Is 80 Degrees Too Hot To Walk A Dog? One Scorching-Hot Take

Is 80 degrees too hot to walk a dog ?
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Depending on where you live, this may not be a problem that you ever have to think about.

For others that reside in balmy locales such as Phoenix or Southern California, you may indeed have to wonder every single day, “Is 80 degrees too hot to walk a dog?”

The simple answer is that 80 degrees is much too hot to be walking a dog outside.

In fact, temperatures over 68 degrees F pose a danger to dogs exercising outside, as the risk of overheating, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke increase manifold.

Remember, dogs only have sweat glands underneath their feet, and are really only able to cool themselves through the process of panting.

As such, they are not very efficient at regulating their own body temperature, making our canine friends prone to overheating and dehydration. This can result in conditions as serious as organ failure and cardiac arrhythmias– at times leading to death.

Not only is the air too hot at 80 degrees, but the ground will most likely be as well. Since the ground is able to absorb heat even more effectively than the air, pavement or tarmac has the potential to seriously burn your dog’s poor paw pads.

A safe temperature to walk your dog is between 60.8 to 68 degrees F. Any hotter than that- leave your precious pooch at home!

How Hot Is Too Hot For A Dog To Walk?

Temperature thermometer on wooden wall

Are you planning to walk your dog in hot weather?

If yes, you need to take care to walk him in safe temperatures that will not harm him (or his paw pads). Generally, it is safe to walk your dog in hot temperatures of up to 66 degrees F.

When the temperature rises above that, you run the risk of heat stroke in dogs– a condition that occurs when the dog is no longer able to self-regulate and keep his body temperature at a safe level.

Experts suggest that the safe temperature to walk your dog is between 60.8 degrees F and 68 degrees F. Between 68 degrees F and 73.4 degrees F, the risk level of heat stroke increases, and between 75.2 degrees F and 80.6 degrees F the dog is in major danger.

Is 80 degrees Too Hot For A Dog?

Based on the above guidelines, 80 degrees F is too hot for most dog breeds to handle.

The risk of your dog suffering from heatstroke at temperatures of 80 degrees F and above is very high. This means that walking your dog outdoors at this temperature is very risky.

The weather condition, breed, and your dog’s age can decrease or increase this risk. For instance, if the humidity is too high your dog will be unable to cool himself effectively, meaning his temperature can quickly skyrocket to dangerous levels.

Similarly, small dogs, elderly dogs, and dogs with preexisting conditions are at more risk of suffering from heatstroke when exposed to temperatures of 80 degrees for a long period.

Dogs are not very effective at cooling their bodies. Unlike humans who sweat, dogs primarily cool themselves through panting.

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If the weather is too hot and humid, no amount of panting will save a dog from getting a heat stroke. Therefore, avoid walking your dog outdoors when the temperature is above 80 degrees!

When Is It Too Hot To Walk The Dog On The Pavement?

Dog walking in color run

Walking your dog on hot pavement in the high heat of summer is extremely dangerous. But how can you know when the pavement is too hot?

It is recommended that you as a dog owner perform a simple test to determine whether it is too hot to walk your dog on the pavement.

This test includes touching the pavement with the back of your hands for 7 seconds. If you cannot hold your hand on the pavement for the full 7 seconds, then it is also too hot for your dog to be walking on!

When the weather outside is pleasantly warm, you may think that it will not harm your dog. However, that is not usually the case, as the sun heats the earth from the ground.

This means that the ground temperature is usually hotter than the surrounding air since it absorbs heat faster. Additionally, some ground surfaces usually get hotter faster than others.

For instance, a study conducted by Frostburg University revealed that concrete can reach temperatures of 104 degrees F, while bricks and asphalts can get as hot as 109 degrees F and 128 degrees F respectively under the same temperature.

High temperatures can make the pavement too hot for your dog’s paws. So, before you walk your dog on the pavement, do the Seven Second Test. If you find out that it is too hot, let your dog stay indoors!

It is better to walk your dog on the pavement early in the morning and late in the evening when the ground is cooler. If you have to walk your dog when the temperature is hot, walk him on meadows or grass to protect his paws from burns.

How Can You Tell If A Dog Is Overheated?

Malamute panting eyes closed

Overheating is one of the biggest dangers for dogs, particularly during the summer months.

If you live in a heat-prone area like in Southern California, you need to be very careful to ensure that your four-legged friend does not overheat.

Overheating in dogs occurs when external temperatures rise beyond optimal levels and are usually exacerbated by things like poor air quality and high humidity.

However, it is important to note that there is a difference between overheating and heatstroke.

Heatstroke is more serious and usually occurs when your dog’s internal temperature surpasses 109 degrees F. When heatstroke sets in, your dog’s cell will start to die resulting in multiple organ failures including the kidneys, lungs, and even the brain.

The effects of heatstroke are devastating and can last for years, making the dog’s life miserable.

On the other hand, the effects of overheating are not fatal, meaning your dog can recover if appropriate action is taken fast. Below are some of the signs that can indicate that your dog is overheated:

  • Excessive panting and struggling to breathe
  • Excessive drooling
  • Dehydration (dry nose, sunken eyes, lethargy)
  • High fever (body temperature above 103 degrees F)
  • Muscle tremors and shivering
  • Lack of urine
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Increased heart rate.

What Happens If My Dog Gets Too Hot?

Dry dog nose

If your dog gets too hot, it can suffer from heat exhaustion, dehydration, heatstroke– and in worst case scenarios, death from cardiac arrhythmias.

The first sign that indicates that your dog has overheated is dehydration. Dehydration refers to excessive loss of fluid including water, electrolytes, and essential minerals such as chloride, sodium, and potassium.

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Some of the signs that show that your dog is suffering from dehydration include a dry mouth, dry nose, pale gums, and sunken eyes. Other symptoms of dehydration include poor skin elasticity.

Untreated dehydration can cause organ failure and even death in dogs. Therefore, quick medical attention is needed if you notice signs of dehydration as a result of prolonged exposure to heat.

Your vet may recommend that you administer water with electrolyte products in order to quickly rehydrate your dog. In extreme cases, intravenous fluids may be necessary.

Your dog may also suffer from heat-related conditions such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion when it gets too hot.

Some of the signs that can indicate that your dog is overheated include constant panting and heavy breathing. Other signs of overheating include vomiting, blue gums, convulsions, weakness, and diarrhea.

Overheating is dangerous and can cause cardiac arrhythmias that have the potential to be deadly. Therefore, you should take action immediately when you notice signs of overheating.

The first thing that you should do is to take your dog to a cool place (preferably indoors) and cool him off with cool or lukewarm water. Once the dog has stabilized, call your vet for a further checkup.

How Do You Treat An Overheated Dog?

English bulldog panting

If you begin to notice signs of overheating in your dog, you should take action immediately to prevent the problem from escalating further.

Below are tips on how to treat an overheated dog safely and effectively:

  1. Take your dog to a cooler area immediately.
  2. Lower the dog’s body temperature by pouring cool water on his body. Please don’t use ice cold water because this could shock the dog and cause more harm than good.
    Instead, use mildly cool water for adult dogs, and lukewarm water for puppies. Gently apply the cool water around the dog’s paws and ears to help prevent or lessen any instances of fever.
  3. Once the dog has cooled off, put him in front of a fan to speed up the drying process. Check the dog’s temperature frequently using a thermometer, and when you notice that the temperature has dropped below 103 degrees F remove the fan and stop the water application.
  4. As the dog continues to cool down, give it a small amount of cool or lukewarm water to keep it hydrated. Again, don’t give it ice cold water!
  5. Once your dog has stabilized, call your local vet as soon as possible for a thorough checkup. The overheating might have caused serious problems, such as dehydration and kidney damage among other complications.
    These must be treated and monitored by the vet. The vet will also be able to conduct a thorough examination of your dog and offer appropriate advice based on the results obtained.

What Humidity Is Too High For Dogs?

Dogs cool themselves by panting, a process that helps to evaporate moisture from the lungs and as a result takes away heat from the body.

Just like humans whose sweat cannot evaporate effectively when there is high humidity, the same also applies to dogs. In fact, dogs are even more affected since the only way of cooling their body is through panting. According to experts, humidity that is more than 65% is too high for dogs.

When the humidity level is above 65%, your dog will be unable to cool down and his body temperatures may escalate to dangerous levels very quickly. So, always ensure that your indoor humidity level is within the recommended levels to prevent your dog from overheating.

What To Do When It Is Too Hot To Walk Your Dog

Modern air conditioner on wall

The question that you are probably asking yourself right now at this point in the article:

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“What should I do if it is too hot to walk my dog?”

Worry not, because in this section we will give you the solutions that you are looking for!

Keep Your House Cool

If you cannot take your dog out for a walk because it is too hot, you need to ensure that your house is cool enough to stay in!

Ensure that the AC is running to help keep the house cool throughout the day. Also, make sure that your house is well-ventilated to allow free circulation of air.

Your dog may overheat even when indoors if your house is not cool enough. Therefore, it is vital that your house has plenty of cool air coming in, whether via open windows or air conditioning.

Keep Your Dog Well-Hydrated

Dogs regulate their body heat mainly through panting, drinking water, and resting. Therefore, keeping your dog sufficiently hydrated is extremely important because it will help it to regulate its body temperature. Always ensure that your dog’s water bowl is full throughout the day.

Keep An Eye On Your Pup

Besides keeping your house cool and ensuring that your dog is well-hydrated, it is also important to keep a close eye on your dog especially when it is very hot.

Prevention is the best cure to protecting your dog against heat. Try as much as possible to limit your dog’s outdoor movements.

For instance, if your dog goes to play outdoors, ensure that it does not stay out there for too long. Keeping a close eye on your dog’s movements and behavior will help you detect any anomalous issue quickly before it escalates and becomes life-threatening.

Keep Humidity Levels Under Control

Keeping the temperature under control is not enough to protect your dog from overheating. You also need to keep humidity levels under control, especially if you live in a high humidity area.

A high humidity of above 65% is dangerous for your dog and can prevent it from cooling down effectively on a hot day. So, keep your home’s humidity level under control by investing in a high-quality AC system or dehumidifier.

This way, you will be able to ensure that your home is cool enough for your dog!

In Summary

The only correct response to the question, “Is 80 degrees too hot to walk a dog?” is an invariable yes.

Walking your dog in 80 degree heat (and anything above 68 degrees, really) puts it in unnecessary danger of overheating, dehydration, and heat stroke.

All of these are dangerous conditions for dogs, since they are inefficient at staying cool in the best of times.

If you suspect that your dog is overheating or suffering from heatstroke, it is vital to try to cool it down immediately. This can be done by applying cool (but not ice cold) water over its body, and especially in the areas around its feet and ears.

You should always take your dog to the vet for further examination in these instances to make sure that no serious damage has occurred to any of its internal organs.

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