How to Keep Dogs Cool in Summer

With the temperatures rising in the summer months it is important to take extra care of your dog.

Prolonged heat can affect a dog’s health. Overheating can lead to heatstroke, which is very dangerous if left untreated.

Take good care of your dog in the heat by watching for signs of overheating and taking action to cool your dog down.

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keep dogs cool in summer

Signs of Overheating in Dogs

There are a few signs you can look out for that can indicate your dog is getting too hot. Make sure you check on your dog regularly in the heat. If you are feeling it then your dog most likely is as well.

Excessive panting

Dog’s cool off by panting. If your dog’s panting seems more excessive than usual this could be a sign that they are having trouble cooling down.

Excessive drooling

Overheating can manifest as excessive saliva in your dog’s mouth. If they seem to be drooling more than usual it could be a sign you need to help your dog cool down.

Dry nose and or mouth

A dry nose or mouth can indicate dehydration in your dog, which is often caused by overheating.

Problems breathing

A rapid increase in breathing or shortness of breath can be a sign of your dog getting too hot.

Increased heart rate

An increase in your dog’s heart rate is also an indicator of overheating.


Look for signs of your dog slowing down, particularly during regular exercise. If your dog seems visibly tired or unsteady on his feet it can be a sign of dizziness as a result of heatstroke.

Loss of appetite

Look for any change in your dog’s eating habits as well. A lack of interest in food can indicate overheating.

Dark urine

Any change in the color of your dog’s urine can indicate health issues. Darker urine can be a result of dehydration.


Agitation or irritability in your dog can indicate that they are feeling the effects of hotter temperatures.

How to Keep Dogs Cool in Summer

If you notice any of these warning signs in your dog you should immediately take steps to cool your dog down. If left unchecked, your dog can develop heatstroke which can lead to serious health issues. If your dog’s symptoms don’t subside you should take him to the vet for immediate treatment.


Keep your dog well hydrated. Make sure your dog has a constant supply of fresh and clean water and make sure they are drinking it. Water left in a bowl in the sun all day will heat up and your dog will be less likely to drink from it. Take a good supply of water for your dog when you leave the house as well. Get a portable dog water container with a bowl to keep your dog hydrated while out and about.

Make cool treats

You can make up some DIY frozen dog treats to keep your dog cool and prevent dehydration. There are plenty of recipes you can find to make some ice block treats for your dog.


Reduce the amount of strenuous exercise you give your dog during the hotter parts of the day. Take plenty of breaks in any play or training sessions. Walk your dog in the cooler parts of the day nearer to dawn and dusk.

Adequate Shelter

If your dog is outside, make sure you give them a place to shelter from the sun’s rays and cool down. This could be some shelter on a deck or patio or under some trees. If you don’t have anything already, you can set up an umbrella or canopy shelter to make some shade. Get them a cooling mat and lay it down in the shade or stick a dog pool or a sprinkler under the tree. You can also soak a towel in cold water and let your dog lie on it, or freeze a plastic bottle filled with water and wrap it in a towel for them to cuddle.

Recommended Reading: Best Cooling Pad for Dogs – Why You Need One and How to Choose

Never Leave Your Dog in the Car

Don’t ever leave your dog unattended in a vehicle. On a hot day, the temperature inside a car far exceeds the outside temperature. Even if you leave the windows down your dog will still overheat. You might think it is okay if you are only leaving them for a minute or two, but the temperature will rise rapidly. If your dog can’t go with you wherever you are going then leave him at home.


Grooming your dog regularly is a great preventative measure to keep them cool in hot weather. Keeping your dog free of mats and tangles can help to keep your dog cool.

Recommended Reading: How to Detangle Matted Dog Hair

Avoid Hot Surfaces

Prevent your dog from getting burnt pads by avoiding hot surfaces, paths, and roads when walking your dog. If you can’t hold your hand there for 30 seconds your dog shouldn’t walk on it. When walking always try to walk your dog on the grass if possible. If you can’t avoid hot surfaces where you walk then get your dog some booties to protect his paws

Leave Your Dog at Home

If you are planning to be out in the sun all day with little chance of shade or a way to cool them down, then think about leaving your dog at home.

Bring Your Dog Inside

Don’t leave your dog outside the house if it is too hot and there is no shelter or nowhere cool for him to be. Bring him inside and put him in front of the fan or air conditioner to cool down.

Dog Cooling Products

Try some of these products to cool your dog down in summer.

Dog cooling vest – We think the best cooling vest for dogs is the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler. But this lightweight one by LotFancy will also get the job done.

Dog cooling bandana – This All for Paws Chill Out Ice Bandana will help to keep your dog cool in the heat.

Dog cooling collar – Or try a K9 Chill Dog Cooling Collar to keep your pup cool.

Dog cooling towel – This Way 2 Cool Pet Microfiber Cooling Towel works well for instant cooling on the go. Throw it over your dog or let them lay down on it. 

Dog cooling chew toy – Buy a Dog Cooling Chew Toy for your dog to chomp on to help him cool down.

Dog cooling pad – Take a look at our recent article on the best dog cooling pad so your dog can beat the summer heat.

Additional Tips for Summer with your Dog

Sunscreen protection is a good idea if your dog is going to be outside in the sun for a few hours. It will protect your dog from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Get your dog some sunscreen and apply it regularly when outside.

Check your dog regularly for ticks and fleas, which are more prevalent in the hotter months. You can use a collar, a treatment, or a spray as preventative measures against these pests.

You can also use a dog-friendly bug spray if your dog is outside a lot.

Once you know what to look for there is plenty of things you can do to make sure you are keeping your dog cool in the summer heat.

Recommended Reading: Fun Outdoor Dog Activities To Do With Your Dog This Summer