Lifesaving Hot Weather Tips for Dogs

Posted by 6 years ago | Permalink | Comments (8)

© / Gordo25

Living in northern Europe, we’re used to changing weather patterns, and even though most of the time it’s clouded over and drizzling rain, sometimes we experience weather like at the moment: hot, hot, hot!

While we’re all dusting off our flip-flops and our buckets and spades, it’s important to spare a thought for our animal companions. Please share this vital information with anyone you know who has an animal companion:

  • Keep dogs inside: Unlike humans, dogs can only sweat through their footpads and cool themselves by panting. Soaring temperatures can cause heat stress and be physically damaging or fatal.
  • Water and shade: If dogs must be left outside, they should be supplied with ample water and shade, and the shifting sun needs to be taken into account. Where is the animal when you are at work? Even brief periods of direct exposure to the sun during a heat wave can have life-threatening consequences.
  • Walk, don’t run: In very hot, humid weather, never exercise dogs by cycling while they try to keep up or by running them while you jog. Dogs will collapse before giving up, at which point it may be too late to save them. They can quickly become severely overheated, and an “exercise” session can turn into a medical emergency.
  • Avoid parked cars: Never, ever leave a dog in a parked car in warm weather, even for short periods with the windows slightly open. Dogs trapped inside parked cars can succumb to heatstroke within minutes – even if the car isn’t parked in direct sunlight.
  • Hot pavement: Dogs’ footpads easily burn on heated roads, pavement and sand. Test the road surface with your hand before walking a dog while the sun is out.
  • Stay alert and save a life: Keep an eye on all outdoor dogs. Make sure that they have adequate water and shelter. If you see a dog in distress, contact the RSPCA right away and give the dog immediate relief by providing water.

“When in doubt, don’t leave your dogs out”, says PETA Special Projects Manager Mimi Bekhechi. “When heat waves like this strike, it’s better to be safe than sorry and keep your animal companions indoors.”

Please share this important information with anyone you know who may have an animal companion during this life-threatening hot weather.


  • Marcus Leaks commented on June 24, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Thank you so much for writing about weather related concerns to animal safety. One of these concerns is the danger of keeping dogs in hot cars! Every year around the country, dogs die after being locked inside cars while their owners shop or run other errands. These tragic deaths are entirely preventable.

    United Animal Nations (UAN) operates the My Dog is Cool Campaign to let people know that leaving a dog in a car for even “just a few minutes” may be too long. People who want to learn more about this issue, and educate others, can find downloadable fliers and brochures on our Web site:

    Thanks again for this lifesaving article!

  • KT commented on June 25, 2010 at 10:38 am

    I have a ‘hot dogs’ warning poster on my front window because a lot of people walk their dogs passed my house.

  • Rescue Dogs commented on June 25, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Great advice! I hope everyone follows it this year and no animals suffer 🙁

  • Alaina commented on June 1, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Great article, it’ a shame though that more places aren’t dog friendly. I went to Devon recently for a camping holiday with my dogs & found there were so few places that would allow the dogs in. This makes it very difficult to take dogs on holiday sometimes & can mean that even on day trips dogs have to be left at home.

  • Lindsy Smith commented on July 3, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Shame the police didn’t check your website before they let 2 poor police dogs die in a hot police car last weekend. What fools.

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