top of page

Keeping Your Dog Cool in a Heatwave


by Ellie Dennie



Whew, what a hot summer! While a heatwave is difficult for dog owners to contend with, our animals are finding it even harder. Here are some tips to keep them cool:


1) Dogs don't sweat, and can't cool down easily. Best to provide them exercise in the cool of the morning as well as an evening to prevent stressing their systems. Exercise is best limited to slow 10-15 minute walks. If your dog is a ball enthusiast, then short five-minute plays are best before heading back into air conditioning. More frequent--but shorter--periods of outdoor exercise and play avoid your dog from overheating. 


2) With the evenings staying hot, air conditioning and a treadmill are a wonderful combination to keep your dogs happy and healthy, both mentally and physically. Treadmills are easy to adjust to your dog's needs. You can set the speed at a slow-paced walk for your older, low-energy pals, or at a low trot for the more energetic ones. Don't exercise more than one dog at a time on a treadmill to avoid unnecessary injury, and never leave them unsupervised while the machine is running.


3) A clear sign your dog is overdoing it is a lolling tongue. This means the tongue is wide and hanging out further than usual and panting excessively. Some dogs will stop when they've had enough. Others will want to keep going, so it's up to you to say when it's time to quit. With older dogs and those with health issues, five-minute backyard let-outs should suffice.



4) Of course, provide fresh, cool water at regular intervals. If outside, keep the bowl in a location that's shaded at all times. Burnt noses and tongues can lead to negative association with water, and we don't want to provide an unpleasant experience, resulting in our dogs avoiding water dishes. 


5) Kiddy pools are also great to help our pals cool down while having fun. Again, remember to a pool in a shady area or it won't provide much of a cooling experience. 


6) Supervision is a must to prevent dogs from guzzling large quantities of water and making themselves sick. Unexpected distractions can interrupt supervision, so be sure the water is not deeper than standing shoulder height--the neck and head should be completely visible above water, with paws planted firmly on the bottom.


Stay safe, hydrated and have fun!















Ellie Dennie is the owner and operator of Best Paws Forward, which provides boarding and daycare for pets in Scarborough, ON.









bottom of page