Are you planning on visiting or relocating to a lovely hot country, and are wondering whether your furry friend would be happy there? Hopefully your dog isn’t on this list of worse dog breeds for hot weather.
It’s important to consider how comfortable your dog will be in hot weather, as some dog breeds are far better suited for heat than others. This is due to many different factors, such as their coat type, body size, and breed origin. The shape of their snout is also an important factor to consider, as this will tell you how well they breathe and therefore regulate their temperature.
In this article, we will list the worse dog breeds for hot weather, and why. We will also list some signs of heat stroke in dogs to look out for and share some tips on how to keep your dog cool in hot weather.
What are the worse dog breeds for hot weather?
The Affenpinscher is a small breed of dog that originated in Germany, where they were bred to be ratters and companions. They have a distinctive appearance, with a shaggy, wiry coat, a square shaped head and a short, broad muzzle. It’s their shaggy coat and short snout that makes them susceptible to overheating in hot weather. We recommend limiting activity and giving them a good haircut in hot weather, to help them manage.
The Akita Inu is a large and powerful breed of dog that originated in Japan. Akita Inus have a distinctive appearance, with a thick, double coat that can be a range of colors including white, red, and brindle. It’s their thick, double coat that makes them far better suited to colder climates, as they are prone to overheating in hot weather.
Alaskan Malamutes were originally bred for their strength and endurance to pull heavy sleds and freight in harsh Arctic conditions. They have a thick, double coat that to protect them from cold temperatures, which makes them one of the worse dogs for hot weather.
Although you may think cutting their hair is a solution to the problem, but it is generally not recommended to cut a Malamute’s hair. If you shave or cut their hair too short, it can make it harder for them to regulate their body temperature and may lead to skin problems, as well as increase their risk of sunburn.
American Eskimo Dog
American Eskimo dogs, also known as Eskies, are members of the Spitz family, related to Alaskan Malamutes. Although they were originally bred in Germany and have nothing to do with Eskimos, their thick, white coat makes them far better suited to colder weather. However, with adequate brushing and limited activity and exposure in direct sun, they can manage some heat. Just be sure to keep them hydrated and groomed.
Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs, also known as Berners, are a large breed of dog that originated in Switzerland. They were originally bred to work on farms as draft animals, pulling carts and herding livestock. Berners have a very thick coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and keep them comfortable in warm weather. Therefore, they must prefer lounging in the cool shade than in warm weather.
Boston Terriers are a small breed of dog that originated in the United States in the 1800s. Being a brachycephalic dog breed, which means they have flat faces and short snouts, they are prone to having breathing difficulties. This makes them very sensitive to hot weather as they struggle to regulate their body temperature. Make sure you limit their activity in warmer weather and keep them well hydrated.
Although Boxers have short coats, better suited for hot weather, they are a brachycephalic dog breed which could cause them problems in hot weather. Their short snouts makes them susceptible to breathing issues, which makes it harder for them to regulate their temperature in hot weather. They’re also pretty active dogs, which may put them at risk of heatstroke in hotter climates. Be sure to restrict their activity in extremely hot weather, and keep them hydrated.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
King Charles Spaniels are generally healthy dogs, but they are prone to certain health issues such as heart problems, obesity and breathing difficulty. Their short muzzles limiting their air intake, along with their fluffy coats puts them at risk of heatstroke if they are over-exhausted in hot weather.
Chinese Imperial Dog
The Chinese Imperial dog is a small dog breed, closely related to the Shih Tzu breed, that originates from China. Their short muzzles and fluffy coat are what makes them qualify for one of the worse dog breeds for hot weather. It is best to keep this dog inside during the day in hot climates.
The Chow Chow is a medium to large breed of dog that originated in China. Their thick coats and heavy fur makes them one of the worse dog breeds for hot weather as they are prone to overheating quickly. They also have a tendency to sunburn, making them susceptible to skin cancer. You can help them out by grooming them regularly, limited exposure to hot weather and keeping them well hydrated.
The English Bulldog, also known as the Bulldog, is a medium-sized breed of dog that originated in England. These dogs are prone to certain health issues such as breathing problems, skin allergies, and obesity. With their short snouts, Bulldogs are prone to overheating as they struggle to regulate their body temperature. Additionally, their short coats make them susceptible to sunburn. So, it’s best you keep English Bullies out of the hot weather and in the cool shade.
The French Bulldog, also known as the Frenchie, is a small-sized breed of dog that originated in – you guessed it – France. Like their English cousins, these dogs are also prone to certain health issues such as breathing problems, skin allergies, and obesity. Their short snouts, make them prone to overheating as they struggle to regulate their body temperature. They are also susceptible to sunburn as they have short coats. So, it is important to monitor their activity levels and provide them with plenty of water and shade.
French Mastiffs, also known as Dogue de Bordeaux, are a large dog breed with short, thick coats. Their thick coats and short snouts, make them one of the worse dogs for hot weather as they are prone to breathing difficulties. It’s important to limit their activity, keep them well hydrated and out of direct sunlight in hot weather.
The Lhasa Apso is a small, sturdy dog breed that originated in Tibet. They have long, dense coats that puts them at risk of overheating in hot weather. We recommend that you regularly trim and brush their hair in hot weather to help them regulate their body temperature. However, be sure to keep them out of direct sunlight as they are prone to getting sunburnt.
The Japanese Chin is a small breed of dog that originated in Japan and is known for its distinctive appearance and regal demeanor. These dogs are generally a healthy breed, but they can be prone to certain health problems, such as heart problems, and respiratory issues. It’s their adorable short snouts that make it harder for them to breathe, and therefore regulate their body temperature in hot weather. In hot weather, it’s a good idea to give them a trim, limit activity and exposure to sun, and keep them well hydrated.
The Keeshond, also known as the ‘Smiling Dutchman’ is medium-sized breed of dog that originated in the Netherlands. They are known for their distinctive “spectacles” of fur around their eyes and their thick, plush coats. It’s these thick coats that put them at risk of overheating in hot weather. Daily brushing is recommended, and it’s a good idea to keep their coats trimmed short to help them stay cooler.
The Newfoundland dog, also known as the ‘Newfie’, is a large breed of dog that originated in Newfoundland, Canada. These giant dogs have thick, double coats that means they overheat easily.
You might think that trimming their hair will help keep him cool, but it won’t. First of all, the fuzzy coat that is left after shaving will prevent cool air from getting to the skin. Additionally, the shaved coat would lets the sun through to the skin, exposing him to the danger of overheating, sunburn and potentially even skin cancer.
The Pekingese is a small breed of dog that originated in China. These dogs are known for their long, flowing coats, their flat faces, bulging eyes, and short snouts. It’s their long fur and short snouts that put them on this list of worse dog breeds for hot weather. They are prone to breathing difficulties, which only gets worse in hot weather. Limit their activity in the summertime and keep them out of direct sunlight in extreme weather.
The Pomeranian, also known as the Pom, is a small breed of dog that originated in the region of Pomerania (now part of Germany and Poland). They have fluffy, double-coated fur, making them one of the worst breeds for hot weather. Additionally, their short muzzle can make breathing difficult, limiting their air intake which would help cool them down. To help keep them cool in hot weather, be sure to keep on top of grooming, to help shed their thick undercoat.
Pugs are sadly one of the worse dog breeds in hot weather. They have one of the shortest snouts in the dog world, which makes them prone to breathing difficulties. Many pugs struggle to breathe on a cool day, so they really suffer in hot weather. Additionally, their wrinkly snouts can trap heat and moisture, which may lead to skin infections. They are also prone to obesity which would only make matters worse.
Samoyeds are a breed of dog originally developed by the Samoyede people of Siberia for herding reindeer and pulling sleds. This means they were bred to thrive in cold climates. Their thick double coats make them susceptible to overheating in hot weather. Shaving their hair is not recommended, but it’s important to keep on top of grooming to help them shed their thick undercoat.
Shih Tzus are a small breed of dog that originated in China. Their distinctive fluffy coats, flat face and short muzzle puts them at risk of suffering in hot weather. Not only will their fur cause them to overheat, the short snouts make it harder to breathe and therefore regulate their body temperature.
Huskies are a breed of dog that originated in Siberia, Russia. They were originally bred as sled dogs, and are known for their strength and endurance in cold climates. They have thick double coats designed to keep them warm in extremely cold climates, which puts them at risk of heat stroke in hot weather.
Although you may think cutting their hair is a solution to the problem, but it is generally not recommended to cut a Husky’s hair. If you shave or cut their hair too short, it can make it harder for them to regulate their body temperature and may lead to skin problems, as well as increase their risk of sunburn.
St. Bernards are a large breed of dog that originated in the cold and snowy Swiss Alps. They have a thick, double coat that can cause them to easily overheat in hot weather.
Similarly to Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes and Samoyed, it’s not recommended to cut their hair. However, it’s important to brush out their hair regularly in hot weather, to help them shed their undercoat.
The Yakutian Laika, also known as the Yakut Laika or the Siberian Yakut Laika, is a breed of dog that originated in the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic in northeastern Russia. They were bred to thrive in the harsh climates of Siberia, and their thick double coats makes them prone to overheating and heat stroke in hot weather.
Similarly to St Bernards, Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes and Samoyed, it’s not recommended to cut their hair. However, it’s important to brush out their hair regularly in hot weather, to help them shed their undercoat.
Signs of heat stroke in dogs.
Heat stroke is a serious condition that can occur when a dog’s body temperature rises to dangerous levels, usually as a result of exposure to high temperatures or humidity. It is important to recognize the signs of heat stroke in dogs so that you can seek veterinary attention immediately.
Look out for the following signs of heat stroke in dogs:
- Excessive panting and drooling
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Vomiting or diarrhoea
- Lethargy or weakness
- Red or pale gums
- Seizures or collapse
If you notice any of these signs, it is important to take immediate action to cool your dog down and seek veterinary attention as soon as possible. Move your dog to a cooler area, wet their fur with cool water (not cold), offer them cool water to drink, and use a fan to help circulate air. If you suspect your dog has heatstroke, do not use ice or cold water, as this can cause their body temperature to drop too quickly and lead to further complications. Heat stroke can be a life-threatening emergency, so it is important to act quickly and get your dog the help they need.
Tips for looking after dogs in hot weather.
All dogs, particularly those on the ‘worse dog breeds for hot weather’ list, can be susceptible to heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses. So, it is important to take precautions to keep them safe and comfortable in hot weather.
Here are some tips for keeping your dog cool during hot weather:
- Provide plenty of fresh water: Make sure your dog has access to fresh, cool water at all times. You can consider adding ice cubes to the water bowl to help keep it cool.
- Provide shade: If your dog spends time outdoors, make sure there is a shaded area for them to rest in.
- Avoid hot pavement: Walking your dog on hot pavement can burn their paws, so try to walk them in grassy areas or on cooler surfaces like dirt, sand or gravel.
- Avoid exercise during the hottest parts of the day: Try to exercise your dog during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening.
- Keep them indoors: If possible, keep your dog indoors in well-ventilated and cool areas during the hottest parts of the day.
- Cool them down: You can cool your dog down by wetting their fur with cool (not cold) water or using a damp towel to wipe them down. You can also use a fan to help circulate air and keep them cool.
- Never leave them in a parked car: Even with the windows cracked, the temperature inside a parked car can quickly rise to dangerous levels, potentially causing heat stroke or death. An independent study showed that the interior temperature of vehicles parked in outside temperatures ranging from 72 to 96° F rose steadily as time increased. And cracking the windows doesn’t help.
By following these tips, you can help keep your dog safe and comfortable during hot weather. If you notice any signs of heat exhaustion, such as excessive panting, drooling, or lethargy, seek veterinary attention immediately.
Should I trim my dog in hot weather?
This depends entirely on the breed of your dog. Some dogs will benefit greatly from a trim in the summertime, however, it’s actually detrimental to other, double-coated dog breeds.
Double coated dogs are dogs that have a thick undercoat of soft, fluffy fur covered by a topcoat of coarser fur. The undercoat provides insulation and helps regulate the dog’s body temperature, while the topcoat helps repel water and dirt.
The following double-coated dogs should not get the trim:
- Siberian Husky
- Alaskan Malamute
- Golden Retriever
- German Shepherd
- Australian Shepherd
- Shetland Sheepdog
- Border Collie
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- Yakutian Laika
The best way to help a double-coated dog stay cool in summer is to keep on top of grooming. Brush or comb your dog regularly to help remove the undercoat and help keep him or her tangle-free. This can be a big job, so take your dog to the groomer if you can’t keep up with it yourself.
The common characteristics between the worse dog breeds for hot weather are having thick, double coats and/or being brachycephalic (having short snouts).
Many dog breeds with thick coats were bred to protect them from the harsh and cold climates. Of course, the thicker your dog’s coat, the more prone to heatstroke and overheating they are. While trimming may help some dogs stay cool in hot weather, it may also put them at risk of sunburn. So, try to keep them out of direct sunlight. It’s also important to note that it’s not recommended to trim a dog with a double coat. These include St Bernards, Huskies, Malamutes and Samoyed. It’s more beneficial to brush them regularly, to help shed the undercoat.
Having a short snout is another factor in developing heatstroke and a reason these breeds are the worst for hot weather. These dogs find it harder to breathe, and therefore regulate their body temperature.
So, if your dog has a thick and heavy coat, or is brachycephalic, you may want to spare your dog the discomfort. Be sure to follow our trips on how to keep a dog cool in hot weather.