When is it too hot for my dog? How hot is too hot?

too hot for dog

When is it too hot for my dog? How hot is too hot?

When is it too hot for my dog? How hot is too hot? 940 788 Thug Dogs

As our summers become longer and hotter, the problem of making sure our dogs aren’t getting too hot becomes more pressing. Here comes the question: “When is it too hot for dog?”

Problems such as sunstroke or sunburn aren’t only a risk for us. They also endanger our fur-babies, in addition to causing severe discomfort.

In general, dogs can cope with temperatures up to 32°C (89.6°F), and around then, you may want to break out the pumpkin and peanut butter flavored doggy popsicles! Any hotter can be especially dangerous for your canine, especially if they have a thick coat like the Bordoodle or a short nose like the Bullmastiff.

In fact, many different factors can affect how much heat a dog can handle, including its age, weight, and breed. Whatever the case, it’s vital that we as paw parents stay aware of increasing temperatures and make sure our dogs stay comfortable and safe.

Too hot for dog

But first, it’s important to understand how dogs manage their body temperatures on their own.

 

How your dog regulates its body temperature

Dogs make use of four mechanisms to thermo-regulate or manage their own body heat to keep from becoming too high or low.

Conduction is the first method. Through conduction, a dog may lie down on cold tiles or dig a hole in a shady, excellent spot. This way, the heat can transfer from their bodies to the cooler ground.

Less hair means “cooler body”

Dogs have less hair on their bellies and chests for this reason. By having less hair around the vital organs, they can press this part of their body against the cooler earth and lose body heat that way. If there is a cool breeze, they may also lie on their back and put their belly up to the sky. All of this is a neat way to cool down.

The second way they cool down is called convection. This is when cool air or cold water penetrates the air trapped in their coat and cools down their inbuilt insulation. This is why access to a cooling fan, air conditioner, or a safe swimming area is vital for a dog on a hot day.

Is swimming good for dogs in summer time

Matted hair is not only uncomfortable for dogs, but it also blocks cool air from entering the coat and bringing the body temperature down. Therefore, regular brushing and good coat maintenance are critical to helping long-haired and double-coated dogs deal with the heat.

Radiation is the third way your dog thermo-regulates. This is how they release body heat into their surroundings. Radiation occurs when their core body temperature increases. Blood will start to flow toward their skin and extremities to come into contact with the cooler environment and cool down.

Once again, a badly managed coat will trap heat close to the body and stop the excess warmth from escaping the body.

The final thermo-regulation mechanism is evaporation. A dog can lose heat by the sweat glands in its paws or by increasing blood flow to the nose and mouth. This way, the body loses warm water vapor through evaporation, emitting some of that excess heat.

 

Factors that affect whether it is too hot for your dog

Despite a dog’s inbuilt mechanisms to deal with heat, there are some factors that affect how well they can handle it.

 

Age

Age is a critical factor that affects how well a dog can manage hot days.

Puppies can only begin regulating their own body temperature around eight weeks and only reach their adult temperature when they are about four weeks old.

This means young puppies are highly vulnerable to both heat and cold. The temperature for young puppies should be kept at around 85°F (29°C), and they should never be left outside when it’s either cold or hot.

On the other hand, old or geriatric dogs can have just as much trouble managing their body temperature. As dogs age, their ability to thermoregulate drops, and so it is better that they also stay indoors and are kept out of both hot and cold weather.

Senior dogs, in particular, are also more vulnerable to heatstroke. So, it’s vital to monitor their daily activity and keep them from exercising on hot days. It is also important that they always have somewhere familiar and cool to lie down during summer.

 

Humidity

Humidity is a problem for dogs as it interferes with the evaporation mechanism and prevents them from properly cooling down.

A panting dog is releasing warm moisture and air from the lungs through the mouth, but if the air is already warm and moist, this means that proper evaporation cannot take place.

A dog that is exercising and panting on a warm and humid day can have its body temperature rise to dangerous levels. Keep in mind that a dog’s temperature should at most be 104°F (38.5°C). If it rises beyond that, you may need veterinary help.

 

Breed

Your dog’s breed plays an essential role in how well they can manage the heat.

Some breeds such as Pharoah Hounds, Basenjis, or Chihauhaus were developed in hot areas and better equipped to handle the heat.

They have slim bodies, short coats, and dark skin to avoid sunburn. Typically, a dog from a warm region will also have large ears and an elongated nose, two areas where heat can escape from.

Short-nosed breeds are prone to overheating

On the other hand, short-nosed or brachycephalic breeds such as Bulldogs, Pugs, or Boxers literally have less space to release body heat as they have shorter airways than long-nosed breeds. So, they are far more prone to heatstroke or overheating in general.

Pug swimming in the pool. How hot is it too hot for a dog?

In general, smaller dogs are also more at risk of the elements than larger dogs, although giant dogs like Saint Bernards might not cope particularly well with heat either.

Heavy-jowled breeds such as the Neapolitan Mastiff or the American Molosser can also struggle to pant properly, as the excess skin on their faces can block warm air from leaving their mouths.

Dogs with excessive body mass, or extra muscle, can also struggle with the heat. As the dog with the most muscle for its size, sheer density can make it difficult for the English Bullterrier to cope with high temperatures.

Another more obvious problem is those dogs that come from cold environments and have thick double coats. These include Huskies, Malamutes, or even the popular German Shepherd or Labrador.

Opinions differ about whether these breeds should have their coat shaved or clipped. As any professional groomer will tell you, clipping a double-coated breed may ruin the coat forever, and many believe the double-coat can insulate from heat as well as cold. Just so long as the coat is well-maintained.

Regardless, it’s essential to consider climate before getting a breed that might be unnecessarily uncomfortable in your area. If you do have a breed with a thick coat in a warm area, make sure to take measures to keep them comfortable. Also, consult with a professional groomer to keep their coat at its best to help them cope with the heat.

 

Weight

Weight is a key factor when it comes to keeping your dog safe from the heat. In fact, overweight dogs increased heat insulation, but they overheat much faster when they are exercising.

Pet parents of overweight or obese dogs should take measures to bring their dogs down safely down to a healthy weight while monitoring their activity during hot days to prevent heat stroke.

 

How hot is too hot to walk my dog?

How hot can be considered too hot to walk your dog depends a bit on your dog, but it’s better to err on the side of caution. In general, 20°C (70°C) or above can be dangerous for a dog depending on how much they are exercising, as well as their age, size, and breed.

Keep in mind, the humidity of the day can also affect whether or not your dog can cool down naturally. Dog’s are naturally excitable and do not always know their limits. So even if it is not an extremely hot day, but it is humid, a dog can overheat by excessively chasing a ball and not knowing when to stop.

Do dogs need sunscreen?

There are also other points to consider when walking your dog on a warm or hot day. Dogs with no protective coat, such as the Chinese Crested or the Thai Ridgeback need doggy sunscreen or they may be susceptible to sunburn.

Sunscreen should also be applied to any hairless area such as the nose or belly of white breeds or dogs who lack pigment in their skin. The lack of pigment makes them vulnerable to both sunburn and skin cancer.

Another rule of thumb is to always check the pavement with the flat of your hand. Lay your palm straight on the surface your dog will be walking on. This could be the ground in a park or the tarmac on the road. If you can’t keep your hand there comfortably for fifteen seconds, it’s too hot for your dog to walk on.

Keep in mind, you may be wearing shoes, but they are not. In addition, when the temperature is only 77°F (25°C), the asphalt can be as hot as 125°F (51°C!) Hot enough to burn through your pup’s paws!

Another point is to keep a collapsible water bowl with you on a work as well as water bottle. It is essential that your dog stays hydrated on a warm day.

How much water should my dog drink

At what temperature is it safe to take dog outside for exercise?

In general, you can safely take your dog outside for playtime and exercise so long as the temperature is between 7°C (45°F) and 19°C (68°F).

Any hotter or colder than this, and things may become uncomfortable for your average dog. Of course, a Canadian Eskimo dog might not think 45°F is even cold, and a Pharoah Hound may begin to shiver at 68°F. Still, for most dogs, these are the safe parameters.

The average healthy, normal dog should be comfortable in temperatures up to 90°F. Still, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your dog’s environment and make sure they have cool spots to go to and that they don’t run about too much.

 

When do dogs overheat?

The way a dog may respond to heat differs radically based on age, size, weight, breed, and other factors. Therefore, there is never a specific temperature at which heat stroke becomes imminent.

A Greyhound might be barely panting after a sprint at 25°C (77°F). ON the other hand, an overweight Pug could suffer heat exhaustion or even heatstroke from getting too excited and playing too long outside at the exact same temperature.

So how does one monitor for the signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke in dogs?

 

Canine heatstroke: what to do

Suppose your dog has collapsed and is panting rapidly. In this case, it’s best to move them to shady areas as fast as possible and cool them down with nearby water.

It’s a good idea to keep frozen Gatorade in your freezer since the shavings and the electrolytes can help a dog overcome with heat exhaustion.

Always make sure you have a thermometer in your doggy first aid kit. Taking your pup’s temperature is the main way you can tell the difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

A temperature between 39°C (103°F) and 41°C (106°F) suggests that your dog has heat exhaustion. But if your dog’s core temperature is above 106°F (41°C), then you are probably looking at heatstroke, and you need to get to a vet quickly.

 

How to prevent heat stroke in dogs

  • Avoid exercising in the middle of the day unless it’s winter. Stick to walks in the early morning or late evening.
  • Ensure your dogs stays in a well-ventilated area with lots of shade.
  • Check your dog always has access to fresh, cool water.
  • Don’t keep your dog on dangerous surfaces that retain heat. This includes hot sand, concrete, or asphalt.
  • Never let your dog stay in your car alone. Even if you’ll only be gone for five minutes.
  • Be careful of windy or cloudy conditions that may make it feel colder than what it really is. A dog that is running along a beach might have waterlogged fur and be unaware that that cannot properly cool down because of the breeze. Always make sure a dog on a beach takes time to rest and drink fresh water.

 

Signs of heatstroke in Dogs

If you don’t have a thermometer to check for heat stroke, the following signs might tip you off:

  •  A rapid heart rate or pulse
  • Drooling and fast panting
  • Collapsing or not wanting to move
  • Looking apathetic
  • Froth at the mouth
  • Drinking more than usual
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Seeming to “pass out.”
  • A change in the colour of the tongue and gums. They may turn purple, white, or grey.
  • Seizures

If you gently pinch the skin on the top of your dog’s head and it doesn’t immediately spring back into place, your dog may be dehydrated.

If you suspect your dog has heatstroke, be sure to go to the vet immediately.

Overheat-of-the-dog

Hot days and leaving your dog in the car

We all know that temperatures rise quickly in cars. But did you ever consider how quickly? The temperature in your car can rise by 20°F in just 10 minutes. Within an hour, the temperature could have gone up by 40°F.

Therefore, on a day that’s only 70°F (21°C), it can get as hot as 110°F (43°C) after an hour inside a car. This is as dangerous for babies for dogs, especially short-nosed breeds, as they struggle to thermo-regulate.

Even within the home, 90°F (32°C) is dangeros, and the environment needs to be managed. The moral of the story is to simply never leave your dog in a car alone, even for a minute. The risk is simply too high managed.

 

How do I keep my dog from getting too hot?

Whenever it’s a warm day, it’s crucial to keep an eye on our four-legged friends to make sure they are coping with any excessive heat stress. Fortunately, there’s much we can do to help them out.

 

How to keep your dog cool in summer

  • A doghouse can become a bit like an oven without us realizing it, so make sure your dog has access to shade.
  • Take your dog to a safe pool or lake to swim and splash around in. Be sure to dry their ears afterward and to clean them thoroughly to avoid ear infections.
  • Let your dog stay indoors if you have a cool place for them to lie down, like in the bathroom, or if you have air conditioning.
  • Dogs like Labradors and Huskies will appreciate a kiddies pool filled with ice on a hot day.

 

Final Thoughts

Dogs have great natural mechanisms for dealing with the summer heat. Still, even so, many were not built for the challenges of modern life.

Nowadays, breeds from cold areas must adapt to warm climates, and all dogs need to navigate scorching asphalt and hot cars.

As pet parents, thinking of our dog’s environment and monitoring their temperature is a key part of their everyday care.