Boston Terrier Care in Summer – 8 Tips to Prevent Overheating

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by Lily Ferreras


Did you know that Boston Terriers are at higher risk when temperatures get high?

Bostons are a brachycephalic breed. Due to their shorter noses, these dogs often struggle more with breathing. As a result, it’s harder for them to regulate their body temperature.

That’s why they are at higher risk of heatstroke.

Continue reading for Boston Terrier care in summer and also how to prevent overheating and heatstrokes!

Boston Terrier Care in Summer

During hot weather, you want to keep your Boston cool and hydrated at all times, especially since they don’t regulate temperature as well as longer-nose dogs.

Before jumping to the summer tips, let’s define what “hot” means for a Boston Terrier.

What is a safe temperature for a dog to be outside in the summer?

As a general rule of thumb, if it is too hot or cold for us to be comfortable, it’s too severe for your dog. Hot temperatures, combined with humidity, can cause dehydration and heatstroke.

For Boston Terriers, the risk starts at 23ºC (75ºK) and 29ºC (85ºK) can be dangerous. After that, 32ºC (90ºK) and above is considered potentially life-threatening.

Here’s a chart illustrating the risks of high temperatures for dogs:


#1 – Start by Taking Your Boston Terrier for a Check-Up

Visiting your vet before summer and early fall (before winter) starts is a good way to ensure that your Boston Terrier is healthy before the weather changes.

Also, annual check-ups are a great way to prevent any health issues, especially for seniors, and to monitor breed-related problems.

You’ll also want good insurance cover that will help with any unexpected expenses…

This is where Petplan Pet Insurance shines, as they give you the right cover you need without the worry of say settling a claim quickly or paying your vet directly. They try to make insuring your pet as easy as possible.

Remember that summer heat causes more fleas and tics to appear. So, you might want to use a parasite prevention method or consult your vet during the check-up!

#2 – Keep Your Boston Terrier Cool and Hydrated At All Times

This is the most important thing that you can do for your furry friend. Here are some tips:

  • Encourage your Boston to stay in the shade, keeping her away from direct sunlight especially at high noon.
  • Keep your Boston hydrated, fill her bowl with cold water and always take water for her if you go for a walk or trip. Travel dog water bottles come in very handy.
  • Stay cool, put damp towels for her to lie on or use a cooling mat.
  • If your Boston Terrier likes water, let her play around with the garden sprinkler or go for a swim (beware, not all Bostons like to swim). Alternatively, you can get a little pool like mine for your pooch to refresh herself.

Also, keep an eye for possible dehydration signs:

  • Sunken eyes.
  • Lethargy.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Depression.

Read also: Can Boston Terriers Swim? How to Train Your Dog to Swim.


#3 – Protect Your Boston Terrier’s Paws From Hot Surfaces

Hot surfaces can hurt your dog’s paws, particularly sand or tarmac.

How can you know if it’s too hot for your dog?

A simple rule is that if these surfaces feel too hot for you, they probably are too hot for your dog too. Place your palm or naked foot on the surface and test it!

Photo by Petplan Pet Insurance.

#4 – Keep an Eye for Symptoms of Heat Stroke

Heatstroke happens when dogs can’t reduce their body temperature.

Boston Terriers are at a higher risk of overheating and having a heatstroke because of their difficulty to regulate their body temperature efficiently.

They are more likely to have breathing difficulty since their smaller airways make it harder for them to release heat when they pant.

Also, if your Boston is overweight, has a heart problem or is a senior, the risks increase.

Heatstrokes can be fatal, so look for the following signs:

  • Heavy panting.
  • Glazed eyes.
  • A rapid pulse.
  • Excess salivation and thickened saliva.
  • Raised temperature (101.5° is normal).
  • Fatigue.
  • Muscle tremors.
  • Lack of coordination or staggering.
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea.
  • Loss of consciousness.

If you think your dog is having a heatstroke, you need to act fast:

  • Take her to a cool, shaded area.
  • Get towels soaked in cold water and apply them to her head, neck and chest.
  • Encourage her to drink water or lick an ice cube.

Insider Tip: Never place your dog directly into ice-cold water or give her too much to drink, as she may go into shock.

#5 – Plan Your Walks and Don’t Overexercise Your Boston Terrier

The goal is to avoid the midday sun. From 11:00 to 15:00 is when the heat of the sun is felt most, which also means it’s the most dangerous.

Early morning and evening walks are the best for both of you to stay cool and avoid getting too hot.

Also, don’t overexercise your Boston Terrier. Outdoor activities are great as long as you don’t forget about the risk of heatstroke. Just make sure that you are exercising your Boston at times of the day when the sun is the least hot.

Remember that you can also keep your Boston busy indoors when it’s too hot outside. 😉

So don’t forget about mental stimulation! There are many great ways to keep your Boston engaged at home, which you can check out in my favourite toys for some practical solutions!

Read also: What Are The Best Activities for Boston Terriers?


#6 – Reward Your Boston Terrier with Frozen Treats

Help your pooch cool down from the inside out. You can give your dog:

  • Ice cubes with tasty treats inside.
  • Frozen blueberries.
  • Bone broth cubes.
  • Also, you can fill and freeze a chew toy like kongs to make a chilly meal.

Read also: Boston Terrier Treats blog post for more ideas!


#7 – Never Leave Your Boston Terrier in the Car Unattended

Don’t leave your pooch in the car alone. No matter if you leave the car air conditioning on or the windows are down… It’s just not safe.

Better be safe than sorry! So, plan ahead to avoid having to leave your pooch alone inside the car. The consequences can be fatal. 🙁

#8 – Beware of Sunburn

Finally, you might think this is weird – I certainly did, but Boston Terriers could get a sunburn if they get long exposure to direct sunlight.

Just like us, dogs are at risk of burning in the sun if they’re not protected, particularly those with short fine hair and pink skin.

Take your Boston to the vet if you notice any of the following:

  • Red spots.
  • Skin peeling.
  • Infection.
  • Sores.
  • Blisters.

Also, if you are unsure whether your Boston needs sunscreen, ask your vet. Then, get sun protection that has been designed specifically for dogs.

Note: The ASPCA says that ingesting certain sunscreens can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive thirst and lethargy in pets. So, it’s best to read the label carefully and consult your vet when in doubt.

Insider Tip: Limit your Boston’s access to direct sunlight by providing shade in the garden or keeping her indoors during peak hours of the day.


P.S. For cold weather, check Boston Terrier Care in Winter – 8 Tips to Prevent Frostbite blog post.

Finally, the key to a happy and healthy Boston Terrier has much to do with a dog’s welfare needs. Boston Terrier Care is a great next step to take. 😉

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