Just like for humans, it’s important to keep our canine companions cool in hot weather but what temperature is too hot to walk a dog?
The weather is always a hot topic of debate here in the UK and in June this year, we’ve seen all four seasons in one month.
In the last few weeks alone we’ve had torrential downpours, thunderstorms and even some hail across some parts of the UK.
Now, summer is well and truly here with the hottest two days of the year prompting not-so socially distanced visits to the seaside.
But while we humans do our best to stay cool, it’s the same for our beloved furry friends as well.
For any dog walkers out there, a beautiful summer’s day can seem like the perfect time for a long stroll with your canine companions but the warm weather we’re having could be dangerous.
How hot is too hot for your dog?
- There is no defined temperature to avoid walking all dogs as each pooch is a different shape and size and will cope differently at varying temperatures.
According to Vets Now, temperatures between 16 and 19°c are safe for most dogs, but attention will need to be paid to large, obese or flat-faced pooches.
Above that, temperatures ranging from 20 to 23°c can carry a risk of heatstroke if your canine companions are exercised too heavily or have underlying health issues. Vets Now rate this weather at a 6/10 for risk.
Great care should be taken when temperatures rise to 24 to 27°c, which is rated at 8/10 risk. Again, large or obese dogs are set to struggle in these temperatures while most dogs will definitely start to feel the heat.
The weather we currently have:
- When the heat rises to 28 to 31°c, heatstroke becomes a serious risk and it can potentially be life-threatening to larger breeds, puppies as well as flat-faced and obese dogs. Rated 9/10 risk-wise.
- Temperatures of 32°c and above carry a 10/10 risk and heatstroke can be a concern for all dogs regardless of size, breed or health condition.
Signs a dog might have heatstroke
According to Heart, your canine companion may be suffering heatstroke if it’s displaying any of the following:
- Heavy panting
- Red eyes
- Red gums
- Hot skin
- Reduced activity
If you believe your dog is suffering from heatstroke, Battersea recommends taking them into a cool, shaded area where you should apply towels soaked in cold water to their head, neck and chest.
You should never place them directly into cold water or give them too much to drink as they may go into shock. Instead, you could give them an ice cube to lick or a steady amount of water.
How to keep your pooches cool
While us humans like to find ways of keeping cool in the summer, so do our pets.
Battersea has a whole range of suggestions to keep our canines cool when the weather gets warm:
- Encourage them to stay in shaded areas
- Put down damp towels for them to lie on
- Fill a hot water bottle with cold water
- Put the garden sprinkler on
- Keep a paddling pool in the shade for them to cool off in
- NEVER leave dogs in cars
- Bring a bottle of water and a bowl on walks
- Have walks early in the morning or late evening
- Play games that don’t involve too much physical activity
- Keep your dog groomed
- Sum cream for dogs
- Keep your dog off hot surfaces
A good way to check if it’s too hot to walk your dog is to stand barefoot on the ground they’ll be walking on, if it’s too hot for you, it’ll be too hot for them.