Comprehensive Guide to Caring for and Managing Dogs in Summer

Pashu Sandesh, 30 March 2024

Dr Yogendra Singh 1 Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary Surgery and Radiology, RPS Veterinary College, Balana, Mahendergarah – 123029, Haryana, India

Dr Vipin Kumar Yadav 2 Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary Surgery and Radiology, College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, ANDUAT Kumarganj Ayodhya


As the temperatures rise during the summer months, it's crucial to pay extra attention to the well-being of our canine companions. Dogs are susceptible to heat-related illnesses such as heatstroke, dehydration, and burnt paw pads. Proper care and management are essential to ensure their safety and comfort during hot weather. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into various aspects of caring for and managing dogs in summer, covering hydration, shelter, exercise, grooming, paw care, transportation safety, signs of heat-related illnesses, and emergency procedures.

1. Hydration:

Water is essential for regulating a dog's body temperature and preventing dehydration, especially in hot weather. Ensure your dog has access to clean, fresh water at all times, both indoors and outdoors. Consider providing multiple water bowls in different areas of your home and backyard to encourage hydration. Additionally, carry a portable water bottle and collapsible bowl during outdoor activities to keep your dog hydrated on the go. Monitor your dog's water intake and refill the water bowls regularly, especially during peak heat hours.

2. Shelter:

Provide your dog with access to shade and shelter to escape the heat, whether they are indoors or outdoors. Create shaded areas in your backyard using umbrellas, canopies, or trees. Indoors, designate a cool, well-ventilated room where your dog can retreat during the hottest parts of the day. Avoid leaving your dog in direct sunlight or confined spaces with poor air circulation, such as cars or unventilated sheds, as this can lead to heat exhaustion or heatstroke.

3. Exercise:

Adjust your dog's exercise routine to avoid the hottest times of the day, typically between 10 AM and 4 PM. Schedule walks, runs, and playtime during the cooler hours in the early morning or late evening. When outdoors, choose shaded routes and avoid hot pavement or asphalt, which can burn your dog's paw pads. Take frequent breaks during exercise to allow your dog to rest and cool down. Monitor their behaviour for signs of overheating, such as excessive panting or lethargy, and adjust the intensity and duration of exercise accordingly.

4. Grooming:

Regular grooming is essential for maintaining your dog's coat and preventing overheating during the summer months. Brush your dog frequently to remove loose fur and mats, which can trap heat and humidity. Consider giving your dog a summer haircut, especially if they have long or thick fur. However, be cautious not to shave double-coated breeds, as their coats provide insulation against both heat and cold. Instead, opt for a trim to keep them comfortable without compromising their natural protection. Additionally, use a pet-safe sunscreen on exposed areas, such as the nose and ears, to prevent sunburn.

5. Paw Care:

Protect your dog's paw pads from hot surfaces, such as pavement, sand, or metal, which can cause burns and discomfort. Walk your dog on grass or shaded paths whenever possible, and avoid walking them during the hottest times of the day. Check the temperature of the ground with your hand before allowing your dog to walk on it—if it's too hot for your hand, it's too hot for your dog's paws. Consider using protective paw wax or booties to provide an additional layer of insulation and prevent burns.

6. Transportation Safety:

Never leave your dog unattended in a parked car, even for a short period, as temperatures can quickly rise to dangerous levels, leading to heatstroke or death. If you must travel with your dog in the car, ensure proper ventilation by opening windows or using air conditioning. Stop frequently to allow your dog to drink water and stretch their legs, and never leave them alone in the car, even with the windows cracked. Consider using a car harness or crate to secure your dog during travel and prevent injuries in the event of sudden stops or accidents.

7. Signs of Heat-Related Illnesses:

It's crucial to recognize the signs of heat-related illnesses in dogs and take immediate action if symptoms occur. Common signs of heatstroke and dehydration include excessive panting, drooling, rapid heartbeat, lethargy, weakness, vomiting, diarrhoea, and collapse. If you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke or dehydration, move them to a cooler area immediately, offer small amounts of water, and apply cool (not cold) water to their fur and paw pads. Contact your veterinarian or emergency animal clinic for further guidance and treatment.

8. Emergency Procedures:

In cases of severe heatstroke or dehydration, prompt veterinary intervention is crucial to prevent complications and save your dog's life. If your dog exhibits symptoms of heatstroke or dehydration, seek emergency veterinary care immediately. While en route to the veterinary clinic, continue to cool your dog with damp towels or cool water baths, focusing on the head, neck, and groin areas. Monitor their vital signs, including body temperature, breathing, and pulse, and provide supportive care as instructed by the veterinarian.


Proper care and management are essential for ensuring the safety and well-being of dogs during the summer months. By following these guidelines for hydration, shelter, exercise, grooming, paw care, transportation safety, and recognizing signs of heat-related illnesses, you can help your dog stay healthy and comfortable in hot weather. Remember to always prioritize your dog's safety and take preventive measures to avoid heat-related emergencies. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy a fun and worry-free summer with your beloved canine companion.