When is it too hot to walk a dog?
When Is It Too Hot To Walk A Dog?
Summer brings relaxation, vacation, and lots of fun in the sun. The hot weather can also put your dog at risk of heat exhaustion, even if they are alone inside. We know how uncomfortable it can be when we’re too hot. We have to imagine it’s even worse for our friends who are covered in a layer of fur! If the temperature is too warm for people. The same goes for dogs. We may only notice it during the summer. To make sure all your canine friends stay safe this summer, continue reading to learn how to prevent, identify, and treat heat exhaustion before they start seeing crazy colors.
What temperature is too hot for a dog outside?
It’s important to understand a dog’s internal temperature is higher than a human’s. Ambient air temperatures feel warmer to them than to us. In addition, dogs pant rather than sweat to release heat; they are much more sensitive to heat than we are. Susceptibility to heat and heat exhaustion varies based on the individual. It’s impossible to give an exact number as to how high a temperature your dog can handle. We never want pets to have lasting effects from being overheated that can also result in anxiety-related destruction.
In general, temperatures between 80- and 90-degrees Fahrenheit mean your dog shouldn’t stay outside for too long and should have ample access to shade and water. In these temperatures, you should keep an eye on your dog in case they exhibit early signs of heat exhaustion. There are also other factors besides the temperature to keep in mind when bringing your dog outside this summer. Keep them cool all the years of their life.
Other factors to consider
Other factors that can impact how much heat your dog can handle include size, breed, weight, age, how much sleep they need and humidity. The size of your dog and their hair texture is a big factor that contributes to how much heat your dog can handle. Larger dogs need to be monitored more often, as they are more susceptible to heat stroke and developing skin conditions.
The breed of your dog is important because certain breeds have body types that make it easier or harder to handle hot temperatures. For example, pups with shorter snouts, such as pugs or Boston Terriers, need to be monitored as their flatter snouts can make it harder for them to breathe. Overweight dogs are more at risk in the heat, so be extra cautious with your pup if he or she is on the bigger side. In addition, older dogs may feel fatigued easier in the heat and may have a harder time moving to get out of the sun. Puppies are at a higher risk as well because they’re not fully accustomed to hotter temperatures.
Lastly, humidity can play a big role in outdoor safety. This is because humidity can make the temperature feel hotter than it actually is, even if your pet is shedding. A good rule of thumb for this is that if it feels uncomfortable for you to be outside, then it is even more uncomfortable for your dog.
Signs of heat exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is when your pup’s body temperature reaches a point above their normal, healthy range and they are no longer able to regulate their own body heat. This condition can be mild and treated at home or can get so severe that it leads to heatstroke, at which point your pet can become unconscious or experience organ failure.
Common signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke in Dogs to look out for include:
While there are other symptoms of heat exhaustion, these are the most common and easily identifiable. Always keep an eye on your dog if it’s hot outside and don’t ignore it if they’re acting differently than usual.
How to prevent heat exhaustion
It’s always better to, when you can, prevent a condition instead of trying to cure it. This is definitely the case when it comes to pets and heat exhaustion. Some of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent heatstroke in your pet are:
Never leave them in a parked car. Even with the windows cracked cars sitting in the sun heat up extremely quickly, and with no way out, dogs can start to suffer from heat exhaustion in just minutes.
Avoid walking your dog or doing any strenuous exercise at peak hours of the day - between 10 AM and 2 PM. Instead, walk your dog either in the early morning or during the late afternoon or evening. And even then, bring a water bottle and take breaks in the shade.
Make sure your dog doesn’t stay outside for too long! Sometimes they’re having so much fun outside that they continue to play even when they start to feel exhausted and it’s not safe anymore. As their pet parent make sure to keep an eye on them and coax them back inside when you need to.
Keep your indoor areas cool for your dog. Use your AC or setup fans in the areas they spend time throughout the day to make sure they can stay cool. It can also help to close, fully or partially, any blinds or curtains to keep the room from becoming too hot.
Make sure your dog always has water available. Drinking water is one of the main ways dog regulate their body temperature, so it’s very important that their water bowl is always full!
Get to know your dog’s medical history. Puppies, senior dogs, or dogs with conditions like obesity, breathing problems, or heart disease, are even more susceptible to heat. If your dog falls into any of these categories, be even more cautious with letting them spend too long in the heat.
Treating heat exhaustion
If you notice any signs of heat exhaustion from your dog, take them to a cooler area immediately - indoors if possible. Cool their body temperature by putting cool or lukewarm water on them. Don’t use cold water! Cooling them down too quickly can be just as dangerous! Apply water around their ears and paws to help reduce fever.
Once you’ve done this, have them rest near a fan so they can dry off and check their temperature every few minutes with a thermometer. Once their temperature is 103 degrees Fahrenheit, you can turn the fan off and stop applying water. Give them small amounts of lukewarm water to drink and call your vet as soon as possible. Even if they seem perfectly fine, monitor them for any complications from their heat exhaustion. Lastly, if your dog loses consciousness or becomes very ill, take them quickly to a veterinary hospital.
When you are outside having fun in the sun, your dog may want to join you. Keep an eye on them when it’s hot out to make sure that both you and your pup can enjoy a great summer together!
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