Running with your dog is a great way to stay in shape, and it also allows you to bond with your canine companion. However, it’s important not to run when the temperature is too high because it can be hazardous for humans and dogs alike.
Running in hot temperatures for an extended period can potentially cause dehydration, leading to kidney failure or even death. So if you plan on jogging with your dog in the hot summer months, make sure you take precautionary measures like carrying water with you or run in parks with lots of shade.
But the question is, how hot is too hot to run with your furry best friend?
Risks of Running With Your Dog in Hot Temperatures
Before we go over the temperature that’s not safe to run with your dog, first, we’ll talk about some of the risks associated with running in hot weather.
If you’re a runner yourself, then you might have experienced feeling overheated while running in the heat. This is especially true if you’ve overdressed for the weather or are just not acclimated to warmer climates. And what starts out as a refreshing jog can quickly turn into an unpleasantly hot run. The same goes for dogs!
Dogs, especially those with a long, thick fur coat, are at risk for overheating when exercising in hot temperatures. Even dog breeds with short to medium-length coats can overheat if the weather is extremely hot and humid.
Dogs who run for a long period when it’s hot outside can quickly lose a significant amount of water through sweating. If not given enough fresh drinking water, they will be at risk for dehydration, leading to kidney failure and death in severe cases.
Dogs running on a scorching day for an extended period without shade, water, or rest will also be at risk for heat stroke. It is a potentially fatal condition where a dog’s body temperature has risen to or above 40.5°C (105°F).
Some symptoms include fever, difficulty breathing, fast breathing rates, excessive panting, lethargy, and not wanting to move. If your fido starts to show any signs of heat stroke, don’t hesitate to take them to a cooler area, wet them with cool water, or visit a nearby vet immediately.
Below is what you should always do when running with your dog in the summer heat.
1. Observe Your Dog’s Behavior
Does your pup appear tired or listless? Is their tail wagging slowly, and do they seem lethargic? If so, this could be an indication that they’re experiencing overheating.
2. Pay Attention to Your Dog’s Breathing and Heart Rate
An elevated heartbeat is a sign of overheating. So, if your dog seems uncomfortable and has a fast breathing and heart rate, try to give your canine some water to help cool them down.
3. Check Your Dog’s Gums
Healthy gums are pale pink. But if you notice your pooch has bright red gums along with signs of rapid breathing, it is a sign of heatstroke.
When is Too Hot to Run With Your Pup
Now that we’ve discussed the risks of running with your dog in excessive heat. Let’s talk about what degrees are too warm to go for a run!
Generally speaking, it’s best to avoid going jogging with your canine if the temperature is above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The hotter it gets, the more dangerous it becomes!
Here’s the hot weather safety chart put together by PetPlan. You can use it as a general guideline to determine what temperatures are dangerous for your pup to go jogging with you.
If you insist on going running with your dog on a sweltering day, although I advise not to, make sure that you carry plenty of water to ensure your pup stays hydrated. And keep an eye out for signs of heat exhaustion (as discussed above).
Also, remember that dogs tend to overheat more quickly in humid weather than in dry weather. So if it’s going to be a particularly humid and hot day, it’s best not to risk running with your canine companion until late afternoon!
Tips for Running With Your Dog in Hot Weather
1. Consider Your Dog’s Coat Length
If you’re going to run with your dog on hot days, make sure they can handle the heat. Dogs with short to medium-length fur coats tend to have higher heat tolerance than long-haired dogs. And keep in mind that certain breeds that were bred for the colder climates like Siberian Huskies and Malamutes can’t handle heat well.
2. Run During Early Morning or Late Afternoon Hours
It’s best to avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day, typically around 3 p.m. and stick to running outside only during early morning or late afternoon hours when temperatures tend to be cooler or on days that are cloudy and overcast.
3. Carry Plenty of Water
4. Take Frequent Breaks
You should also allow your pup to take frequent breaks, especially if they don’t have much experience running. Don’t force your canine to carry on jogging if they’re too tired or start showing signs of dehydration.
5. Run in the Shade
If possible, run on paths or trails shaded by trees. This will help keep your pup from overheating and should also provide them with some much-needed relief from the hot sun.
6. Avoid Running on Pavements and Sidewalks
It’s best to avoid jogging with your pup on hot pavement or concrete, as the heat can rise pretty rapidly on these surfaces. But if running on paved roads or sidewalks is the only option, make sure to protect your dog’s paws by getting them to wear boots or apply protective paw wax to their feet.
Otherwise, use the five-second rule, in which you place the back of your hand on the ground for five seconds. If you can’t hold your hand in place without pain, then it’s too hot for them to run on this surface!
7. Take Extra Precautions if Running With a Brachycephalic Breed
Dogs who fall under the “brachycephalic breed” category, for instance, Boxers, Pugs, Boston Terriers, and Bulldogs, are especially susceptible to overheating faster than any other breed.
The reason being is that they have a shorter and narrower windpipe that restricts their airways, which can make it hard for them to breathe during extreme running conditions. So, always take extra precautions when running with a dog of this breed in warm temperatures to ensure they are safe, or best, leave them at home!
Summer running is a great way to stay in shape and bond with your furry friend. In fact, running with your canine can help ensure both you and your dog stay healthy physically and mentally! But you have to be careful about choosing the right weather before heading out.
As responsible pet parents or dog owners, you should avoid going jogging or running with your dog if the temperature is over 80 degrees Fahrenheit because that can put them at risk for heat exhaustion, which could lead to death. And always make sure your dog has plenty of water to drink to help them stay hydrated, frequently taking breaks, and, if possible, run on shaded trails.
After all, your four-footed friend is part of your family and should be treated as such! Happy running!