5 Ways To Help Keep Our Dogs Cool On Walks In The Heat

Beautiful dog english bulldog outdoors walkingIn Los Angeles, we are experiencing high temperatures this Spring that feel more like July than March.  Both today and tomorrow will be over 90 degrees in Sherman Oaks, when the average temperature for this time of year is in the 70’s.  When walking dogs on hot weather days, there are precautions we should all take to help keep our dogs cool on walks in the heat.  Otherwise, you may put your dogs at risk for overheating or burning their paw pads. Some dogs have better heat tolerance than others but it is still important to take precautions for the safety of our dogs.

5 ways to help keep our dogs cool on walks in the heat

  1. If possible, avoid walking dogs midday or in the afternoons during high heat.  Walk dogs in the early to mid-morning hours or after the sun goes down in the evening.
  2. Find areas that have lots of shade on the sidewalk or street even if this mean driving your dog to a different neighborhood.
  3. Bring water and a portable water bowl allowing your dog to hydrate and take rest breaks on the walk.  I like bringing the Handi Drink Water Bottle on walks in the heat.  The bottle for the water fits nicely into a plastic carrier that then serves as the bowl.  The Handi Drink Water Bottle also comes with a strap to carry it over your shoulder or a clip to attach to your belt loop.
  4. Get summer booties to protect your dogs’ paw pads from the hot ground.  If the ground is hot to your hand when touching it then it is too hot for your dogs’ paw pads.  To see a variety of summer dog booties available for purchase, check out this selection of dog summer booties at AllDogBoots.com.
  5. Bring a wet towel or spray bottle filled with cool water to place or spray on your dogs.  Or, if you find a lawn with sprinklers running or that looks real wet, see if your dogs want to run through sprinklers or roll on the wet grass to cool them down.

Do you have other ideas for how to keep our dogs cool on walks in the heat?

31 Comments

  • Jillian says:

    I’m so jealous of the weather in LA! I’m in Ohio and we just can’t seem to have a nice day! Thanks for sharing these tips — once the weather is nice here I might have to try out those summer booties! 🙂

  • Hi Jillian. I would love to trade some of this heat for rain. We desperately need it in Los Angeles. I hope Spring comes to you soon.

  • Carol says:

    This is great info! I like to use the “barefoot test.” If it’s too hot for me to walk on it barefoot, it’s too hot for my pups. I also keep fresh water available at all times. I’m definitely going to check out your link to All Dog Boots.

  • The ‘barefoot test’ is a great way to check if the ground is too hot for our dogs to walk on in the heat. I wish more people would give this a try before heading out on walks with their dogs. We need to make sure we are keeping our pups safe at all times. I think you will be surprised by all the varieties of summer booties available for dogs on All Dog Boots. I know I was.

  • Jana Rade says:

    We’ve always been conscious of this, particularly since Rotties are not too fond of heat. Right now still got snow, though.

  • Walks are very important for us… since it is more important that I am walking, I often bring along a stroller for my girls if it gets to hot for them. I also check the temp of the pavement… its such a crazy spring so far and these temps are horrible, though I don’t think that here in San Joaquin Valley we are getting as hot as all you SoCal peeps.

  • Good information! My dog hates getting sprayed, but water at the park is a must, and I bring a little collapsible bowl, too. I use Natural Dog’s Pawtector as well as a sort of coating to help protect his feet (again, hates boots!) and it works well in winter for snow and salt as well

  • Yes, you have to be real careful in heat with Rotties. Do they like the snow?

  • How great that you always bring a stroller along for your girls in case the pavement gets too hot or your girls get too hot or tired on your walks.

  • I need to check out Natural Dog’s Pawtector. I haven’t tried to spray my own dogs with cool water but I have used a wet cool towel on them before to help keep them cool in the heat.

  • Robin says:

    Great suggestions! It is so important to protect our pets from extreme weather. Right now it is snowing here, so I’m a little jealous of your weather!

  • Kia says:

    These are some great tips with the real Spring weather coming our way soon! Especially the tip about the hot ground. I didn’t even think about it when I took Simba out a year or two ago and he hurried and got off that hot sidewalk! Thanks for sharing.

  • I bet you have good cold weather tips for when it is snowing that we don’t know about in Los Angeles given it barely rains or gets cold enough to snow.

  • It is important to watch our dogs behaviors at all times. They are communicating with us through the actions. You learned on your own about feeling the ground after being so observant with your Simba.

  • We used to live in Miami so know just how hot it can get in the summer! Walking in the middle of the day were only a fraction of what a morning or evening walk was so that we could get out of the HOT sun. Even though it can still get pretty much as hot where we are now we don’t go for walks on the street at least not on a regular basis. We have the fenced in yard and so they get to play on the grass as much as they want but usually head over to where I am standign with them or to the door to say it is time to go in and get water and cool off.

  • Jen Gabbard says:

    Wonderful ideas – especially bringing water. We go to the park quite often and I see a lot of dog owners out there that don’t appear to have any water for their dogs. It’s somewhat puzzling as that’s one of the first things I pack up. Luckily we don’t have to deal with too much extreme heat here; I couldn’t imagine how rough it’s got to be for some dogs living in the south or east.

  • Hydration for our pets when it’s hot is so important and we live in a similar climate to yours … these are great tips.

  • Thanks for reminding us how important it is. I live where it doesn’t get hot often, but when it does, I need to remember these tips!

  • Great tips! We do most of these already, so it’s good to know I’m doing something right!

  • Anne says:

    Pawesome tips (yeah I said that, lol). Seriously, I’m so glad you posted this. Wish more people would test the ground before taking Fido out! I’m so glad you linked to the summer booties site, b/c my JJ has very sensitive paw pads (from years on the streets b4 rescue) and also a permanently disabled front paw – I’ve been looking for something like this forever – THANK you! 🙂

  • MyDogLikes says:

    These are great tips! Our golden boys sure can get warm…we are still waiting for the snow to melt here!

  • We hope you find summer protective booties to help keep JJ’s paw pads safe from the heat.

  • We think there are many people who don’t take safety risks into consideration when walking their dogs in the heat. Even worse is when someone leaves their dog in a car on a hot day.

  • We tend to walk out dogs on our local Greenway, which the section we walk is shaded and runs next to a river. At the halfway point we swim the dogs in the river for a cool down and a drink, then walk back. Once we are back to the truck we water them again and have the AC going full for them. (All our pups are northern working/herding dogs with thick double coats)

  • How lucky to have this shaded section of a Greenway for walking your northern working/herding dogs with double thick coats when it is hot that leads into a river for a drink and cool down. I wish I had that by my house. We shorten the length of our walks during hot weather and adjust the times of the day we go for all our walks.

  • One thing that works for me with my dogs is wet doggie teeshirts. I buy plain dog teeshirts and soak them in lukewarm water and put them on the dogs. It keeps the cool fabric in contact with their chests and bellies and seems to help a lot. As they dry, I just pour on a bit more lukewarm water. I don’t use cold because I know it can shock humans and I assume it does the same to dogs.

  • Jennifer Shafton says:

    This is a great idea for keeping dogs cool on walks in the heat if they don’t mind getting wet.

  • The fastest way to cool down a dog is to wet the pads of their feet with water or alcohol.

  • Jennifer Shafton says:

    Thank you for sharing this tip for cooling down a dog in the heat. Have you used your tip before for your own dog or another dog?

  • Micki says:

    Hi, all great ideas. Was looking for more ideas as it’s already super hot (100 degrees) down here in Texas. I pretty much do the same except for the booties and if that’s hot…we just wait to walk till its cooler. I’m definitely going to check out the water bottle you speak of. Currently we have our “walk bag” that I carry with us. It’s just an old over the shoulder. easy to get to everything bag that I keep.our little bowl, water bottles and pepper spray in. Never had to use the pepper spray thank goodness but out here in rural Texas its always a good idea to have.

  • Jennifer Shafton says:

    I commend you as a dog parent for being so well prepared and cautious when walking your dog in the heat. I also love how you bring your ‘walk bag’ with all your dog walking supplies. I hope the extreme heat lets up soon.

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