Thinking about moving with your German Shepherd to a location where hot weather is the norm? Before you take the next step, make sure you know exactly what to expect when you live in the heat with your dog. This guide will give you all of the necessary information to prepare you and your pooch for the dog days of summer!
Yes, German Shepherds can live in hot weather. They are highly adaptable animals that do well acclimating to any climate. Although they were bred more for the cold, their double-coat of fur serves a dual purpose, and works as a cooling system when it is hot outside. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t susceptible to having a heat stroke like any other breed.
What Temperature Is Too Hot For My German Shepherd?
There is no way to determine the exact temperature that is too hot for a German Shepherd. However, anything over 95°F can be dangerous depending on the circumstances like humidity levels and the amount of sun shining on your dog.
A 90°F day can feel like 100 degrees when the humidity is high. That is why you should always check the heat index before letting your German Shepherd outside. It combines the air temperature with the relative humidity.
A GSDs normal temperature is between 101-102.5°F. When temps start to reach the 100’s, things can get dangerous. You should never leave your dog unsupervised in the extreme heat.
Can My German Shepherd Stay Outside In Hot Weather?
Yes, your German Shepherd can stay outside in hot weather provided there is good shade and plenty of cold water to keep him or her hydrated.
If the temp or heat index is over 95°F, you should probably limit the amount of time they are outside to no more than 30 minutes and never leave them unsupervised in the extreme heat.
Taking them out to play, for a walk or to go potty should be fine. You can take them out in the morning or night if you are worried about the high temps when the temp is cooler.
Additionally, dogs will get used to the hot weather over time and their bodies will acclimate to handle it better. Start small limiting time to 10-15 minutes and incrementally work your way up to longer times.
Hot Places In The U.S. That A German Shepherd Can Live
There are several states in the U.S. with hot weather. If you plan on moving to any of the following states, make sure you know their average temps and any rules or regulations on walking or hiking with your German Shepherd in the heat.
Here is a list of the hottest states in descending order:
|State||Average Summer High Temp||Highest Recorded Temp||Suitable For Dog||Rules or Regulations For Heat|
|AR||100°F (38°C)||128°F (53.3°C)||Not Ideal||Ban on hiking trails in Phoenix on 100°F plus days|
|NV||84.6°F (29.2°C)||125°F (51.6°C)||Suitable||Illegal to restrain or tether dog during heat advisory|
|CA||73.4°F (23°C)||134°F (56.6°C)||Ideal||Leaving your dog outside in harsh heat can lead to animal abuse charges|
|TX||81.1°F (27.2°C)||120°F (48.8°C)||Ideal||Can’t leave dog tied up outside with chains or restraints|
|FL||81.0°F (27.2°C)||108°F (42.2°C)||Ideal||None|
If you plan on moving to another country with hot weather, do your research and find out the average high temps during spring and summer. Also check the rules and regulations in that country.
German Shepherds have been known to survive harsh conditions and extreme heat especially when it comes to the military.
Back in 2018, the army had around 600 dog teams in the military that had served in Afghanistan and Iraq. In Afghanistan, temps are between 97-109°F during the summer. In Iraq, average temps rise above 120°F during July and August.
German Shepherd Tips To Stay Cool
When summer rolls around, you want to be prepared for the extreme heat. There are lots of tips and tricks that will help you keep your German Shepherd cool and avoid a heat stroke.
- Always have fresh cold water: This is a given for any dog outside in the heat. Make sure you plenty of fresh cold water to keep their body hydrated available at all times. Keep it in the shade or under a tree so it stays cool.
- Don’t walk them on pavement: Hot asphalt will burn a dog’s feet. A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t walk on it bare footed, they can’t walk on it bare footed. Hot asphalt gets hotter quicker and is normally a higher temp than the actual air.
- Fill up an outdoor kids’ pool: You can fill up an outdoor kids’ pool with fresh cold water for them to jump around in or play. It provides them with fresh water and gives them exercise at the same time. Make sure to put it in a shady area.
- Give them frozen dog treats: Giving your GSD some frozen dog treats is a great way to cool them off during hot weather. Just make sure they are healthy and not fatty. You want to keep your dog lean and healthy.
- Limit their time outside: Never let them stay outside for too long especially when the temp is above 95 degrees Fahrenheit. 15-30 minutes should be the maximum when it’s that hot. Bring them back inside to cool down in the AC.
- Make sure they have shade: German Shepherds normally have black fur on top of their body which absorbs more heat. This can make them hotter faster. Make sure they have a shady spot to chill in the summer heat.
- Never shave their coat: You never want to shave your GSDs coat. It is a misconception that it makes them cooler. It actually makes them hotter because the coat works as a cooling system in the heat. The coat also protects their skin from sunburn.
- Play games inside: There are plenty of fun games that you can play with your GSD indoors instead of outdoors in the heat. Play hide and seek or tug-o-war for some exercise.
- Use a cooling vest: Many owners have good things to say about using a cooling vest on their German Shepherd. You soak it in water and the evaporation keeps them cooler. You just soak it in water to reuse over and over.
- Use sun screen to avoid sun burn: A GSDs skin can get sun burnt just like a human’s. Make sure your dog is well groomed and apply sun screen to their body. You will want to use an unscented dog-friendly sun screen that is waterproof.
- Supervise them at all times: You always want to keep an eye on your dog at all times during the extreme heat. Know the signs and symptoms of a heat stroke so that you are prepared to take action in the event that he or she overheats.
- Walk them in the morning or at night: This is one of the best suggestions and one that many dog owners in hot locations choose to do. Instead of walking your dog in the heat of the day, try the morning or night time when temps are cooler.
Will My German Shepherd Overheat In Hot Weather
Anytime your German Shepherd is outside in the hot weather, there is a risk of them getting a heat stroke. Make sure you know the signs and symptoms so you can be prepared in the case of an emergency.
Signs and symptoms:
- Agitation or depression
- Collapsing, coma or seizure
- Excessive panting
- Frothing at the mouth
- Gait is unsteady
- Stiff posture
- Temperature above 104°F or 40°C
- Thick saliva
If you notice any of these signs, make sure to take them to the emergency vet immediately for help! Heat strokes can cause brain damage and even death if untreated.
Can A German Shepherd Puppy Survive In Extreme Heat?
They can survive with adequate shade and plenty of fresh cold water but it is not recommended to leave them outside in hot weather.
They are much better off being indoors during the extreme heat. If you do let a puppy out during the dog days of summer, make sure it is only for a limited time.
You always want to supervise a GSD puppy to make sure they are not overheating. Let them out for a short walk and to go potty and then bring them back inside to cool off again.
A German Shepherd can definitely live in hot weather but you need to take extra precaution compared to cooler locations. Do your research if you plan on moving somewhere hot and make sure that you have a plan for walks and exercise that will avoid the hottest part of the day.
German Shepherds are tough animals with an excellent ability to adapt to their environment. But there is always the risk of them getting too hot and paying the price. Always check the heat index on a hot day and not just the air temperature.
Please leave a comment below and let us know what you think!
Have you and your GSD ever lived anywhere with extreme heat? Do you have any extra tips for owners that are thinking about moving to a hotter location? Let us know! We would love to hear your personal story!