When the temperature climbs to over 25 °C in the shade, our dogs feel the heat. Dogs should not exert themselves excessively in the
summer heat. Long walks or bicycle rides are only possible if you go when its cool.

Summer, sun, heat: what does it mean for dogs?

Dogs react differently to the summer heat depending on their breed. While southern, short-haired breeds enjoy warm days in summer, hot temperatures are very stressful for long-haired and Nordic breeds. Dogs cannot sweat to the same extent as we humans. Their fur gets in the way: they regulate their body temperature mainly by panting. They can also release small amounts of moisture through their paws and nose. 

Keep dogs busy in summer: Consider time of day and temperatures

Most dogs take it easy in the summer heat. They look for a spot in the shade and spend a large part of the day dozing or sleeping there. Many dogs even dig a hole in the ground because it is cooler there.

Our four-legged friends still need enough exercise and the opportunity to get loose outside and play if they want to, even in summer. The most important basic rules for playing with your dog in summer include:

– Choose a suitable time of day: This includes scheduling a long walk preferably early in the morning, playing a little in the morning and then taking a break from midday to the afternoon.

– Avoid hot surfaces: Tar, stone and garden paving and similar surfaces heat up in the summer heat. There is a risk of burning sensitive dog paws.

– Adapt diet: The most important thing for dogs in summer is permanent access to fresh, cool water. The amount of food can be reduced a little or you can introduce wet food alongside your pets normal feed.

– Use water to cool down: Most dogs love to cool off with water in the summer. Whether it’s a walk by the lake, a paddling pool in the garden or playing with the water jet from the hose in the garden – water games are a must in summer.

Walks by the water keep the dog busy in the heat

Summertime is bath time – for dogs too! Many four-legged friends love jumping into the nearest stream or lake all year round, but in summer it’s more than just fun: it has a cooling effect and allows the dog to regulate its body temperature downwards. In the water, everything is allowed that otherwise provides exercise on land: ball games and longer swims will exhaust your animal companion without
overheating him.

Some dogs are not comfortable with swimming. But it’s good if at least their paws and legs get wet. Searching and retrieving games in and around water show even cautious pups that the fun in the water is (almost) even greater than on land.

Keep your dog busy in the garden: Water!

The idea of taking advantage of the cooling effect of water doesn’t stop at the garden gate. Dog owners lucky enough to have their own garden can create a veritable summer paradise for their dog. How about a paddling pool or dog swimming pool?
This should be scratch-resistant and very stable. A mortar tub from the DIY store does an excellent job. It is best to place it in the shade under a tree and fill it regularly with cool water. If that doesn’t work, lawn sprinklers and the garden hose are helpful alternatives. Catching the stream of water or running away from the approaching drops is part of the greatest fun for dogs in summer.

Many dogs also love to retreat to the shade with an old towel soaked in water. They play with it, roll around on it or even cover themselves with the towel to cool down.

Fun and games with your dog in the city

For dog owners who live with their dog in a city apartment, the summer heat is especially challenging. The morning walk can be extended as long as possible because the pavements are still cool and the parks are still empty. This is also the best time to play. Tug-of-war and search games are easy to do in a small space and are less physically demanding than running games. Searching for treats in the grass or in last year’s leaves is great fun for dogs and, at the same time, it is a great way to exercise their brains.

Refreshing fun 

Cool mornings are over and the temperatures starts to rise, most dogs will retreat to the shade on their own. It is important not to encourage the dog to engage in activities then. The only recommended exception: eating ice cream! But where does dog ice cream come from?

A quick dog friendly snack is: Simply mix water, yoghurt or cream cheese, dog biscuits, liver paste, a treat or some fruit in a small bucket and freeze. One-litre yoghurt pots and similar containers are great for this. The dog gets the chunk as a whole and can lick, gnaw and nibble on it.

5 tips to enjoy summer with your pet

– Avoid outdoor exercise at lunchtime.

– Refrain from jogging, cycling or ball games.

– Brain games are also exciting in the heat.

– Licking fun and cooling down brings homemade dog ice cream.

– Cooling off in the water is fun and healthy.

For more information on caring for pets during the summer, click here.