When is it too hot to walk your dog?

For some people, hot, sunny weather may seem fine for a lovely walk. But, dogs are not like us. They can find it very difficult to deal with extreme heat and will become dehydrated and overheat quickly

This can lead to heatstroke, a very serious illness that can be fatal. So, when is it too hot to walk your dog?

Is it too hot to walk my dog?

As a very general rule, walking your dog at any temperature over 20C should be avoided. Anything above this temperature will mean your dog gets dehydrated and very hot very quickly. The hotter the weather, the more at risk your dog becomes.  

For every degree of temperature increase, the risk to your dog increases too. Any temperature over 25C is a definite NO! Stick to the walking below 20C rule to be safe. Some dogs are more at risk from the heat than others, so be extra careful:

  •         Overweight dogs
  •         Brachycephalic breeds, such as French Bulldogs and Pugs
  •         Older dogs- 8 years and above
  •         Younger dogs- under 6 months old

If you want to walk your dog during the hot summer months, take them out before 8am or after 8pm when temperatures cool off. Offer them lots of water and walk in shaded areas if you can.

Why can't I walk my dog in hot weather?

Apart from it being very uncomfortable for many dogs, there are some serious reasons why you shouldn't walk your dog in hot weather:

  •         They have hairy coats, even those that have been clipped. It's like walking around covered in a duvet during the summer. Imagine how uncomfortable it would be.
  •         Dogs cannot sweat as we can. They do have small sweat glands on the pads of their paws but this is only a tiny part of their cooling-off process. You may notice them panting. This is another dog cooling technique. However, it is true. Dogs are not the most efficient creatures when it comes to cooling down. 
  •         It can cause severe burns on the sensitive skin on the pads of their paws. This will be incredibly painful for them and can lead to open wounds where the skin has burnt and peeled off.

Top Tip: Stand on the pavement or patio with bare feet. Is it too hot for you? If so, you'll know it is far too hot for your dog to walk on.

Every owner should know the signs for heatstroke in dogs. Read our blog '5 signs your dog is overheating' for more information.

With an Agria Pet Insurance policy, you can access the free Pet Health Helpline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The veterinary-trained team will advise on any concerns or queries that you may have over your pet’s health – much like the NHS 111 service for people. Call free on 03333 32 19 47.