Is it too hot to walk my dog? How to keep your dog cool in 30C heatwave

In the hot weather dogs can succumb to heat stroke very quickly, and it is incredibly important to look after your pets. Heat stroke occurs in dogs when they are no longer able to regulate their own temperature, and it can be incredibly dangerous and deadly. Some of the signs can include panting, drooling, fever, vomiting and collapse.

Is it too hot to walk my dog?

With temperatures widely expected to reach above 30C today, and the sun’s radiation expected to be “very high”, it will be too hot for dogs to be walked outside.

According to Vets Now, it is “generally safe” to walk your dogs in temperatures up to 19C, but if the temperature rises above this it is too hot for dogs to be walked. 

The Vets Now website states: “Planning on walking dogs in hot weather?

“It’s generally safe in temperatures of up to 19C (68F) but be careful when the mercury rises above this.


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“Even at temperatures as low as 20C (70F) dogs are at risk of heat stroke.

“Heat stroke in dogs is essentially a high temperature not caused by a fever.

“It occurs when dogs are no longer able to self-regulate and keep their temperature at a comfortable level.”

If you are worried your dog has heat stroke, you must contact your vet immediately or find your nearest emergency vet.


Dogs Trust is advising dog owners how they can keep their dogs cool, indoors as well as outdoors, and has provided tips on how to prevent dogs from overheating as the days get hotter this summer.

 The charity advises:

  • Avoid walking or doing activities either indoors or outdoors with your dog at the hottest times of the day, so early morning or later in the evening is often best.
  • Always take plenty of water with you when out with your dog and make sure they have access to fresh water at home at all times.
  • Tarmac can get very hot in the sun – check it with your hand before letting your dog walk on it so they don’t burn their paws. Try the ‘seven-second test’ – if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws
  • If you need to take your dog out in the car, even if travelling a short distance, avoid travelling during the hottest times of the day and never leave your dog in a car on a warm day. Not even with the window open.

If you ever see a dog in a car in distress, Dogs Trust advises that members of the public call 999. 


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Dogs Trust Veterinary Director, Paula Boyden, says: “There are so many things we can do to make sure our dogs stay happy and healthy in hot weather, but it is crucial we keep a close eye on them, even if we are playing indoors as many of us are at the moment.

“If you want to spend time in your garden with your dog, make sure they have plenty of shade and if they have shown they are comfortable around water, introduce them carefully to a shallow paddling pool in the shade.

“If you do need to head out in the car with your dog, please be very careful.

“As little as twenty minutes can prove fatal if a dog is left alone in a car on a warm day.

“Many people still believe it’s OK if the windows are left open or they’re parked in the shade, but the truth is, it’s not and we strongly advise that dog owners never leave their dog in a car on a warm day, even if it feels cool outside.”

Can dogs get sunburn?

Like humans dogs can also get sunburn, so it is important to keep your dog out of the sun while the weather is so warm.

As Vets4Pets explains: “White or thin-coated dogs are most vulnerable to UV radiation from the sun, especially on their noses and ears (and bellies for those who like to sunbathe with legs in the air!).

“Like in people, sunburn can lead to skin cancer in dogs. Sadly, development of cancer often requires surgery for treatment to remove the affected area.

“Early detection is key to managing skin cancer – keep a close eye on your dog’s skin changes. If you do notice any changes, contact your vet as soon as possible.”

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