car, but around 75% of cases of heatstroke are a result of exercise, with most cases occurring in the summer months.”

To keep your dog safe and cool when travelling or enjoying the sunshine at home:

  • Walk your dog early in the morning or in the evening and avoid the midday sun. Choose shaded areas to walk in, and always carry water and something for them to drink from.
  • Make sure your dog has a comfortable and cool spot in the car when travelling. Make regular stops and ensure your dog has access to water.
  • At home, create a shaded space to keep your dog cool and add ice cubes to their water bowls. You could also give them a paddling pool to splash around in.

Heavy panting, tiredness and an unwillingness to move are among the warning signs of heatstroke to look out for, as well as dribbling, sickness and signs of upset stomach. If you think your dog has heatstroke, give them a drink of cool water, pour cool water on their fur to lower their body temperature, and get them to the vet straight away.

Petwise believes owning a pet is a lifelong responsibility, which is why there is no upper age limit on any of our dog insurance policies. Additional benefits include no co-payment regardless of the age of your pet, and access to our free 24-hour Vet Helpline.