Dogs can start to suffer from heatstroke at temperatures above 101 degrees Fahrenheit. The risk increases significantly with temperatures above 104 degrees Fahrenheit. However, brachycephalic breeds like pugs, bulldogs, and shih tzus may struggle at lower temperatures due to their compromised respiratory systems.
It’s like stepping into a furnace on a hot summer day: the burning heat can be unbearable for humans and their canine companions alike. But what temperature is too hot for dogs?
Knowing when to take your pup inside, provide shade, or offer cool water can mean the difference between a fun-filled day outside and dangerous heat exhaustion.
In this article, we’ll cover how to know when it’s too hot to take your dog outside and how to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion so you can take quick action.
- Dogs can experience heat stress and heat stroke, which can be indicated by excessive panting, difficulty breathing, lethargy, increased thirst, dry nose and tongue, heavy panting, excessive drooling, bright red tongue, weakness or collapsing, and changes in gum color.
- Certain dog breeds, such as Bulldogs, Boxers, Pugs, Shar Peis, and dogs with short muzzles and thick coats, are more prone to heatstroke.
- Factors that can affect a dog’s tolerance to heat include age, health conditions, obesity, fitness level, and coat type.
- To ensure hydration and safety in hot weather, provide shade and fresh water, limit outdoor activities during hot days, check pavement temperature, monitor hydration status, and consider any underlying health issues.
What Temperature Is Too Hot for Outdoor Activities
Anything above 100°F is too hot for most outdoor activities with your dog. Heat stroke can be a real risk for dogs, who will show signs of distress such as panting, drooling, and fatigue.
Be sure to protect their paws from the hot pavement and keep an eye out for any other symptoms that might indicate heat exhaustion or heat stroke. If you notice anything unusual, consult your veterinarian right away.
Recognizing the Signs of Heat Stress in Dogs
Signs of heat stress in dogs can include excessive panting, difficulty breathing, and lethargy. Keep an eye out for these symptoms to prevent heatstroke in your pet.
Also, look for signs of increased thirst, dry nose and tongue, drooling, pale gums or dark red gums, vomiting and diarrhea. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to take the necessary steps to keep your pet cool.
Providing access to shade and fresh water is key; if possible, limit outdoor activities during hot days!
Heavy Panting Is the Main Sign of Heat Stroke
Heavy panting is often the most visible and immediate sign of heat stroke in dogs. It’s usually accompanied by other signs, such as excessive drooling or a bright red tongue. If your pup is panting heavily, it’s time to take action.
Heat exhaustion can quickly lead to heat stroke if not treated properly. Keep an eye out for heavy panting–it may be the first warning sign that your dog is suffering from extreme heat.
Take them somewhere cool and try to lower their body temperature with cold towels or a cool bath.
Weakness of Episodes of Collapsing
When a dog overheats, their body temperature rises rapidly and can cause them to become weak or even collapse. It should go without saying, but if your dog collapses, get them to the vet ASAP.
Change in Gum Color
One of the signs that a dog is suffering from heat stroke is a change in gum color. Normal gum color is pink, but if a dog is suffering from heat stroke their gums can turn pale, gray, or even blue. This is due to a drop in blood circulation and oxygen levels that can occur with heat stroke. If you notice your dog’s gum color changing, seek veterinary care immediately.
Excessive drooling in dogs is a sign of overheating and is known as “ptyalism.” It is the body’s way of attempting to cool itself down, as the saliva evaporates and takes some of the dog’s body heat with it. This is a sign that a dog is too hot and should be taken to a cooler area and given access to plenty of water.
Which Breeds Are Prone to Heatstroke
You should be aware that certain breeds are more prone to heatstroke than others. Dogs, such as Bulldogs, Boxers, Pugs, and Shar Peis, are particularly vulnerable due to their short muzzles and thick coats.
Although heat stroke typically occurs when temperatures are over 100 degrees, in these breeds, it can occur when temperatures exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit – so it’s important to provide plenty of shade and water for these pooches in hot weather. Outdoor exercise with these breeds should also be kept to a minimum on hot days.
Factors Affecting Dogs’ Tolerance to Heat
Age and health are key factors affecting a dog’s tolerance to heat. Heat stroke is always a risk in hot weather, so be mindful of your pup’s age and medical issues that may make them more vulnerable to high temperatures.
When the body temperature rises above 104°F (40°C), it can cause heat stroke which can quickly become fatal. Humidity levels also play a role since it affects how well their bodies regulate their temperature.
Keep an eye on all these factors to ensure your pet stays safe in the summertime!
Obesity can put additional strain on a dog’s body, making them less tolerant to heat and more prone to heat stroke. During hot summer months, it’s important to keep your pet safe from extreme temperatures.
If your dog is overweight or obese, they are more likely to overheat in warm temperatures. If you notice signs of overheating such as excessive panting, take immediate action by cooling them off with cool water and seeking vet care if necessary.
Keeping your pup at a healthy weight will help them stay comfortable during the hot for dogs months!
As pets age, they become more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. So it’s important to be aware of the age of your dog when taking them out for a walk in hot weather.
Older dogs may not be able to handle the same temperatures as younger ones, so you should take extra precautions with them. When walking your dog on hot days, make sure to provide plenty of fresh water and rest often in shady spots.
It’s also a good idea to limit their activity level and choose cooler times of day if possible.
No matter the age of your pet, its fitness level should be taken into consideration when exercising outdoors in warm weather. A fit dog may be able to handle higher temperatures than one that is not used to long runs or strenuous activity. Make sure to provide extra breaks and allow them to cool down with a dip in some cool water if they’re hot.
Dehydrated dogs are at a much higher risk of overheating due to their lack of fluids. When a dog is dehydrated, their body is unable to cool itself properly. The body relies on fluids to help regulate its temperature, but when a dog is dehydrated, their body is unable to do this. As a result, their body temperature can quickly rise to dangerous levels.
Additionally, a dehydrated dog is more likely to suffer from heat exhaustion and heat stroke, both of which can be fatal if not treated quickly. To prevent overheating, it’s important to make sure your dog has access to plenty of clean, fresh water and to make sure they don’t over-exert themselves in hot weather.
You’ll want to consider your pet’s coat type when exercising outdoors in warm weather as some breeds can be more sensitive to the heat. On a hot day, certain breeds with thick coats may find it difficult to stay cool enough and could show signs of heat exhaustion.
Therefore, it’s important to ensure that your pets are safe in the heat, especially if they have thicker coats or short snouts. Keep an eye out for excessive panting and rest frequently in shady areas on warmer days.
Underlying Health Issues
Exercising outdoors on hot days can be more challenging if your pet has underlying health issues. Veterinary advice should be taken into consideration when taking your pup out in the heat. Dogs with heart or breathing problems, or those that are overweight, may need to stay indoors during the hottest part of the day.
How to Protect Your Dogs Paws on Hot Pavement
Protecting your pup’s paws from hot pavement can be difficult on sunny days. Be sure to check the temperature of the ground before taking them out for a walk. If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot for their delicate paws.
Dog boots are a great option for providing extra insulation against the heat. Additionally, you can try walking during cooler times of day like early morning or late evening when the sun isn’t at its peak intensity.
Lastly, carry water with you and make sure your dog gets plenty of rest while outside in hot weather.
Walk Your Dog When It’s Cool
Take your pup out for a walk when it’s cooler, like early morning or late evening, to ensure their paws don’t get too hot. It’s important to keep your dog active, but you should be mindful of the temperature.
As a rule of thumb, if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your four-legged friend. They cool off by panting and can quickly become overheated on a hot day. So take precautions and head out early or late in the day when temperatures are lower!
Use Paw Wax or Balm
To help protect your pup’s paws from hot surfaces, consider using paw wax or balm. Paw wax forms a protective barrier between your dog’s paws and the ground, shielding them from the heat. Balms provide an added layer of protection, with some even containing ingredients to cool your pup’s pads.
Make sure to use products made specifically for dogs and that are non-toxic and safe for their skin. Both paw wax and balm can be applied before going out on walks in hot temperatures. They can also be used as a preventative measure whenever you anticipate high temperatures or rough terrain.
Consider Dog Shoes
If you’re looking for an extra layer of protection for your pup’s paws, consider getting them some dog shoes. Dog shoes provide insulation from the heat while also providing traction on slippery surfaces. In hot temperatures, a dog’s paws can burn and cause discomfort. During the summer months, make sure to invest in some quality dog shoes to help keep your pup safe and comfortable during their outdoor adventures!
Dog shoes are essential for any pet owner who wants to ensure their four-legged friend is well protected during summertime.
Cooling Your Dog Down on Hot Days
On hot days, it’s important to provide your pup with ways to cool off and stay comfortable.
- Make sure your dog has access to a shady spot that gets plenty of air circulation.
- If you have a large dog, consider taking them for short runs in cooler parts of the day when the temperature is lower.
- Also, make sure they always have access to fresh water so they can stay hydrated throughout the day.
- To help keep them cool, keep their fur well-trimmed and give them cooling baths or wet towels.
- Lastly, never leave your pup outside for too long on hot days!
Provide Plenty of Cold Water
During the summer months, make sure they stay safe by making sure they have access to plenty of fresh water. This is one of the most important summer safety tips you should follow!
Us a Cooling Mat or Wet Towel
Using a cooling mat or wet towel on your dog during hot days is a great way to help them cool down. Cooling mats are made from a special material that absorbs your pet’s body heat and helps keep them cool. Simply place the mat in an area that is shaded and away from direct sunlight. The mat should be placed on the ground or on furniture, allowing your pet to lie down on top of it.
If you don’t have a cooling mat, a wet towel also can help. Wet a towel with cold water, wring it out, and place it on the ground for your pet to lay on. Adding a few ice cubes to the towel before laying it down will help to keep it cool for longer. Be sure to check the towel frequently, as it may dry out quickly.
No matter which option you choose, be sure to provide plenty of fresh, cool water for your pet to drink. This will help keep them hydrated and help them to cool down even more.
If your backyard has plenty of trees, then you have natural shade spots available. If not, here are a few ways to provide shade for your dog:
- Provide a covered area with a roof, such as a kennel or a dog house
- Set up a canopy or gazebo to provide shade
- Use a tarp or blanket to create a makeshift shade structure
- Put up an umbrella or a sunshade
- Install a pet shade structure, such as a dog cabana or a pet pavilion
- Bring your dog inside on extra hot days
Use a Fan
Cool off your pup by setting up a fan in their shady spot. Not only will it help keep them comfortable, but can also be a lifesaver. A fan is an easy way to help prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can both have serious consequences for your pup’s health.
Let Your Dog Soak in a Small Kiddie Pool
Letting your pup take a dip in a small kiddie pool is an easy way to keep them cool during hot days. Make sure the water isn’t overly cold as it could shock their system. If it’s extra hot outside, be sure to place the kiddie pool in a shaded area.
How Hot Is Too Hot for Dogs to Wait in a Car?
You shouldn’t leave your dog in a hot car, even if the windows are cracked. On a warm day, temperatures inside a car can reach up to 20°F hotter than the outside temperature–hot enough to put your pup at risk of heat exhaustion.
To be safe, never leave your pet unattended in a vehicle and keep an eye on the temperature while they’re out and about with you.
Bryan Harkins is an avid dog lover and the proud owner of dogdorable.com, a website dedicated to all things canine. With years of experience working with dogs, Bryan is passionate about providing valuable information, tips, and resources to help pet owners provide the best possible care for their furry companions.