What Temperature Is Too Hot To Walk A Dog?

Knowing the right temperature to walk your dog is important. The heat can already be a burden to humans, but imagine how much worse it is for your dogs. Their thick and wooly coats would be one of the factors why the heat can be worse for them. Being a dog owner it is important to know what is good and bad for them when it comes to exercising under the sun. 

What temperature is too hot to walk a dog? 89.6°F (32°C) is the hottest temperature to walk your dog. At this point, your dog would be prone to heat stroke whether what breed they are. However, there is a temperature that is dangerous depending on how big and your dog breed is. 

Knowing the right temperature to take your dog for a walk is important. This is to make sure that they are safe and get the daily exercise that they need. In this article, you will learn more about the right temperature and other measures that you should take when walking your dog on a hot day.

The Right Temperature for A Walk

The right temperature to walk a dog is 53.6°F to 59°F (12°C to 15°C). This temperature is safe and enjoyable for all types of breeds. They can stay outside as long as they like.

What Temperature Is Too Hot To Walk A Dog?

89.6°F (32°C) is the most dangerous temperature for your dog to take a walk.

Before going outside, it is best to apply The 5 Second Rule. Put the back of your hand on the sidewalk, and if you can’t hold it there for five seconds, then it would be a sign that it is too hot to walk your dog.

What are the dangers of walking dogs in heat of 89.6°F (32°C? Walking in this high temperature can burn the paws of your furry friend. The pads of your dog’s or puppy’s paws are not adaptable to heat and may not be able to withstand high temperatures.

Another thing that you check is if your dog is panting heavily within a few minutes into the walk, it is a huge sign that it is too hot for them to be walking. 

What’s Too Cold for a Dog?

If the temperature falls below 32°F (0°C), owners with small breed dogs, dogs with coats, and dogs that are old, young, and sick can be in danger.

When the temperature hits 20°F (-6.6°C), it is the time when all breed owners should worry because it can be life-threatening to walk your dogs for a walk at this temperature.

The best way to know if the weather is too cold for your dog is to watch their behavior. If your dog is shivering, acting anxious, whining, or slowing down it is best to search for a warm location. This is to prevent hypothermia and frostbite because of the cold weather.

How Do Dogs Adapt to Heat?

Adapting to heat is different in every breed of a dog. Dogs can only handle a certain temperature. Having said this, they are not really good at adapting to heat. If it’s too hot for them, they would just pants real fast to let you know that the weather is unbearable and too hot.

For instance, weather with a temperature of 75.2°F to 80.6°F (24°C to 27°C) is dangerous for those who are obese, flat-faced, dogs, puppies, and large breed dogs. Dogs can adapt to heat, however, it is very dangerous to them if the temperature gets too hot to handle

Dangers of Heat to your Dog

Heatstroke is a condition that is caused by an elevation of body temperature which is called hyperthermia. The body temperature increases and it tends to occur as a response to a trigger, such as inflammation in the body.

Dogs do not sweat as we do, they have a small number of sweat drops through their paws and noses. Having said this, it is not enough to say that your dog is going through a heat stroke just by observing both areas. Panting, dark red gums and thick saliva are other symptoms that you can check. 

Common signs of heatstroke in dogs

The number one danger that your dog might experience if you walk them in weather that is too hot is heatstroke. You can check your dog’s temperature if you suspect that your dog is prone to heatstroke. It is recommended to check your dog’s temperature with a rectal thermometer every ten minutes. 

Normal dog temperature 101°F to 102.5°F
38.33°C to 39.16°C
Prone to have heatstroke temperature Above 103°F
Above 39.44°C

The normal temperature for your dog is 101°F to 102.5°F (38.33°C to 39.16°C). Anything that is above 103°F (39.44°C) is already a sign that they are prone to have a heatstroke.

The best preventive measure is to cool your dog down with water. Hose him down, or locate any small body of water that you can find like a pond. A mud puddle can cool your dog’s temperature too.

However, you have to take note that the water should not be ice water. This can cause cold blood vessels to constrict, preventing the body’s core from cooling and causing the internal temperature to rise further. 

If your dog’s temperature drops below 103°F (39.44°C), then stop all your efforts to cool off your dog. It may lead to hypothermia. Now, if there is already a heatstroke present, then it is best to bring your furry friend to your vet as soon as possible.

Safety Tips on Walking Your Dog in a Hot Temperature

There are some things that you can do if the summer season is too hot for your dog to bear.

Change the time you walk the dog

One thing that you can do is walk them early in the morning or late in the evening. During these times it would be cooler since there would be less direct sunlight.

Take water with you on the walk

Another thing that you can do is, always take water with you so that you can avoid your dog from dehydration or overheating. Here’s a collapsible bowl that attaches to your dog’s collar. You bring the water bottle, and your dog is set to keep hydrated. Better still, this 2 in 1 option combines water bottle and convenient dispenser for dogs.

Now, if it’s 89.6°F (32°C) it is best to leave your dog at home with a bowl of water. It would be more comfortable for them to stay indoors than to walk outside.

Cooling dog beds

There are also dog beds that you can buy which you can keep inside your home.

Doggie splash pool

You can also buy a splash pool for dogs or fill up your tub so that your dog can keep cool. 

Alternative Exercises For Your Dog

When it is the summer season, water is your dog’s best friend.

Instead of walking them in the hot weather outside, there are alternative indoor exercises that your dog can do. Here are a few ideas that you can do instead of taking your dog for a walk on a hot summer day.


Swimming is the best exercise for your dog during the summer. You can take them to swimming pools, lakes, or ponds but of course, you have to be careful of the other animals that they may encounter in these bodies of water. 

Taking your dog swimming also provides a lot of benefits. Just one minute of swimming, it is equivalent to four minutes of running. It can also strengthen their lungs and heart. If you have an overweight dog, then swimming is your best bet. 

Unlike exercises that your dog may do on land, swimming can lessen overworking their already stressed joints and muscles due to their weight. It would improve their metabolism and it will let them burn a lot of calories without the risk of injuries.

You also have to remember to still take an ample amount of water with you. Too much saltwater or chlorine can be bad for your furry friend.  If you are worried about your dog swimming in saltwater, read our article here.

Walks in Early Morning and Late Evening

The best time to take your dog out in the morning before breakfast. This is when the temperatures are still mild and it would be a great routine for your dogs. Morning walks should last half an hour to an hour. 

Walking your dog in the evening is a great time as well. The evening is calm and usually quiet, which will be relaxing for you and your dog. The walk will tire your pet and they would just doze off once you have arrived in your home. 

It is best to have a longer evening walks so that they can let out all the energy that they have kept during the day that they have stayed in the house. This would also prevent your pet to be restless during the night. 

Playing a Game Inside

Another exercise that you can do is to play a calmer game inside the house. A simple game of fetch inside your home is already an exercise for your pet. Another great game is tug-of-war which is great for those who do not have a large space in their home.

Obstacle course is another game that you can do for your dog. Just simply use the items that you can find inside your home and build a small challenging course for your dog. It can get messy but it would be a fun exercise for your dog.

Lastly, is hide and seek which can be fun for you and your dog. You can try hiding your dog’s favorite toy, treats, or simply hiding in different corners of your home. Start hiding a toy or treat under a blanket sheet or pillows.

You can see how long your dog finds the treats or toys. Now, if you choose to hide yourself, it is best to get a family member or two to play with you. It is hard to hide when your dog follows you around. The advantage of having more than one person to play is that they can hold your dog while you hide.

Now, these are just some games that you can play inside your home. You can get creative and think of your own game that you can play. It is still best to take your dog out for a walk which will give them more exercise than just playing at home. 


When the temperature outside is 89.6°F (32°C), then it would be best to find other ways to get your dog some exercise. Exposing your dogs into a very hot temperature can lead to heatstroke which will be dangerous for your dogs. Knowing the signs that it is too hot for your dog is important to prevent them from having a heatstroke. It is always a good idea to apply The 5 Second Rule when you are planning to take your dog out for a walk on a hot summer day. Finding other ways to give your dog’s exercise is another way to prevent them from risking high temperatures outside. Knowing all of this information will be less of a worry for you and can provide a healthier life for your dogs!


Michelle loves enjoying the outdoors with her dogs. She grew in a big house near the beach with German Shepherds. Nowadays, Michelle has down-sized her dogs to poodles, proving small dogs can enjoy the outdoors too! Her dogs enjoy playing fetch, swimming, and long walks. Michelle and her dogs enjoy escaping the city limits to hike, camp, and swim.

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