When is It Too Hot to Walk a Dog?

During the summer, many people enjoy going out to enjoy the sunshine or have a stroll in the park. Dogs are no exception. But what temperature is too hot to walk a dog outside?

Walking a dog in hot weather

What temperature is too hot to walk a dog?

If it’s 80°F – 90°F (27°C – 32°C) outside and your dog is panting then they’re overheating. If they have their tongue out or are drooling a lot, they’re overheating.

Dogs are not able to perspire through their skin, which means they rely on panting to cool down. This is an inefficient way for them to cool down and, as such, when it’s hot outside (and humans are sweating profusely) dogs can overheat very quickly.

Many dog owners consider walking their dogs a vital part of their day. However, when temperatures are above 80°F experts advise everyone to avoid walking and exercise altogether.

Heatstroke can cause major damage to the body’s organs and could even result in death if left untreated. Older, overweight, or less active dogs are more susceptible to heatstroke than younger, smaller pooches. Dogs with thick coats are also more likely to get overheated.

Dogs whose owners don’t provide them with adequate shelter from the sun are also at risk, especially breeds with short snouts like bulldogs or pugs. They have trouble panting, so they can’t cool themselves down as effectively as other breeds.

To avoid heatstroke, experts recommend taking your dog for walks earlier in the day or later in the evening when temperatures tend to drop. If you’re taking your pooch out during peak hours, consider purchasing a doggy water bottle that dispenses water when he licks it, or consider making an ice-filled dog bowl.

When is it too hot to walk a dog on the pavement?

If the pavement, concrete, or tile feels very warm to the touch, then the pavement may be too hot for safely walking a dog. When direct sunlight heats up the road it can be very hot on a dog’s bare paws.

It is important to watch the temperature of the pavement before you allow your dog to walk on paved surfaces, especially during the summer months. If the pavement is 85°F or above, you should be cautious about allowing your dog to walk there.

If the pavement cannot cool down, it could cause potential problems for a pet’s paws. Although dogs can withstand a wide range of temperatures with few problems, they may start to feel pain and discomfort when walking on hot pavement, especially in their paws.

How do I cool my dog down after walking?

It’s a hot day, and you’ve just taken your dog for a walk. After the walk, you notice your dog is panting heavily. What do you do?

Your dog should be able to recover from the heat within 30 minutes if you follow these steps:

Remove your dog from the hot environment immediately. Cool them off by placing them in a cool area, preferably with air conditioning. Allow your dog to rest, and offer them water or other cool drinks as they recover.

A short lukewarm shower should be sufficient to help cool down an adult-sized dog.

Use a fan or blow air over the skin on their back. Blowing air over his coat causes evaporation which cools his skin.

Use an ice pack to cool down any overheated areas such as your dog’s groin, armpits, and neck area. You can also place an ice pack in their non-hair areas such as their chest or tummy area or on top of a wet towel draped over them.

Takeaway: Always take plenty of water with you on walks and have access to water for your dog at other times during the day, too. If it’s hot and humid outside, offer your dog a drink every 15 minutes or so. Refrain from giving them too much water immediately before or after exercise as this can cause stomach upset and bloat.

Is my dog panting too much after a walk?

Panting is a natural and healthy way for a dog to cool down. In fact, it’s essential for keeping dogs from overheating and possibly suffering heat illness.

As long as your dog is panting normally, there’s no need to worry about the temperature. If he doesn’t seem to be able to catch his breath or is breathing very fast and hard, though, those are signs that he might be overheated and that you should get him inside where it’s cooler.

Takeaway: A good rule of thumb is that if you feel hot, your dog probably feels hotter. In fact, dogs don’t have sweat glands and can only pant to cool themselves off.

Conclusion of walking a dog outside when it’s hot

You should always be prepared for the heat, and take regular breaks from your walk. If you’re planning on taking your dog out during the heat of the day or early evening, ensure that you have plenty of water available for them. You may also want to consider taking some extra food with you if it’s likely to be a long walk, as well as some treats for them to chew on.

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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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