How to help your pet in hot weather

Keeping your pets safe in hot weather is really important for their health. Take a look at some simple steps you can take to make sure your dog or cat stays cool.

    Published:30 November 2023

    A sunny day is a treat for most of us, but hot weather can be uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous for our four-legged friends. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your dog or cat stays cool.


      It’s important to keep your dog or cat hydrated during hot days, so top up their water bowl regularly with clean, fresh water.

      If you and your dog are getting out and about more, it’s important to remember to take your pooch water and make regular pitstops during walks and car journeys.

        Create shade

        Loads of us love to get outside on a lovely summer’s day, but direct sunshine can quickly get your pet hot and bothered. If you don’t have trees or shrubs creating shade in the garden, then why not create your own ‘DIY sun den’ by hanging sheets or blankets over washing lines or branches?

          Avoid the hottest part of the day

          If us humans ran around in sweltering heat, we’d start to get quite uncomfortable. The same goes for dogs. When temperatures rise, avoid walking your dog in the middle portion of the day and instead head out earlier in the morning or in the evening. It’s best to walk in shaded areas if possible and think about reducing the length of your walk.

          The same goes for cats, who might want to sunbathe during the lunchtime heat. Limiting their time outside to cooler parts of the day will help them to enjoy the summer safely.

            Take care of their paws

            Surfaces like asphalt, concrete or even sandy beaches can heat up and stay hot for a long time in direct sunlight. Walking your dog on these hot surfaces can easily burn their paws, causing pain and sometimes even blisters, so try to avoid these areas – your pooch will thank you for it. If you want to make sure the road surface is safe, you can touch it with the back of your hand - if it’s too hot for your hand then it’s too hot for your dog.


              While not all dogs and cats will need regular grooming, those with long hair are much more likely to overheat in the summer, so staying on top of grooming during the hotter months is essential. Brushing daily will remove their thick undercoat and any excess fur, leaving them much cooler and summer-ready.

              Adding water to the mix can also do the trick – stroking them with wet hands can help to cool down thicker fur. Or provide a damp towel or blanket for them to lie on.

                Spot the signs of heatstroke

                Especially common in dogs, heatstroke happens when animals are no longer able to regulate their body temperature.

                Spotting the signs of heatstroke and acting quickly is very important, as left unchecked, heatstroke can be fatal.

                If your dog is panting excessively and drooling, vomiting or has diarrhoea and feels weak, move them to a cool area and contact a vet immediately.

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                    Important information

                    Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd.

                    The content on this page aims to offer an informative introduction to the subject matter but does not constitute expert advice specific to your own situation. All facts were correct at time of publication and were compiled using a range of sources.

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