Does Humidity Affect Dogs? Dogs and Heat Stroke

If you have a dog, then you are naturally concerned about whether or not humidity is something to be concerned about. Dogs and heat stroke can be a very real concern. So does humidity affect dogs?

Humidity affects dogs by increasing their body temperature quickly and dramatically. Dogs pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs in order to reduce the heat from their body. When humidity levels are high, this critical cooling-off process is interrupted and can lead to heat stroke.

Does Humidity Affect Dogs?

High humidity can cause discomfort for both humans and animals, as it can make it difficult to cool down and can also lead to health problems such as dehydration.

Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels, very quickly.

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For dogs, high humidity can be particularly dangerous as they are unable to sweat like humans and rely on panting to regulate their body temperature.

Does Humidity Affect Dogs?

Pets, like humans, are also affected by the humidity in the air. While most dogs enjoy spending time outdoors, high humidity levels can be uncomfortable and even dangerous for them. When it’s very humid, dogs pant to help cool themselves down.

However, if the humidity is too high, their bodies can’t cool efficiently and they can overheat.

Dogs with flat faces (brachycephalic breeds), such as pugs and Boston terriers, are especially prone to problems in high humidity because they have trouble panting effectively.

In extreme cases, heatstroke can occur, which can be fatal.

If you notice your dog is panting heavily or seems lethargic in humid weather, bring him indoors to a cool, air-conditioned space and offer him plenty of water to drink.

What Humidity Is too High for Dogs?

According to Justine Lee, DVM, DACVECC, an emergency veterinary medicine specialist, when the temperature is 80°F and the humidity level is 80%, then it’s too hot and humid for your dog.

Basically, a little common sense goes a long way. If you feel uncomfortable in the heat and humidity, then your dog feels it more.

How to Keep Pets Safe in Hot & Humid Weather

As the weather starts to heat up, it’s important to take extra care of your furry friends. Pets can be at risk for heat stroke and dehydration, so it’s important to take steps to keep them cool and hydrated.

Here are a few tips:

  • Avoid taking your pet for walks during the hottest part of the day.
  • If you have a pet that is short-snouted (such as a bulldog or pug), be especially careful in hot weather as they are more prone to heat stroke.
  • Avoid strenuous activity and make sure they have access to shade and water at all times.
  • Fresh water should be available for your pet at all times.
  • Consider investing in a cooling mat.
  • Never take your pet with you in a vehicle during hot days. Ever. Love is leaving your pet at home because it’s in their best interest. Love does not mean taking them with you, even on hot days. Temperatures can rise quickly in an enclosed space, and pets can suffer from heat stroke very quickly.

Pay close attention to your pet’s behavior. If they seem lethargic or unwell, seek medical attention immediately.

Heat stroke can be very dangerous and even fatal, so it’s important to act quickly if you think your pet may be affected.

By following these simple tips, you can help keep your beloved furry friend safe and cool all summer long.

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Early Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs

Symptoms of heat stroke in dogs include panting, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, drooling, mild weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and collapse. If your dog shows any of these signs, move them to a cool area immediately and wet their coat with cool water. Call your vet for further advice.

It is important to act quickly as heat stroke can rapidly lead to organ damage and death.

Dogs with dark fur or who are overweight are at greater risk of developing heat stroke as they cannot regulate their body temperature as efficiently.

How to Cool Down a Dog Fast

Cool a dog down by removing them from the source of the extreme heat and into a more comfortable area such as indoors. Wet the dog’s coat, and provide an endless supply of water. Provide your dog with a shady spot to rest in, whether that’s underneath a tree or next to air conditioning.

Walk your dog during the cooler early morning, or late-evening hours when the sun isn’t as strong. Additionally, make an effort to greatly minimize the duration of exercise and opt for much shorter walks, if any walks at all.

Bring along a portable fan or water spray bottle to help keep your dog cool on the go.

Or better yet, forego taking your pet outdoors during a heat wave and high humidity.

By following these tips, you can help your dog stay cool and comfortable all summer long.

What Temperature Is too Hot for a Dog in a House?

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including the size of the dog, the thickness of its coat, and its tolerance for heat. In general, however, temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit can be extremely uncomfortable for dogs, and prolonged exposure to heat can lead to heat stroke.

When the temperature outside is very hot, it is best to keep dogs inside in a cool, air-conditioned space.

As the weather starts to heat up, it’s important to take extra care of your furry friends. Pets can be at risk for heat stroke and dehydration, so it’s important to take steps to keep them cool and hydrated.

What Temperature Is too Hot for a Dog Outside?

What temperature is too hot for a dog outside largely depends on the dog’s breed, age, and health. Short-nosed dogs like pugs and bulldogs have a hard time regulating their body temperature and are susceptible to heat stroke. Older dogs and puppies are also more vulnerable to the effects of heat.

If your dog is panting excessively, has an increased heart rate, is unsteady on its feet, or is vomiting, these are all signs that it may be suffering from heat stroke and should be brought inside or to a vet immediately.

In general, if it’s too hot for you to be comfortable outside, it’s probably too hot for your dog as well.

However, each dog is different, so it’s important to pay attention to how your own pet is reacting to the heat.

When in doubt, err on the side of caution and keep your furry friend indoors where it’s cool and comfortable.

Pets should never be left outside in extreme weather conditions.

How Long Should Dogs be Outside in Hot Weather?

A dog should only be outside for short periods of time during hot weather. If your dog is panting heavily or seems to be overheating, bring them indoors immediately and cool them down with lukewarm water. Never add ice to water, as this can cause shock, but cold water is refreshing and just fine.

Final Thoughts

It is important for dog owners to keep their dogs cool during hot and humid weather, as high humidity can cause dogs to overheat quickly.

Dogs will pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body, but if the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels.


Trina Greenfield, Author
SmackDown Media LLC

About the Author:
Trina Greenfield, the owner of SmackDown Media LLC, is passionate about providing information to those interested in the air quality in and around their homes. Trina writes content about things she’s passionate about, such as safe, in-home air, educational platforms for children and adults, as well as all things family-related.