Greyhounds & Hot Weather

Greyhounds & Hot Weather are not a good mix. You need to protect your greyhound or lurcher.

Greyhounds & Hot Weather

Greyhounds & Hot Weather are not a good mix. You need to protect your greyhound or lurcher.  

Heatstroke and Hyperacute Exertional Rhabdomyolysis (HER) – Dogs In Hot Weather.

We all know that our precious hounds suffer in the cold and wet (some more than others!). But the summer months can pose just as much, if not more, risk to them. Greyhounds and other sighthounds are prone to both heatstroke and HER. (In fact HER can strike at any time of year but is a particular risk in the summer). So care must be taken to monitor their exercise levels in the summer to make sure they don’t over exert themselves. Our dogs do not have the capacity to monitor their fitness levels and adjust themselves. So we must make sure that we do it for them.

During the warmer months you should avoid walking your dog in the middle of the day. Even the evenings walks should be kept shorter as the pavements and ground will still be releasing heat which can elevate your dog’s temperature. Long walks should be done in the cooler mornings – preferably before 11am – and you should make sure to always have water with you. 

Try placing your bare foot on the pavement. That is what your dog will be feeling when he walks.

Chasing and running should be kept to a minimum and remember HER is the second most lethal illness your hound can contract.

Both hyperacute exertional rhabdomyolysis and heatstroke can kill a greyhound, particularly an unfit one. Physical effects can vary, but these two urgent conditions can show similar signs.  Signs include heavy panting; generalised muscle pain, and muscle tremors.

If it is very hot and you have doubts, just don’t walk your dog – he will not miss one walk.

If your dog does over heat his body temperature must be brought down as quickly as possible. This can be achieved by hosing down the dog and applying cool wet towels over the body. Then exposure to a fan or air conditioning in house or car. Try to avoid producing a shivering response as this can create more heat in the body. You then need to take your dog straight to your vet.


If the outside temperature is 70F, then after 10 minutes the inside temperature will be 89F and after 30 minutes it will rise to 104F and your dog will die.

Ways To Keep Your Greyhound Cool In Hot Weather

There are lots of fun ways to keep your dog cool during the hot summer months:

  • Many dogs love a splash about in a paddling pool.
  • Or try popping some hot dogs in a small pool or container to encourage your dog to dunk his head in the cold water.  
  • Freeze raw bits of meat, bananas or cheese in a ice cube tray and give to your dog as a frozen treat.
  • Most dogs will appreciate a gentle spray from a hosepipe when it is really warm.

You can purchase special coats for your dog to wear in the heat (they stay damp) or you could try a simpler version by using a disposable towel that has been thoroughly drenched in cold water.  

Remember to keep ensure your dog has free access to plenty of fresh water.

Remember to always carry extra water with you in the summer. We sell foldable light weight drinking bowls in our shop. These are great to carry with you on walks.

Greyhounds & hot weather do not mix. If you dog overheats you must immediately seek vet advice.

Our Online Shop

Everyone at Kent Greyhound Rescue is a volunteer.  Our online shop really helps us to pay our kennel and vets bills.  We sell everything you need for your dog and all proceeds help the rescue. 

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