How Hot is Too Hot for Dogs
How Hot is Too Hot for Dogs to be Outside
- Evaporation happens through the sweat glands in your dog’s paws and a heat release through the mouth, nose, skin, and ears. Excessive panting is a prominent manner in which a pet releases heat.
- Conduction is when your dog is exposed to cooler areas or items to help regulate its temperature. Excess heat escapes through the skin, and your pup will feel cooler.
- Convection works when a cool breeze releases trapped hot air from your dog’s coat.
- Radiation is the method that releases heat into the air. This happens as blood flows to the skin surface more rapidly and removes excess heat.
Factors that Affect How Your Dog Handles the HeatSeveral factors can affect how your dog handles the heat, including their breed, age, and health. The general climate and humidity can also play a role. Below we will take a closer look at each of these influencers:
BreedHeat stress or heatstroke can occur in all dog breeds, but longhaired and brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds are possibly more at risk due to their inability to release heat quickly.
AgeSenior dogs and puppies are susceptible to heat stress when exposed to high temperatures. Newborn dogs only regulate their body temperature at around 3-4 weeks old. Older dogs have difficulty regulating their body temperature and require careful attention during summertime.
- Dogs that are overweight or obese are more likely to struggle with heat stress or heat stroke. Unfit pets will also struggle in hot temperatures.
- Regular exercise will benefit your pet’s cardiovascular health and keep them in good health, contributing to their ability to regulate their temperature during cold or warm weather.
- Medical issues can exasperate heatstroke. Hypothyroidism, cardiac disease, kidney disease, and diabetes mellitus can affect your dog’s ability to regulate its body temperature.
Climate and EnvironmentIf your dog is trapped in an area without airflow (hot cars), its ability to release excess heat is compromised. A limitation to their ability to get to a shaded area and cool water bowl will also affect your dog. Humidity, where there is a high measure of moisture in the air, also plays a crucial role. Your dog pants to release moisture and heat from their body. If the humidity level is too high, their ability to cool their bodies is limited, and their temperatures elevate.
How Hot is Too Hot for Dogs to Walk
How Hot is Too Hot for Dogs in a Car
Alternatives to Leaving a Dog in a CarBelow you will find alternatives to leaving a dog in a car:
- Keep pets safe by leaving them at home
- Bring a friend along so that they can play under a tree with your pet while you’re busy
- When possible, use drive-throughs for errands
- Frequent pet-friendly stores and restaurants
How to Tell if Your Dog is Too Hot: Signs of Heatstroke and Heat Exhaustion
Breeds at Risk for Overheating
How Can I Help My Dog Cool Down?
- Spraying cold water directly onto your dog
- Throwing them into a body of water or ice bath
- Ice packs
- Shaving them bald
- In the car with the AC