It’s summertime! Along with the beautiful weather, comes quite a few hot days. When adventuring with your dog, you may start to wonder, how hot is too hot for your dog?
When it’s hot out, you may start to wonder just how hot is okay for a dog. Unfortunately, there is no set temperature.
It really just depends on your dog, the temperature and the situation.
Not to worry though, we’ll go through some of the basics so you can figure out how hot, is too hot.
How Hot Is Too Hot for Dogs?
For the most part, dogs should be fine outdoors in 80°F (26°C) for short amounts of time. Some dogs will tolerate heat better than others depending on their breed, conditioning and if there is plenty of shade and water.
The chart below is modified from the Tufts Animal Care and Condition (TACC) scales. It’s one of the few resources will clear-cut guidelines to help determine safe temperatures for dogs.
What temperature is too hot for dogs?
|Temperature||Small Dogs |
|Medium Dogs |
|Large Dogs |
|50°F (10°C)||(1) No risk||(1) No risk||(1) No risk|
|55°F (12°C)||(1) No risk||(1) No risk||(1) No risk|
|60°F (15°C)||(1) No risk||(1) No risk||(1) No risk|
|65°F (18°C)||(1) No risk||(1) No risk||(2) Low risk|
|70°F (21°C)||(2) Low risk||(2) Low risk||(3) Possible danger|
|75°F (23°C)||(3) Possible danger||(3) Possible danger||(3) Possible danger|
|80°F (26°C)||(3) Possible danger||(3) Possible danger||(4) Dangerous|
|85°F (29°C )||(4) Dangerous||(4) Dangerous||(5) Very dangerous|
|90°F (32°C)||(5) Very dangerous||(5) Very dangerous||(5) Very dangerous|
|95°F (35°C)||(5) Very dangerous||(5) Very dangerous||(5) Very dangerous|
|100°F (37°C)||(5) Very dangerous||(5) Very dangerous||(5) Very dangerous|
|105°F (40°C)||(5) Very dangerous||(5) Very dangerous||(5) Very dangerous|
|110°F (43°C)||(5) Very dangerous||(5) Very dangerous||(5) Very dangerous|
What the Heat Temperature Chart Means
The 5 levels above stand for a rough estimate of safe temperatures for dogs based on their weight.
Smaller dogs can tolerate more heat than bigger dogs.
The levels above represent how safe the heat is according to this scale:
Level 1: No Risk
Most dogs can easily tolerate heat up to 70°F with no risk to their health.
Level 2: Low Risk
The low risk temperatures mean that most dogs will do fine at these temperatures and unless their is an underlying medical condition or too much physical activity, they should be fine.
Level 3: Possible Risk
At level 3 there is potential danger of it being too hot for your dog. It largely depends on the breed of your dog and how long they will be outside.
Level 4: Dangerous
Once temperatures hit over 80°F precautions need to be taken to make sure your dog doesn’t overheat.
This means a cool shelter and plenty of water is an absolute must, along with supervision.
Level 5: Very Dangerous
At level 5, extreme precautions need to be taken. That means any temperature over 90°F could be harmful.
Too much physical activity outside or being outdoors for an extended time at these temperatures puts your dog at high risk for dehydration or heat stroke.
This scale is a loose guideline. It does say that if shade is available you can subtract 1 point from the condition level. Plenty of water available allows you to subtract an additional point.
This means if you have a large dog (over 60lbs) at 90°F weather would be very dangerous (a level 5) and possibly life-threatening to your dog for an extended amount of time.
However, if they are in the shade and have lots of water, it makes for more of a “possibly dangerous” situation, (a level 3.)
That being said, you should definitely monitor your dog outdoors at these temperatures.
Other factors that need to be brought in are your dog’s weight and breed. For example, if your dog is overweight you need to add an automatic point to the scale.
Also if they are a “brachycephalic breed” such as a pug or bulldog then you also need to add an additional point, as they are more susceptible to the heat than other breeds.
How Hot Is Too Hot to Take My Dog for a Walk?
When it comes to walking your dog on hot days, anything above 90°F (32°C) is too hot.
If the days are getting very hot in the summer, you can try walking your dog in the early morning or late evening when the weather is cooler.
Other things to consider other than the direct temperature outside, is how hot the ground your dog is walking on.
Pavement can get extremely hot and can burn your dog’s paws. So always test out the heat of the ground before letting your dog walk on it.
Regardless, if it’s hot out, make sure to bring plenty of water, let your dog take breaks in the shade if needed and watch for any signs that he’s just too hot.
How to Tell if It’s Too Hot for Your Dog
If in doubt, one of the best things to do is simply watch your dog. There are a few easy ways to tell if it’s too hot for your dog.
Signs that it’s too hot for your dog include:
- Excessive panting (This is how dogs “sweat”)
- Excessive drooling
- If their skin feels hot
- Increased heart rate
- Excessive thirst
- If they seem confused, weak, or stumbling around (A very late sign)
- Vomiting (Very late sign)
If you are seeing any of the first few signs, it’s time to bring your dog indoors, let them cool down and drink plenty of water.
It’s also good to know how long a dog can go without water. If it’s hot out, not very long!
If they seem confused or are vomiting a lot, make sure to get them checked out by the vet.
Keeping Your Dog Safe in the Heat
Using your common sense will go a long way in keeping your dog safe on hot days.
For the most part, if you are with your dog you’ll be able to tell if they are getting overheated just by paying attention to your dog’s behavior.
Make sure to give lots of opportunities to rest in shaded areas and always have plenty of water on hand for them.
Summer is a wonderful time to play outdoors with your dog. Just keep these guidelines in mind and have fun!