How to keep your dog cool in warm weather

Summer is coming, which means sunshine and higher temperatures. For many people this means getting out to bask in the glorious sunshine as much as they can - but for dogs, it’s a different story. 
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and #TeamOtisUK have joined other animal welfare charities to help spread the word on caring for dogs during the warmer climate. 
Dogs can’t cool themselves down by sweating like humans can, so they rely on the heat being released through their paws and through panting. However, this cooling system isn’t very efficient in a hot environment, so overheating can easily occur which can cause dehydration, heatstroke and even death.
Know the signs of heat exposure and dehydration in dogs:

  • Excessive panting or salivating/dry mouth and gums
  • Bloodshot or sunken eyes
  • Lethargy or unsteadiness
  • Skin lacking elasticity
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Contact a vet immediately if any of these symptoms occur in hot weather. 
  • Never leave a dog in the car unattended regardless of whether it’s parked in a shaded area or if there’s a gap in the window. A car becomes like an oven - even when it might not feel warm to humans. The temperature inside a car can be double the outside temperature within an hour. 

If you see a dog that has been left in the car on their own in warm weather, Battersea and #TeamOtisUK strongly advise you to call the emergency services – they take these calls seriously. 
Battersea’s and #TeamOtisUK’s top tips for keeping your dog cool:

  • Don’t leave a dog unattended in any confined space - including conservatories or caravans.
  • Take them for a walk early morning or later in the day. The hottest time of the day is around 3pm so avoid taking the dog out during this time and don’t exercise them too vigorously.
  • Keep them hydrated! Take a supply of cold fresh water and a portable bowl with you when out and about. Stop regularly so they can take in water. 
  • Avoid taking your dog on a walk along hot surfaces like tarmac. Dogs absorb and release heat through their paws – they won’t be able to do this sufficiently if they’re already on a hot surface, opt for grassy walks instead.
  • Find suitable shaded areas when outdoors. 
  • Keep them cool – one inventive way to do this is to spray cool (not ice cold) water on your dog including the paws and stomach. A wet towel in the shade to lay on can also do the trick or even a paddling pool.
  • Sun burn can occur in dogs too - apply dog-friendly UV protection sun cream to exposed or sensitive areas of the skin such as the nose or back.
  • Ice lollies for dogs or anything that has a high water content is always a great way to keep dogs cool. Ice lollies can be filled with dog-friendly ingredients such as frozen broth or frozen yoghurt.
  • Frequent brushing keeps the undercoat maintained which is part of the dog’s natural cooling system.

-ENDS-

For more information and images please contact 020 7627 9332 or email press@battersea.org.uk
Notes to editors  

  • The ‘Dogs Die in Hot Cars’ campaign group is made up of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Blue Cross, British Veterinary Association, Dog’s Trust, The Kennel Club, The Mayhew Animal Home, National Animal Welfare Trust, National Police Chiefs Council, PDSA, RSPCA, #TeamOtisUK and Wood Green The Animals Charity.

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

  • Established in 1860, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home aims never to turn away a dog or cat in need of our help, caring for them until their owners or loving new homes can be found, no matter how long it takes. We are champions for, and supporters of, vulnerable dogs and cats, determined to create lasting changes for animals in our society.  
  • In addition to the site in South West London, the Home also has two other centres based at Old Windsor, Berkshire and Brands Hatch, Kent. 
  • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home receives no central government funding towards the care of its dogs and cats and relies on the generosity and support of the public to help care for lost and abandoned dogs & cats. To make a donation visit our website or call 0207 627 7883. 
  • For further information on Battersea Dogs & Cats Home please visit www.battersea.org.uk. 
  • Follow Battersea on Twitter @BDCH or facebook.com/Battersea 

#TeamOtisUK

  • #TeamOtisUK was founded in July 2015 by Claire Grundy following the many reports of dogs left in hot cars at the shopping centre where Claire works as Deputy Manager. 
  • They believe no animal should be left in an unsuitable environment to cause any level of suffering. 
  • The main purpose of the group is to raise awareness of the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car (or a confined space) and engage in the correct and consistent information and procedures to members of the public. 
  • For further information about #TeamOtisUK, visit facebook.com/TeamOtisUK or follow TeamOtisUK on Twitter, or Instagram @TeamOtisUK