Caring for Stray Dogs in Summer

As the summer sun beats down on India, the soaring temperatures can be particularly harsh on stray dogs. There was a time when summers meant 30-35 degrees and now, we are living in an era when summers are crossing 45 degrees. Life for anyone on the streets in this weather can be excruciatingly difficult. Stray animals, already vulnerable, face additional challenges during the hot months. These challenges include:

  1. Scavenging for food during afternoon hours 
  2. Suffering from dehydration, heat stroke 
  3. Lack of shelters
  4. Accidents (as they sleep under cars and if the car owners are not careful enough, it can be a problem)

Here are some practical tips on how to help stray dogs in hot weather, ensuring they stay safe and healthy.

Provide Water for Stray Dogs

One of the most critical aspects of summer care for stray dogs is access to fresh water. Place bowls of clean water in shaded areas where stray dogs are known to frequent. Refill the bowls regularly and ensure the water stays cool. This simple act can prevent dehydration and heatstroke in stray dogs.

Create a Shelter for Stray Dogs

Stray dogs need protection from the intense heat. Set up makeshift shelters using cardboard boxes, old blankets, or tarpaulins. Place these shelters in shaded areas to offer respite from the sun. A well-placed shelter can make a significant difference in the comfort and safety of street dogs during the Indian summer.

Provide Nutritious Food

Feeding stray dogs in hot weather requires special attention. Offer light, nutritious food that is easy to digest. Avoid heavy or oily foods that can cause digestive issues. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be a good addition to their diet, providing essential nutrients and hydration.

Monitor for Signs of Heatstroke

Heatstroke is a serious concern for stray dogs during the summer. Watch out for symptoms such as excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, vomiting, and uncoordinated movements. If you notice any of these signs, take immediate action. Move the dog to a cooler place, provide water, and dampen their fur with cool (not cold) water. In severe cases, seek veterinary assistance promptly.

First Aid for Stray Dogs

Knowing some basic first aid for stray dogs can be invaluable. Keep a first aid kit handy with items such as antiseptic wipes, bandages, and a thermometer. In case of minor injuries or heat-related issues, you can provide immediate care before professional help is available.

Advocate for Stray Dog Welfare

Promote awareness about the needs of stray dogs in your community. Encourage others to provide water, food, and shelter for these animals. Organize local groups to check on and care for stray dogs regularly. Collective efforts can significantly improve the welfare of stray dogs in summer.

Avoid Feeding During the Hottest Parts of the Day

Feed stray dogs during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening. This practice helps avoid food spoiling quickly in the heat and reduces the risk of heat exhaustion for the dogs when they come out to eat.

Use Social Media for Awareness

Utilize social media platforms to share information about the importance of caring for stray dogs during summer. Share tips on preventing heatstroke in stray dogs and creating shelters. The more people are informed, the greater the impact on the welfare of these animals.

Collaborate with Local NGOs

Partner with local animal welfare organizations to amplify your efforts. NGOs often have resources and expertise that can enhance the care provided to stray dogs. Collaborating can lead to more effective and widespread assistance for these animals.

Regular Health Checkups

Whenever possible, arrange for regular health checkups for stray dogs. Local veterinarians or animal welfare groups may offer free or subsidized services. Regular checkups can prevent and address health issues before they become severe.

Check Under Your Car


Check under your car before driving as many stray dogs and cats seek shelter under cars during the hot months. Just this small act may help you save many lives. 

The summer months in India can be brutal for stray dogs, but with collective effort and practical steps, we can make a significant difference in their lives. Providing water, shelter, nutritious food, and being vigilant about their health are simple yet effective ways to ensure their safety and well-being. By taking these actions, we can help protect stray dogs from the harsh effects of the summer heat and improve their quality of life.

Remember, every small effort counts. Let’s come together to make this summer more bearable for the stray dogs in our communities.

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