Read the latest magazine... Download

10 ways to keep your dogs cool in the heat

From serving up delicious frozen treats to creating a ‘cooling cave’ - animal welfare experts have shared their tried and tested ways to help your dog stay comfortable this summer.

With temperatures already soaring this month, similar to last year’s heatwave, dog experts are reminding us to take steps to make sure our pets are kept as comfortable as possible in the rising temperatures.

All breeds and types of dog are at risk but those with underlying health conditions, especially ones affecting their breathing, and older or elderly dogs can overheat more easily, as well as overweight dogs, dogs with thick or double coats, and some large and flat-faced breeds.

A survey by the British Veterinary Association after 2022’s record-breaking summer found that while around 1 in 10 (9%) vets in small animal practice had seen at least one dog affected by the heat after being left in a hot car, four times as many vets (38%) had seen at least one dog affected by the heat after being walked or exercised in hot weather.


Top tips for dog owners in hot weather

10 ways to keep your dogs cool in the heat
1. Have a go at making some frozen dog treats to keep your pooch cool.

2. Consider swapping a walk for staying inside and playing an engaging brain-game instead.

3. Freeze a Kong toy with kibble and peanut butter to keep your dog occupied.

4. Create a ‘cooling cave’ - choose a suitable room in your home for your dog to retreat to.

5. Draw the curtains or blind to keep the sunshine and heat out. 

6. Open a window to encourage some airflow into the darkened room.

7. Place several different bowls of water around the space to intrigue your dog and encourage them to drink often.

10 ways to keep your dogs cool in the heat

8. Consider buying a cooling mat or using a cold damp towel for your dog to lie on.

9. For dogs with white coats, consider popping some pet-safe sunscreen onto their ears if you're going for a walk or into the garden.

10. Wrap an ice pack or frozen water bottle in a tea towel, or use damp towels for your pets bed.

11. Use cold treats from the fridge for added moisture or make an ice lolly for your dog from pet-friendly ingredients.

12. Freeze your dog’s water bowl or add ice cubes to their bowl. 

13. Fill a paddling pool or spray a hose for your dog to play - but always supervise them around water, and try to avoid them getting too excited and overheating.

10 ways to keep your dogs cool in the heat

More from Animals

  • It's a Dog's Life: February is not just for Pancakes

    Teddy has discovered that the month of February is far from uneventful – with many special days to recognise and celebrate, as his human interpreter Helen Stockton explains

  • It's a Dog's Life: Cleaning Up

    The annual January household clean up makes Teddy feel a bit anxious. Helen Stockton, his human translator, explains that Teddy isn't the greatest fan of cleanliness

  • Top 10 Garden Birds to spot in Sussex

    Alice Johnson from the RSPB describes some of the species of birds you might see during the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch this January

  • Top Tips: Keep Your Pets Safe this Bonfire Night

    Bonfire Night is just around the corner. A night of fireworks and celebrations, it's fun for us, but not always for our pets.

  • Advertising Feature: Plan Bee

    Advertising Feature: The relationship between bees and humans dates back thousands of years, so its reassuring to know that Carl Slade is making beekeeping easier for both the novice and experienced apiarist; we sent Robert Veitch to meet him.

  • It’s a Dog’s Life - The Quiet Life

    Teddy is looking forward to a chilled out month of rest and relaxation, hopefully with some sunshine to bathe in, as Helen Stockton, his human translator explains.

  • What should you be looking out for in your Sussex Garden this Summer?

    A Sussex garden is not only a place of beauty and tranquility but also a haven for a diverse range of captivating wildlife. We have complied a list of some of the wildlife that you’re most likely to see in your garden this summer:

  • A Summer of Wildlife at RSPB Pulborough Brooks

    Alice Johnson from the RSPB offers her handy guide to spotting beautiful butterflies and wildflowers at this nature reserve within the Arun Valley in West Sussex

  • RSPCA Young Photographer Awards opens for entries

    Budding young photographers are being encouraged to enter the RSPCA’s high-profile national young photography competition which is now celebrating its 33rd year. 

  • PET OF THE MONTH: Ruby needs a forever home

    Raystede has many dogs that are victims of the pandemic. They have received special training and are now ready for their forever homes. This month we meet Ruby, a 2 year old Lurcher.

  • It's A Dog's Life: March Column

    Still sporting a thick winter overcoat, Teddy contemplates a trip to the doggy salon for some spring cleaning and grooming, as his human interpreter Helen Stockton explains

  • It's a Dog's Life: Other Cultures...

    As Halloween approaches, Teddy has been pondering the influence of other cultures upon our own. Told as ever by ‘Her Indoors’, the chief provider of treats, Helen Stockton

  • Ten Ways to Help Hedgehogs

    To celebrate its 10th birthday, nationwide campaign, Hedgehog Street, is asking members of the public to do 10 things to help hedgehogs throughout 2021. The campaign launched by wildlife charities People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) aims to encourage people to make their gardens more hedgehog friendly, in order to help stop the ongoing decline of Britain’s favourite mammal.