How to keep dogs & cats cool in summer

Cute grey kitten laying on back playing with happy brown golden retriever puppy

As a pet owner, we know you want to make sure that your furry friend remains happy and healthy all year round.

When the warmer months arrive, it is therefore vital to know how to keep your pup or feline cool and calm.

We have put together a handy guide to help you ensure your dogs and cats remain comfortable even when temperatures soar.



How do dogs keep cool?

Contrary to popular belief, dogs can sweat when it gets warm, but not in the same way humans do. Their sweat or merocrine glands are located in their paw pads only and activate when they are too hot to help cool them down.

However, this is not sufficient to keep dogs cool all over, and so they mainly rely on panting to regulate their temperature. Panting dispels excess air from their tongue, nasal passage, and lungs, which creates a cooling sensation when it passes over moist tissue.

Dogs also rely on something called vasodilation, a system where blood vessels bring hot blood to the surface of their skin, allowing it to cool before travelling back to the heart.

A dog’s coat is also essential in protecting them from heatstroke as it provides an additional layer of temperature regulation.



How to keep your dog cool at night?

Moving dogs away from any potential heat source, removing heavy blankets and providing them with a cooling mat are all effective ways to keep your pup comfortable while they sleep. You may also want to consider placing them slightly closer to a window or air conditioning unit for a steady cooling breeze.



How to keep dogs cool in summer?

Keeping dogs cool in summer is vital to protect them from heatstroke.

Encouraging your dog to stay in the shade and out of direct sunlight will reduce its risk of becoming overheated. In addition, ensure your pup has plenty of fresh cool water to drink throughout the day and consider going for early morning or late evening walks to avoid the hottest part of the day.

Regular grooming can also help as matting can make it difficult for heat to escape. However, be careful not to trim your dog’s coat too much through as the coat actually helps with temperature regulation.

Watch out for signs of overheating, such as heavy panting and fatigue and never leave your dog in a car even with the windows open.

How to keep a dog cool inside the house

Keeping your home nice and cool will help keep your dog feeling happy and comfortable. Closing curtains to maximise shade and placing damp towels for your pup to lie on are all effective ways to keep your dog cool.

If your dog has high energy, encourage less active games, such as freezing their dog food to keep them entertained or hiding their dog treats around the house to let them sniff them out.



How do cats keep cool?

Cats are pretty adept at cooling themselves down when they get too hot.

You usually find your feline will tend to groom themselves more during warmer temperatures; when they lick themselves, the saliva that evaporates from the fur creates a cooling sensation.

Cats will also tend to be less active during warmer months, they may sleep more and generally seek out cool surfaces to lay on around the house.

Their fur coats are also excellent at regulating body temperature.



How to keep cats cool in summer

Keeping cats cool in summer is essential to avoid them experiencing heatstroke. Although they will find ways to cool themselves down, it is helpful to have some handy tips to use when temperatures rise.

Ways to keep cats cool in hot weather:

  • Transform your cat’s favourite treats into ice lollies. Cats will love playing with it, while the icy temps will help keep them cool!
  • Keep on top of grooming to get rid of dead hair, which can trap heat.
  • Provide a constant source of fresh, clean water throughout the day.
  • Provide lots of shade and try to keep your cat out of the sun during the hottest parts of the day.



How to keep an indoor cat cool in hot weather

Keeping cats cool in heatwave conditions can be tricky, although it can be slightly easier with indoor cats. Consider investing in cooling mats for your cat to lie on or stroking your cat regularly with a wet towel. Ventilation, keeping windows open, and utilising air conditioning units will help regulate the temperature. Provide fresh water for your cat throughout the day to keep them hydrated and increase shade by closing curtains and blinds.


Asda Money Pet Insurance understands that you need peace of mind that your cat or dog will be cared for should they become unwell, which is why we offer two levels of cover, Lifetime and Time Limited, to give you the protection you need at a budget that suits.

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