Walking exercises are significantly important for our dogs, but it is of utmost importance that you consider the time of the day and the place where they will be walking.

Hot temperatures can quickly induce heatstroke and dehydration in your pet. To avoid this, every owner must ask themselves, ‘when is it too hot to walk a dog?’ and check on the weather regularly. Never go out unprepared!

What Temperature Is Too Hot to Walk My Dog?

Although every dog reacts to heat differently, it’s safe to assume that beyond 77°F (25°C), is too hot for a pet.

After the 77°F mark, dogs won’t regulate their temperature correctly. Unfortunately, they don’t sweat as humans do; they can only cool themselves by panting and drinking water. If there’s no water available, problems will arise.

How Do I Know When It’s Too Hot to Walk My Dog?

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Another way to measure whether it’s too hot to walk a dog is to feel the pavement. If you rest your hands or feet on the pavement, and it’s too hot to keep them there, then it’s too hot. If you can’t walk barefooted, neither can your pet.

Sun exposure, water availability, humidity, and walking time also matter. Even if you take your dog on a stroll under 68°F, they could still get heatstroke!

How a dog regulates its temperature depends on a lot of factors. Studies have shown that breed, age, and brachycephaly also play a big role in how much heat they can endure. So walking your pet is not as carefree as it seems: you need to do some research beforehand!

The Signs of an Overheated Dog

When it’s too hot to walk a dog, our pets usually present many symptoms that will tell you right away if they can’t cool down.

  • Panting

Panting is the first sign to appear in most cases. Dogs try to lose heat by expelling it via panting. However, in doing so, they also discard bodily fluids in the process.

Keep in mind that dogs pant for many other reasons, too, such as over-exertion and obesity. Regardless of the cause, let them rest and give them some water so as to prevent dehydration.

  • Red or blue gums

Whenever a dog can’t redistribute oxygen properly, the gums are the first organ to lose their color.

This lack of oxygen doesn’t mean your dog isn’t breathing, but, instead, there’s an underlying issue that’s just appeared. If untreated, this symptom can escalate quickly, affecting vital organs and even suffocating your pet.

Frequently, other breathing-related problems will crop up alongside blue gums, like heavy breathing.

  • Excessive Salivation

This minor symptom is prevalent in dogs. Nonetheless, anything can produce excessive drooling: from an upset stomach to kidney disease.

In this case, heavy panting is the reason behind it. When dogs pant, they release hot steam and, as a consequence, saliva. Both of these symptoms go hand in hand and contribute to dehydration.

Heatstroke

Heatstroke, or hyperthermia, hits your dog whenever they exceed a body temperature of 103°F or (39.4°C).

Thanks to dogs’ limited ways of dissipating heat, canine heatstroke is, in fact, commonplace in Summer. When they reach very high bodily temperatures, they can’t keep up with the heat rise and start hyperventilating.

A lethal chain reaction unfolds since the rugged breathing continues, and water escapes their bodies quicker. A dog, in this state, sees its oxygen intake and water levels drop at an alarming rate.

Low oxygen and dehydration then originate disorientation and loss of movement coordination. If the heatstroke carries on, dogs won’t hold out and will either collapse or undergo seizures.

Heatstroke can easily kill a dog within minutes. Despite this condition being easily avoidable, PETA reported 244 cases of pets suffering from heatstroke in the US last year: 59 didn’t make it in time.

Dehydration

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Typically, dogs can go without water for a few days. However, a walk during burning hot weather or a slight case of heatstroke can reduce their endurance immensely.

Heatstroke frequently causes dehydration, even in its earlier stages.

Dogs, when dehydrated, won’t have the energy to hang around, eat, and drink. Sick animals save up their energy to get better quicker. Due to that instinctive habit, our pets become lethargic when they start lacking water.

Other signs of a dog needing liquid fast are sunken eyes, less skin elasticity, and dry gums, mouth, and nose. When bodily fluids are low, not all organs receive enough blood and water, which affects their functionality and appearance.

How to Prevent Heatstroke

Even when it is too hot to walk a dog, you can take preemptive measures in order to walk your pet without any issues.

Consider the Time

You don’t have to go outside at the highest temperature of the day!

You can either walk your dog in the morning or at night. Furthermore, these times of the day ensure your dog won’t have to deal with blazing concrete.

Take Water With You

A good idea is to always get your hands on a water container.

Most public parks don’t have lakes or water sources to rehydrate your dog. To fight this issue, you can take water with you. There are a lot of water bottles and bowls designed to bring along during walks.

We recommend using a collapsible water bottle: it’s very convenient and flexible.

Change Your Usual Routes

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In Summer, you might want to change your usual route for a cooler option.

During the hot seasons, walking your dog in concrete becomes a no-go. Rather, you’ll need to find a better path with natural ground, high trees, and, if possible, a water source nearby. These conditions will ensure your pet won’t ever get heatstroke.

However, take into account that a faraway route makes treating a health emergency more difficult. If your dog has a chronic illness, be mindful that the unexpected could happen anywhere, anytime.

As a final note, never leave your dog inside a car during hot weather. This is a fatal mistake that many people did and keep doing nowadays.

Take care of your beloved dog and consider how they’ll feel during hot days!