9 Tips for Exercising Your Dog in Warm Weather

Summer has arrived! The flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, and temperatures are on the rise. While this may be music to the ears of some, the promise of hot weather can be worrying for dog owners.

Unfortunately, warm weather comes with many health hazards for our furry friends, including the risk of dehydration and heatstroke.

So, how do we keep our dogs healthy and active in summer without overdoing it? Keep reading as we share our tips for exercising your dog in warm weather and how to keep your pup cool.

In this post, we’ll cover:

  • What temperature is too hot to walk dogs?

  • Is it dangerous to walk dogs on a warm day?

  • Heatstroke

  • Tips for exercising your dog in warm weather

What temperature is too hot to walk dogs? 

Generally, most dogs are comfortable in temperatures between 15 – 25 °C, but other factors such as breed, age, size, and coat length can also affect how a dog copes in warm weather. Plus, some pooches naturally struggle to maintain a low body temperature, even when the weather is cooler.

Anything up to 19°C is considered suitable for a  dog walk, while temperatures between 12°C to 15°C are ideal. Once the temperature reaches 20°C, your dog is much more at risk of experiencing heatstroke.

Is it dangerous to walk dogs on a warm day?

Yes, venturing out on warm days, especially during the hottest point of the day can be dangerous for your dog.  

Be mindful that your dog is likely to be more at risk of heatstroke when temperatures rise above 20°C. Beat the heat by heading out for an early morning walk or evening stroll when the sun isn’t high in the sky and it’s cooler.


Heatstroke occurs when a dog gets too hot, and their body is unable to cope with the internal rise in temperature.

Our furry friends usually cool down by panting and releasing heat through their paw pads and nose, but sometimes this isn’t enough to lower their temperature.

The most common cause of heatstroke in dogs is from exercising on hot days as their bodies simply generate too much heat. Unfortunately, heatstroke can come on very quickly and as your dog’s internal temperature rises, they can become severely unwell.

Symptoms of heatstroke

Below are the most common symptoms of heatstroke in dogs:

  • Heavy panting and difficulty breathing

  • Stiffness or unwillingness to move

  • Your dog may seem lethargic, drowsy, or uncoordinated

  • Vomiting (which can be bloody)

  • Upset stomach (which can also be bloody)

  • Excessive drooling

  • Collapse

If you think your dog is suffering from heatstroke, it’s important to act quickly. Contact your vet straight away while trying to keep your pup cool.

In the meantime, to help a dog with heatstroke you can:

  • Stop them from exercising and move them to a shaded area or onto a cool floor.

  • Offer them small amounts of cool (not freezing) water.

  • Gently pour water over their body, paying attention to their neck, tummy, and inner thighs.

  • Fan them with cool air – the impact of this will be even greater if they’re already wet.

Remember, when it comes to your beloved dog it’s always best to be safe than sorry. If you suspect they have heatstroke, contact your vet straight away and they’ll guide you through how best to help your dog.

9 Tips for Exercising Your Dog in Warm Weather

1. Make sure your dog has access to water

Always have a water bottle and collapsible water bowl or a travel dog water bottle with you when out and about with your dog. Even if you’re just in a back garden or yard, keep your dog’s water topped up. And, if you’re on the go, stop for water breaks every 15 minutes or so.


2. Limit the intensity and distance  

Your dog’s exercise needs will depend on a few factors, like their activity levels, age, breed, and general health. However, in warm weather, it’s advisable to shorten your walks or opt for a few short strolls rather than a long period of walking. If you tend to run with your dog, try replacing this with a walk to be on the safe side.  

3. Exercise in the morning or later in the evening

We’re sure your dog is already your alarm clock, and during the warmer months, it’s best to make the most of your canine clock and wake up earlier for walkies. Temperatures are much cooler early in the morning and later in the evening, so it’s best to only exercise outside during these times.  

4. Take regular breaks  

When you’re out and about, remember to take regular breaks. Even if your dog seems happy and unphased by the warm weather, it’s important for them to rest and recuperate with some water, ideally in a shaded area.  

5. Pick places with shade and grassy areas  

When out with your dog on warm days, choose spaces that have access to shaded and grassy areas, like a backyard that has a shaded spot, a safe woodland area, or a park with trees.  

The key thing is to try and keep your pooch out of direct sunlight, so avoid open fields and pavement walks, especially as the pavement can get very hot. Sand can also get very hot, so be careful on beach trips (remember, if a surface is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your pup’s paws).


6. Enjoy indoor activities

If your home isn’t too hot, it can make a great alternative to the great outdoors. Plus, it means your pup can take a rest break whenever they like!

You could treat your dog to some new dog toys and play retrieval games or tug-of-war or mix things up a bit and play a game of tag or find and seek (where you hide and call their name to find you).

You could also stuff some peanut butter or plain yoghurt inside a hollow dog toy and pop it in the freezer. This makes for a yummy frozen puzzle toy for your dog, and it’ll keep them busy for a while!

Create a cool treat for your dog by stuffing this toy with peanut butter and freezing it - yum!

7. Groom your dog regularly

 Keeping on top of your pooch’s grooming regime will help get rid of excess hair and make their coat less dense, which is much better for keeping cool when temperatures soar.  

8. Consider a walking harness rather than a collar 

When a dog’s lead is attached to their collar, it can pull on their airways and stop them from cooling effectively. (Just remember that when you’re out and about, it’s a legal requirement for your pooch to wear a collar and ID tag).



9. Have a splashing good time

There are lots of refreshing ways that water can help cool your pooch down!

  • Put down a damp towel for your dog – this will provide them with a lovely cool place to lie down. Just make sure not to put the towel on top of your dog as this could trap in heat.

  • You can spray your dog with cool water or put them in a cool bath (but only if they seem to like the experience).

  • Lots of dogs also like splashing about in a paddling pool (again, don’t force your dog in the pool if they’re not keen).

  • Put ice cubes in your dog’s water bowl for a wonderfully refreshing icy drink. You could also freeze treats or water inside a hollow dog toy for your pooch to enjoy.


Yappy to Help

We hope you’ve found this post helpful when it comes to exercising your dog in warm weather.

For more summer-related posts, make sure to check out our post on why dogs eat grass, and how dogs get fleas.

Yappy.com is a personalised pet product shop for dog and cat lovers, simply select a breed and icon and add your pet’s name to reveal a personalised shop just for you and your pet!

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