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Top Ideas To Keep Your Small Dog Cool In Hot Weather

Updated: Feb 22

a cool Jack Russell dog wearing sunglasses in a car

Keep your small dog cool in summer

If you have a small dog, you know how much they love to play outside, especially in the summer.

But did you know that dogs can overheat easily and suffer from heatstroke? That's why it's important to keep your dog cool and comfortable when the temperature rises.

As the summer sun brings soaring temperatures, it becomes paramount to understand the ways of ensuring your cherished small breed dog stays cool and safe while enjoying the sunshine.

Here are some tips on how to do that.

At Mary Puppins Luxury Dog Home Boarding, we recognise the significance of keeping our small breed dogs and toy dog breeds comfortable during the warmer months.

Here are some valuable insights to help you provide a refreshing experience for your furry family member while seeing to their well-being.

Ensuring your pup stays cool is super important; it's not just about comfort but their overall well-being.

These tips will keep your furry family feeling cool as a cucumber during the summer.

And if you need a spot where your dog can chill out, have fun, and get spoiled while you're on holiday, give Mary Puppins Luxury Dog Home Boarding a call.

We're all about providing a cool, homey atmosphere for your four-legged family, complete with snug beds, gourmet grub, and loads of TLC.


"Never leave dogs in hot cars, conservatories, outbuildings or caravans on a warm day (even if only for a short while). Use pet-safe sun cream on exposed parts of your pet's skin, such as the tips of their ears and nose, to avoid sunburn.

Ensure pets always have access to shade and fresh drinking water to help keep them cool. Put ice cubes into your dog's water bowl or make some tasty ice cube treats. You could also freeze a kong with treats and water!" RSPCA


Hydration is Key

Make sure your dog has access to fresh water at all times.

Water helps regulate their body temperature and prevent dehydration. Ensuring a constant supply of fresh drinking water is essential.

You can also add ice cubes to their water bowl or give them frozen treats to cool them down.

Avoid giving them alcohol or caffeinated drinks, as these can make them more thirsty and dehydrated.

Consider introducing paddling pools to grant your dog the freedom to cool down as they please.

To enhance their comfort, lay out wet towels or specialised dog cooling mats.

Showering their legs and belly with cold water aids in temperature regulation.

Elevate their style with a cooling coat or fashionable bandana to beat the heat.

Shade and Rest

Provide your small dog with a shady spot to rest.

Avoid direct sunlight and hot surfaces like asphalt, concrete or metal, as these can burn their paws and skin.

You can also use a fan, a wet towel or a cooling mat to help your dog stay cool.

If you have a pool or a sprinkler, let your dog splash around in the water, but make sure they don't drink too much of it or swallow any chemicals.

We advocate for the provision of ample shady cool spots for your dog's relaxation, whether indoors or beneath the sheltering embrace of trees and gazebos.

Pamper your furry companion with homemade frozen dog food treats, perfect for a refreshing indulgence.

Tailored Dog Walks

Limit your small dog's physical activity during the hottest hours of the day.

Exercise can raise their body temperature and increase their risk of heatstroke. If you want to play with your dog, do it in the early morning or evening, when it's cooler.

Choose games that don't require too much running or jumping, like fetch or tug-of-war.

And always monitor your dog for signs of overheating, such as panting, drooling, weakness or confusion.

Exercise, while crucial, requires a mindful approach.

Plan your dog walks for the cool early morning or late evening hours to mitigate overheating risks.

When treading on hard surfaces, be wary of tarmac's potential to scorch sensitive paws. A simple touch test—If it's too hot for your hand, it's too hot for your dog—ensures their comfort.

For older, overweight, or breathing-compromised dogs, exercise caution.

Recognising Heatstroke

It's vital to keep your dog cool as heatstroke poses risks, particularly for brachycephalic breeds such as French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, and Pugs.

Be vigilant for symptoms like heavy panting, excessive drooling, lethargy, vomiting, and collapsing.

Finally, if you need to leave your small dog alone for a while, make sure they are in a cool and well-ventilated place.

Never leave your dog in a car, even with the windows open. The temperature inside a car can rise quickly and become deadly for your small dog.

If you have to travel with your dog, bring plenty of water and stop frequently to let them cool off.


"Feed your dog at cooler times of the day - your dog's appetite may be affected by hot weather. Create a cool space in your house by picking the coolest area of your home, and if possible provide a cooling mat or cold damp towel for your dog to lie on." Guide Dogs


What constitutes as hot weather for dogs?

If the temperature is above 20 degrees centigrade, be aware of the impact the warm weather might have on your dog.

When the mercury reaches 25 degrees, great care should be taken to prevent your dog from getting too hot and risking heatstroke.

For the most part, dogs cannot tolerate the heat outside when it reaches 90 degrees.

What are the effects of temperature on dogs?

Dogs may occasionally find it challenging to tolerate extreme heat and are more at risk of heatstroke than we are.

As a dog's body temperature increases, heatstroke can be quite severe and can result in organ failure.

Low dog temperature can be just as dangerous as high temperature in dogs. When your dog's temperature dips, their internal systems will slow.

How to prevent heat exhaustion in dogs?

Offer shade, moist food, cooling mats, frozen treats, and cool water.

Never leave pets in hot cars, and avoid doing intense activity on hot days.

How to protect dogs' paws from hot pavements and artificial grass?

Before you leave the house:

Observe the seven-second rule and feel the surface for heat.

When the surfaces are colder, walk in the early morning or late at night.

Invest in booties to prevent scorching paws.

How to keep dogs cool at home?

Feed your dog at cooler times of the day.

Create a cool space in your house by picking the coolest area of your home, and provide a cooling mat, or our dog should lie on a cool, moist towel.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider

At Mary Puppins Luxury Dog Home Boarding, we prioritise the well-being of your dogs during doggy holidays and their everyday lives.

Should your dog exhibit signs of heatstroke, seek immediate veterinary dog health care.

Trust in Mary Puppins to ensure your small breed dogs and toy breed dogs relish the summer in cool comfort and safety.

BOOK NOW via our website. We have limited places and get booked up super fast. Give your little dog the five-star VIP holiday they deserve, while you enjoy yours.

Mary Puppins dog boarding Cheshire

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mary puppins expert small dog breeds uk

Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny and expert in small breed dogs. With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families, Kate shares her top tips with you. Kate guides readers on small breed dogs, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate luxury lifestyle for their small dogs.


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