Is It Too Hot to Walk Your Dog?Jun 13, 2023
Is It Too Hot to Walk Your Dog?
Before going out in the heat of the day it's a good idea to first understand the risks to ensuring their safety.
With the weather being so hot here in Scotland just now I’m minded to write this blog on the importance of considering the temperature and weather conditions before deciding whether it is safe to walk your dog.
Dogs are susceptible to heat-related illnesses, so walking them in excessively high temperatures can be dangerous. Here are some guidelines so you can decide whether it’s too warm to walk your dog:
As a general rule, if the temperature is above 32°C (90°F), then it’s generally considered too hot to walk your dog, but this may vary depending on factors such as humidity, the breed of your dog, and their general health. Dogs with thick coats or brachycephalic breeds (short-nosed breeds like Bulldogs or Pugs) are more vulnerable to heat and may require extra caution.
Time of day
The temperature is usually the hottest during the middle of the day, I’d say between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. It's best to avoid walking your dog during these peak hours in hot weather. Instead, opt for early morning or late evening walks when the temperature is cooler. Many people make the mistake of thinking the middle of the day is 12 – 1, check the temperature and don’t just go by the clock.
Remember that the temperature of the ground or tarmac can be much higher than the air temperature. Check the pavement by placing the back of your hand on it for a few seconds. If it feels hot to the touch, it can burn your dog's paws. In such cases, it's better to wait for cooler temperatures or walk your dog on grass or shaded areas.
Signs of distress
Watch for signs of overheating in your dog, such as excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, difficulty breathing, or collapsing. If you notice any of these symptoms, immediately stop the activity, move your dog to a cool area, and provide them with water, this is a good time to recommend remembering to take water with you just in case. If the symptoms persist or worsen, contact your vet.
If it's too hot to walk, consider alternative forms of exercise such as indoor play and/or training, mental stimulation, or shorter walks during cooler times of the day.
Providing access to shade, fresh water, and a cool environment is essential to keep your dog comfortable in warm weather.