OUR furry friends love walks and long trips in the sunshine might seem like a great idea, but your dog might not like the heat.
In hot temperatures, dogs can become dehydrated, burn their paws, or suffer heat stroke. So it’s too hot to walk your dog.
When is it too hot to walk the dog?
Pets, like us, love to be outside in the sun, but with their fur, they can easily overheat.
In general, most breeds are fine up to around 19 degrees Celsius for walking and staying happy throughout the day.
Although owners of overweight puppies or those with health issues or flat noses should keep a close eye on their dog.
Up to about 23 degrees, it’s fine to lightly exercise your dog, but any strenuous exercise could expose him to heat stroke.
When the temperature rises to 27 degrees, most breeds will have trouble moving or even spending time in the heat.
Be wary of larger, fluffier breeds, as well as young puppies, flat faces, the obese and those with medical conditions, as they are more prone to heat stroke.
If you reach 27 degrees or more, no dog should be exercising as it could be life threatening.
At 32 degrees, heat stroke is a major risk for all dog breeds, not just those who are naturally prone to it.
Just do your best to keep your pup cool in hot weather.
What is the best time to walk the dog on a hot day?
Early morning is the ideal time to walk the dog as the temperature has dropped from the previous day and has not yet started to rise.
If you’re an early riser, try to get your dog a good exercise before breakfast and you’ll both be set for the day.
Symptoms of heat stroke are:
- panting heavily
- Excessive drooling
- Appears lethargic, sleepy, or uncoordinated
The sidewalks get hotter as the black asphalt traps heat, so use your hand to check the temperature – if you’re uncomfortable, your pup will definitely be uncomfortable.
For dogs that need two walks a day, allow the second one to last into the evening as much as possible.
Sunset is late, but if you’re a night owl and can walk your dog after the sun has set, even better.
How long can dogs stay outside on hot days?
Your dog will likely tell you when it’s too hot and will try to go indoors or find shade.
If they fidget a lot, pant too much, or just feel uncomfortable, encourage them to go inside.
In general, dogs can enjoy a few nice hours in the sun at pleasant temperatures of up to around 24 degrees.
In addition, they will probably only want to sit outside for a few minutes, most of the time a short bathroom break will probably suffice before going back inside.
Make sure they have access to water that is refilled frequently – avoid metal bowls in the summer as this can burn your dog while drinking.
Shade is also crucial as they want to be close to you while sunbathing. A small space with soft padding (or pool) is recommended.
It may seem sensible to shave the coat to relieve the heat, but this introduces other problems as dogs can get sunburned.