White Dog with Tongue Out

Summertime is coming! It’s a wonderful time of year, but with all that extra sunshine comes higher temperatures. While some people may like a hot day, dogs have different physical needs that can impact their response to hot weather. Here are a few important things to keep in mind so that you and your pup can have a fun and safe summer!

Never EVER leave your dog alone in a car

This may seem obvious to a lot of responsible pet parents, but it is always worth repeating. The inside of a car can be 20 degrees hotter than the outside temperature within a matter of minutes. Even if it isn’t very hot outside, it can very quickly become too hot for your dog in the car. Leaving the windows open isn’t enough to keep your car at a safe temperature. If you need to run errands or go somewhere your dog can’t go inside with you, the best thing is to leave your faithful pup at home or at daycare.

Hydration and shade

Hotter weather may mean that your pup is extra thirsty. Always make sure that your dog has easy access to cool, clean water. If you don’t already have natural shade in your dog’s outdoor area, try hanging a tarp or blanket to give some cover to his or her favorite spot. Shade also makes the perfect location for an outdoor water bowl, as the water will stay cooler (just like your pup!). Keep in mind that doghouses can often be even hotter than outside due to the lack of air flow.

Check before you walk!

Just like the inside of a car, concrete and asphalt can be significantly hotter than the air outside. During the summer months, always check the temperature of the ground before you and your pup go walking. To do this, place the back of your hand against the pavement and hold it there for at least 10 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s definitely too hot for your dog’s feet.


Some dogs may benefit from a nice, short summer haircut. However, a dog’s coat isn’t just for keeping them warm. Certain breeds rely on their coats for protection from the sun and can get sunburned without them. A healthy coat can also help keep a dog cool by regulating their normal body temperature. Talk to your vet about any grooming options you’re considering for the summer.

Know the signs of heatstroke in dogs

Knowing how to tell if a dog is in trouble could very well prove to be a lifesaver. Dogs will pant to cool themselves down, but excessive panting that doesn’t resolve with rest can be a sign of heatstroke. Other things to watch out for include a dark red or purple tongue, vomiting, difficulty breathing, glazed eyes, and a rapid heartbeat. Older dogs, overweight dogs, and dogs with short muzzles are at greater risk for heatstroke.

Dogtopia’s playrooms are temperature controlled so your dog can play at any time of day or season. Let the experts play and pamper your pup while you are away – Find a location near you today!