Two long-haired dachshunds running on the beach.

Health & Wellness

How hot is too hot for your dog?

Sometimes fun in the sun becomes unsafe.

During the winter months, pet parents often wonder how the colder temperatures may be affecting their pups — but the same can also be said about the summer months. Dr. Aliya McCullough, Fetch’s on-staff vet, breaks down how hot is too hot for outdoor fun.

Many people associate heat stroke with dogs sitting in cars, but the truth is that it can happen even in our own backyard. There are a couple factors to consider when deciding how long your pup can play outside. 


The size of your pup has a lot to do with safety. Larger dogs should be monitored more frequently than smaller or medium sized dogs. Let’s say it’s 70 degrees Fahrenheit (around 21 degrees Celsius) — it’s not risky for small to medium sized dogs to play outside but it is potentially unsafe for larger dogs if they’re not monitored. 


If you’re using the chart to determine outdoor safety, you should add a point if your dog has a shorter snout — like a pug or Boston Terriers—as their flatter snouts make it harder to breathe.


Is your dog overweight? If so, it could be harder for them to stay safe in the warmer weather. Add a point when referencing the chart to determine safety. 


Older dogs may find it harder to move around and get out of the sun, especially if they have mobility issues. They also may sleep so hard that they end up overheating while sleeping since they don’t wake up to relocate. If your pup is elderly — or less than 6-months-old (as they’re not yet fully accustomed to hot temperatures) — add a point on the chart above. 


If the temperature is uncomfortable for you, chances are it’s way more uncomfortable for your dogs. Humidity plays a big role in outdoor safety as it makes the temperature feel much hotter.

Accommodate your pup

Always make sure there’s water and plenty of shaded areas for them to get some relief. It’s also important to know when it’s time to come inside.

Your pups deserve their outdoor playtime, but it needs to be safe for them. You’re your dog’s best advocate, and knowing these tips about heat safety will allow them to have their fun in the sun.

The best pet insurance, period.

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Team Fetch


Pet Health




Photo by Kojirou Sasaki on Unsplash

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