Paws at Dawn and Dusk: Tips for Walking Your Furry Friend Safely

Walking your dog is a great way to bond with them, as well as keep them healthy and happy. But did you know that during the summer months, there are certain times of day when it’s better for your dog to go out?


The #DogsDieOnHotWalks campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of walking your dog during hot weather. The campaign encourages owners not only because it’s more comfortable for them (and their humans), but also because it can help prevent overheating, especially in dogs who may be susceptible to heat-related illness due to age or breed.

It’s not unusual for dogs to need vet care for heat-related illnesses after exercise. In fact, it affects 10 times more dogs than those overheating in cars.

Many of us are aware of the dangers of leaving your dog in a car on a warm day. Now we want to spread the word that exercising your dog in hot weather could cause them just as much harm

The #DogsDieOnHotWalks campaign is a great way to raise awareness of the dangers of walking your dog in hot weather. It’s also a good way to connect with other dog owners and share tips on how to keep your pets safe from heatstroke, which can be fatal if not treated quickly.

“Join the ‘Paws at Dawn and Dusk’ movement – capture the fur-fabulous moments of your furry friend’s morning and evening walks!” 

#DogsatDawn and #DogsatDusk is a new social movement as part of the Dogs Die On Hot Walks Campaign and we would love our Outdoor Guide friends to join in! 

Let’s help our furry friends beat the heat this summer! By joining in the #DogsatDawn #DogsatDusk social movement when taking your pup for a walk during the cooler hours of the day you will be helping to spread awareness about the dangers of heat-related illness and exhaustion in dogs as well as enabling the public to easily access help and advice. 

All you need to do to join in is Snap a picture of your pup and by using the #DogsatDawn #DogsatDusk hashtag you will be sharing your post to spread the word about the #DogsDieOnHotWalks campaign! 

Together, we can ensure our dogs stay happy and healthy in the summer sun.

If you’re interested in joining this movement or just learning more about it, here are some things you should know:

Dogs are more likely than humans to suffer from heatstroke because their bodies don’t have ways of regulating temperature like ours do (we sweat). They also have less body fat than us so they don’t have much protection against extreme temperatures either!


Tips for Exercising with Your Dog in the Summer

  • Choose the right time of day. In the summer, it’s best to exercise with your dog early in the morning or late at night. This is because dogs are more active during these times and will be less likely to get overheated than if you were exercising them in the middle of a hot day.
  • Bring plenty of water and make sure that both you and your dog have access to it throughout your workout so that neither of you gets dehydrated while working out together!
  • Choose the right type of exercise and avoid running or biking with your dog. If possible, avoid exercising on pavement or concrete surfaces which can burn paws from overheating quickly due to high temperatures reflected from these surfaces back up towards them (this is called “radiation heat transfer”). Instead, try walking through grassy areas where there isn’t as much direct sunlight hitting them directly off nearby objects such as buildings or roadsides–this way they’ll stay cooler longer even though they’re still getting some sun exposure!
  • Make sure you are aware of the signs of heatstroke and how to treat your furry companions.

What are the signs?

  • Heavy panting and difficulty breathing
  • Excessively drooling
  • The dog appears lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated
  • Collapsed or vomiting

What To Do

For the best chance of survival, dogs suffering from heatstroke urgently need to have their body temperature lowered.

STOP further heating by stopping exercise or further heat exposure, remove the dog from hot vehicles or buildings, get the dog out of the sun into the shade or create shade where possible.

COOL by pouring any available water that is cooler than the dog over their body while avoiding the head, then creating a breeze using a fan, air conditioning or by opening windows.


TRANSPORT the dog to your nearest vet’s practice, with the air conditioning on or windows open. Make sure to call ahead to let your vet know you are on your way and the urgency of the situation.


What about when the weather is too hot to handle?

We all remember the summer of 2022, many of us were wishing we could shed a layer of skin never mind our clothing, in a bid to keep cool. Sadly for our dogs whilst a good haircut and brush help to keep them cool, they are less able to take off their fur and regulate their body temperatures. So when the weather is scorching don’t take them out, keep them entertained and cool at home and remember cool dogs are happy dogs!

When it’s really hot – if in doubt, don’t take them out! There are plenty of things you can do in the home that will keep your dog happy and healthy when the temps are high. 

Enrichment in the home

Whilst your dog may look disappointed that you’re leaving them at home for a few hours while you go out – it really is in their best interest on a hot day. As long as they have managed to have a dawn or late evening walk and you are not leaving them for longer than four hours they should be happy either napping or with some things to do. Preparing a Kong with mashed banana or dog food and then freezing it is a great long-lasting treat for a hot day. Lick mats are also a helpful addition as dogs also take comfort in licking. You might even want to hide some treats around the house or leave them their favourite toy.

Make sure, if you have a conservatory, your dog does not have access and when you go out they are left in a cool place and the conservatory doors are shut tight so they don’t wander in and get stuck if a door shuts on them.

Concerned that they may have separation anxiety – check out this DogKind Campaign which looks specifically at separation-related behaviours and what to do should your dog show signs. 

Blog Author: RSPCA