Keeping your pug cool & safe in hot weather!

Keeping your pug cool & safe in hot weather!

The weather is warming up (at last!), and it’s surprising how soon it can affect our pug’s daily lives, long before summer officially arrives! So it’s a good idea to be prepared for it, replacing cool mats, purchasing cool jackets, changing schedules to supervise them or shifting walking or exercise times.

As a brachycephalic breed, pugs are particularly prone to heat sensitivity as they can’t cool down effectively when they pant due to the reduced space in their noses (narrower airways and shorter muzzle).

It has been found that up to three-quarters of heat-related illness in dogs seen by vets is caused by exercise in high temperatures, so please don’t take risks!

Also, if they are overweight, try to get them trimmer before it gets even warmer as they will struggle more, and likely exacerbate any other health issues they have.
Please see advice & tips on this at: FIT not FAT! | The Pug Dog Welfare & Rescue Association (

So, here’s a reminder of our Top Tips to keeping our pugs cool in warm/hot weather enabling us to enjoy the good weather when we have it! 

  • Make sure your pug has constant access to fresh water – day and night.
    • replenish water bowls often so that it is cool, and ice cubes can be added to help.
    • frozen fruit is a good natural source too.
    • paddling pools will help to cool them down and are fun too!
  • Make sure your pug has consistent access to shade and cool surfaces.
    • Remember to move sources of shade as the sun moves around gardens.
    • Provide cooling jackets and shallow paddling pools to enable your pug to cool down, and remember that carpets do not help pugs cool down, so provide cooling mats to help your pug cool down indoors and swap them for a spare cool mat regularly to ensure they are cool.
    • DO NOT rely on fans alone to cool your pugs down as they are not as effective on pets as they are on us.
  • Plan your walks.
    • Walk your pug in the early morning or late in the evening if the temperatures are cool enough and try to stick to shaded areas.
    • If the mornings/evenings are still warm – DO NOT walk your pug!

Remember, no dog has ever died from missing a walk, but dogs die from being walked when it is too warm, particularly if overweight, elderly or very young.

  • The Seven Second Test
    • Tarmac can get very hot in the sun – hold your hand against the tarmac for 7 seconds. If it’s too hot for your hand DO NOT walk your pug as they could burn their paws.
  • Avoid travelling with your dog in a car when it’s hot
    • If a journey is absolutely necessary, make sure they are in the shade, have air flowing around them and can access drinking water.
    • Cooling mats are useful also when travelling on warm days.
    • Make regular stops to check on them.

NEVER leave your pug in a car on a hot day – even if it’s just for a couple of minutes, or even if you have left the windows open. Pugs can die in hot cars in minutes if conditions are against them!!!



This is an extremely dangerous condition that can develop if a dog gets too hot. Normal body temperature tends to be between 38-39°C (100.4-102.2°F), this can rise a bit if they are unwell with a fever.

If your dog’s body temperature goes above 40°C (104°F) they are at risk of heatstroke, which can cause seizures, organ damage, internal bleeding, coma and even death. Heatstroke is more dangerous the longer it lasts, so the quicker your dog is cooled down and treated by a vet, the better their chance of a full recovery.

It’s important to be aware of the SIGNS OF HEATSTROKE, which include:

  • Excessive panting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Drooling
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Bright red or very pale gums
  • Bloody Diarrhoea
  • Mild weakness/Lethargy
  • Stupor
  • Collapse & Seizures
  • Vomiting, bloody also
  • Drowsy and uncoordinated

If your pug experiences any of these symptoms, please seek the advice of your vet immediately.

Further information can be found at these useful sites:

Heatstroke in dogs – PDSA

Heatstroke in dogs | Dog health | The Kennel Club

Pug Health & Wellbeing | The Pug Dog Welfare & Rescue Association (

Pug Health & Wellbeing

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