inside banner 1
inside banner 3
inside banner 4

How hot is too hot to run with a dog

Running can be an enjoyable activity for many, especially with the company of your dog! However, dogs are not built to withstand the heat and humidity the same way humans are, so it is important to be aware of when it is too hot to run with your dog, and what precautions to take to keep them safe in warmer weather.


How do you know if it is too hot?

Depending on the breed of your dog, the maximum temperature that they can go running in can vary, so it is a wise decision to do independent research on your dog’s breed. Age and respiratory issues can also play a part in a dog’s ability to handle the heat as older dogs and those with respiratory issues may struggle to regulate their breathing and temperature more than other dogs.

Regardless of your dog’s breed, age, or medical history, it is recommended to avoid running at temperatures exceeding 80°F (27°C). Humidity also comes into play as this can restrict your dog’s ability to pant (a dog’s main form of regulating its body temperature). Due to this, another way to determine whether it is too hot to run with your dog is the 150 rule. By adding together the temperature and humidity for the day, you should avoid running with your dog if the total exceeds 150 (for example – a temperature of 86°F and a humidity of 70% totals 156). 


What are the risks of running in extreme heat with your dog?

The risks of overworking your dog in extreme heat are very similar to the risks of overworking yourself in extreme heat. Dogs are at risk of overheating and heatstroke, particularly in high humidity, as well as developing dehydration. It’s also important to be aware of the risk of sunburn and burning your dog’s paw on the hot pavement.

Below is a list of signs to look out for in your dog that indicates that they are struggling to handle the heat during your run:

  • Excessive panting

  • Struggling to run/keep pace with you

  • Fatigue/weakness/collapse

  • Excessive drooling

  • Glazed eyes

  • Dark red tongue/gums

  • Dry nose

  • Vomiting/diarrhea

  • Red/inflamed/peeling skin


What precautions can be taken to keep your dog cool?

Below is a list of tips and tricks to keep your dog safe during a run this summer:

  • Select trails with soft paths and plenty of shade – avoid hot pavement

  • Stay hydrated – provide your dog with plenty of water before, during, and after your run

  • Take shorter and slower runs with plenty of breaks to compensate for the increase in heat

  • Buy doggie boots or paw wax to protect your dogs’ paws whilst running

  • Choose routes with lakes/streams nearby to allow your dog to cool down

  • Run early in the morning or late in the evening, when the day is coolest

  • Exchange some of your runs for walks or other alternate activities when the weather is too hot

  • Stay alert and pay attention to your dog for warning signs that they are struggling in the heat

Some days you may find it is completely out of the question to take your dog for a run, but you can always opt for alternative activities to keep them occupied! Water activities such as sprinklers or a pool at home can help your dog cool off, or a trip to the beach allows them to adventure outside whilst having a water source to cool down nearby. Indoor activities are an option for days that are far too hot to venture outside. Games and activities like puzzle games or tug of war keep your dog stimulated and engaged without overworking them in the heat.

For more top tips on how to be a responsible dog owner in the summer months, contact Emergency Pet Hospital of Redlands at our office in Redlands, California, at (909) 793-5999.