Does your Dachshund love staying outside in the sun for hours? Are you worried he may be at risk of heat exhaustion or heatstroke? Here’s everything you need to know about whether Dachshunds can stay outside in the heat.
Can Dachshunds Stay Outside In The Heat? Most Dachshunds can stay outside in the heat, but only for a short amount of time in the early morning or evening when the sun is not too hot. Dogs can’t cool themselves down in the same way humans do, so too much time in the heat could cause heatstroke.
Read on to find out what the symptoms of heatstroke are, and how to prevent your Dachshund from getting heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
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This article is based on research and personal experience as a Dachshund owner of 10+ years. I’m not a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist.
Do Dachshunds Love The Sun?
Yes, Dachshunds generally love the heat and warmth much more than cold, wet weather. So you might have noticed your Dachshund loves laying in the sun!
Like cats, Dachshunds often try to find little sun spots by the window to absorb that heat. They simply enjoy the way the sun feels on their skin!
In fact, Dachshunds love the sun for the same reasons people do – warmth, serotonin, and vitamin D! All of these can help your Dachshund lead a happier, healthier life.
However, too much sun or humidity could cause your Dachshund to overheat, and this could lead to sunburn, heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
Can My Dachshund Stay Outside In The Heat?
Yes, most Dachshunds can stay outside in the heat for a short amount of time as long as the sun isn’t too hot. Just be sure to go out early in the morning or early evening to avoid the hottest part of the day.
As a general rule of thumb, if the weather feels too hot for you, then it’s definitely too hot for your Dachshund!
That’s because Dachshunds naturally have a higher body temperature than us humans do. They aren’t able to sweat in the same way we do.
Dogs sweat through their paw pads, but this isn’t an effective or quick way for them to cool down.
That’s why your Dachshund will rely on panting to evaporate moisture and lower his body temperature that way.
However, this cooling process takes quite a long time. And, if your Dachshund can’t dissipate the heat quick enough, then heatstroke can occur.
Why Do Dachshunds Overheat?
This is why Dachshunds overheat:
Dachshunds are drawn to the sun and this can cause them to overheat
Dachshunds tend to gravitate towards the sun and heat. Whether that’s laying in a sun patch on the floor by the window or outside in the garden or yard.
They much prefer basking in the warmth of the sun than being outside in cold, wet and windy weather.
The problem is, they never know when it’s time to move away, and can overheat without realising it.
Dachshunds love playing outside and this can cause them to overheat
But even though your Dachshund might seem like he’s full of energy, he could be over-exerting himself if it’s too hot or humid outside.
Unfortunately, your Dachshund probably won’t realise when he’s getting too hot. Dogs often stay out in the heat for longer than their bodies can tolerate!
Dachshunds don’t sweat like humans do and this can cause them to overheat
Like all dogs, Dachshunds don’t sweat out body heat in the same way us humans do.
They sweat through their paw pads which makes it much harder for them to cool down quickly.
Dachshunds also pant rapidly when they overheat to evaporate moisture and try to regulate their body temperature that way.
So, if you’re sweating from the heat, just remember that dogs can’t really sweat to cool down. That means your Dachshund will be feeling even hotter than you!
Dachshunds are prone to thyroid problems and this can cause them to overheat
Your Dachshund’s thyroid is responsible for regulating his body temperature.
If your Dachshund has been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, he’ll be much more likely to overheat in warm or humid weather.
In fact, as a precaution, it may be best to keep your Dachshund inside on hot days (you can check that with your vet!).
If your Dachshund’s thyroid isn’t functioning properly, it can also lead to weight gain.
Unfortunately, this is another factor that contributes to dogs overheating in warm or humid weather.
Dachshunds are prone to obesity and this can cause them to overheat
Carrying excess weight works as insulation and can affect your Dachshund’s ability to regulate his own body temperature.
That extra layer of fat can also put pressure on your Dachshund’s heart and make it harder for him to breathe.
Obese Dachshunds are much less tolerant of heat than healthy weight Dachshunds.
Dachshunds have warm coats and this can cause them to overheat
Dachshunds can have one of three different coat types.
Smooth-haired Dachshunds have a short coat, long-haired Dachshunds have a long, silky coat, and wire-haired Dachshunds have a coarse, wirey coat.
All three coat types are going to be hot in the sun, but the long-haired and wire-haired Dachshunds will overheat really quickly.
That’s because thicker coats are more insulating. Whereas smooth-haired Dachshunds with shorter coats will radiate more heat and be able to cool off a bit more easily.
However, whichever coat your Dachshund has, that extra layer of fur is still going to be a big factor in them overheating!
Dachshunds are less tolerant of heat as they get older
As Dachshunds age, they tend to get more health problems and are less able to tolerate heat.
In fact, older Dachshunds and those that are obese are most at risk of heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
So even though most Dachshunds can go outside in the heat for short times, you have to be more cautious if your Dachshund is older or overweight.
What Is Heatstroke In Dachshunds?
Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition that happens when a Dachshund’s body temperature rises too high after being exposed to heat or sun, and fails to cool down quick enough.
Heatstroke is extremely dangerous and can lead to organ failure, brain damage or seizures. It can even be fatal if not treated quickly enough.
Basically, Dachshunds naturally have a higher body temperature than us humans do, but they aren’t able to sweat in the same way we do.
It takes them much longer to cool down and sometimes they can’t do it quick enough.
The heat gets trapped in their body which then causes their temperature to rise. This then puts them at high risk of suffering from heatstroke.
Heatstroke is a veterinary emergency that can be fatal if not treated fast enough. If you have any concerns about your Dachshund’s health, contact your vet immediately for advice.
Are Dachshunds At Risk Of Heatstroke?
Yes, Dachshunds are at risk of heatstroke when their body temperature rises too high and they’re unable to cool themselves down fast enough.
Heatstroke is one of the most dangerous issues with Dachshunds spending too much time outside in the heat or locked in a car for any length of time, even with the windows open!
However, Dachshunds don’t just get heatstroke from laying outside in the heat on hot or humid days.
They’re also in danger on walks, when travelling in a warm car, when in hot rooms without enough airflow, if they don’t have enough water, and if they’ve been over-exerting themselves too much in the sun.
Any situation that could cause your Dachshund to overheat puts him at potential risk of heatstroke.
The reason heatstroke is so serious is because normal bodily functions can’t take place when a Dachshund’s body temperate gets too high.
If a Dachshund isn’t given the right help to cool down, organs can start to fail, leaving little chance of recovery.
Symptoms Of Heatstroke In Dachshunds
Dachshunds love being outside in the heat but it can be dangerous for them if you don’t know what the signs of heatstroke are.
The symptoms of heatstroke in Dachshunds are:
Normally, the first sign of heatstroke in your Dachshund will be excessive panting. This is particularly noticeable if they haven’t been running around.
When it’s hot outside, your Dachshund might start to pant much more heavily than normal to try and cool himself down.
However, panting is a less efficient way of lowering body temperature than sweating is. This makes it more difficult for a Dachshund to cool themselves down fast enough.
Although panting may help a bit, it’ll be very easy for your Dachshund to start overheating quite quickly.
This is particularly true in the summer months when temperatures can get very high.
So, if your Dachshund suddenly starts panting or breathing rapidly, then it’s time to move inside!
It’s normal for your Dachshund to drool a little bit. But if he starts drooling excessively, this can also be a sign of heatstroke.
The saliva will likely be quite thick in texture because your Dachshund will be dehydrated.
If it’s warm outside and you notice your Dachshund suddenly drinking an excessive amount of water, he could be overheating or suffering from heatstroke.
Another symptom of heatstroke in Dachshunds is dizziness. Your Dachshund might seem like he can’t balance properly anymore. He may fall over or look shaky on his feet.
Change in gum colour
If your Dachshund is suffering from heatstroke his gums or tongue may turn bright red. As things get more severe his gums may start to look pale, white or blue.
Another symptom of heatstroke is hot skin. If your Dachshund is overheating, the skin on his ears and belly will be hot to touch.
As your Dachshund continues to overheat, he will likely get weaker, less coordinated and cohesive.
Signs of weakness include tiredness, stumbling, disorientation, being unable to walk, not wanting to move, or collapsing.
Vomiting and diarrhea
Your Dachshund may start to vomit and have diarrhea as the symptoms of heatstroke progress.
This is because overheating could damage your Dachshund’s organs, including his digestive system – meaning his esophagus, intestines and stomach.
If your Dachshund’s heatstroke is in the danger zone, his brain could swell and this could lead to seizures.
If your Dachshund’s heatstroke is severe, he could pass out from the heat. This is a life-threatening emergency that must be dealt with immediately or it could lead to fatality.
If you notice any of these signs or have any concerns about your Dachshund’s health, move your Dachshund to a cooler, shaded area and contact your vet immediately for advice.
How To Prevent Heatstroke In Dachshunds
This is how to prevent heatstroke in Dachshunds:
Make sure your Dachshund has water
Your Dachshund will need to stay hydrated in the heat so make sure he has plenty of fresh water to drink.
Put water bowls inside and outside your home so he always has access to them when the weather is hot or humid.
You may also want to put a few ice cubes in his water to keep it cooler for longer.
If you do go out for a walk, make sure you take a portable water bottle or bowl with you and stop regularly to give your Dachshund a drink!
Don’t stay outside in the heat for too long
Limit the time you’re outside in the heat with your Dachshund.
It’s better to only allow your Dachshund to go out in the sun for short spells and then bring him back inside to cool off.
The longer your stay outside in hot weather, the more chance there is of your Dachshund overheating or getting heatstroke.
Remember, if it’s too hot for you, then it’s definitely too hot for your Dachshund!
Don’t go out at the hottest time of the day
Never take your Dachshund outside at the hottest time of the day. It’s best to go out early morning or early evening to avoid the most intense heat.
Walking a Dachshund in hot, sunny or humid weather is one of the most common causes of heatstroke.
Be mindful of the roads, pavements or sidewalk too. If the surface is too hot for you to hold the back of your hand on for 10 seconds, then it’ll definitely burn your Dachshund’s paw pads and hurt his feet.
Cool down your home for your Dachshund
Dachshunds can be outside in the heat for short times but they also need to have an area to cool off indoors.
So make sure you’ve got a well-ventilated, indoor space that your Dachshund can cool down in. Don’t put him in a room that has sun shining directly into it.
The temperature of the room needs to be as cool as it can be. So, if you have air-con or an electric fan, keep that on to keep your Dachshund comfortable.
If you don’t have air-con or an electric fan, open the windows or invest in a doggy cool mat to give your Dachshund a place to chill out!
Create a shaded area outside for your Dachshund
Dachshunds love being outside in the heat so it’s not fair to keep them shut inside for the whole of summer (unless they have a medical condition of course!).
A giant parasol or similar should keep some of the heat and sun directly off him.
However, it’s still not advisable to go out at the hottest time of the day, and you should take your Dachshund back inside for regular breaks and water.
Again, if the sun is too hot for you, then it’s definitely too hot for your Dachshund to be out there!
Limit your Dachshund’s playtime
So limit the amount of time you let him zoom around in the heat, and be sure to take him back inside regularly for water and to cool off.
It takes much longer for dogs to cool down than humans. So exercise your Dachshund when it’s cooler to keep him calmer and less playful throughout the day.
Put damp towels on the floor for your Dachshund
If you don’t have a doggy cool mat, put some damp towels on the floor for your Dachshund to lay down on. This’ll help to lower his body temperature in the hot and humid weather.
Damp towels are a great idea on exceptionally hot days when you don’t have any air-conditioning inside!
Don’t travel with your Dachshund in hot weather
If you don’t have air-con in your car, then don’t travel with your Dachshund when it’s really hot and sunny.
If you get stuck in traffic and there’s no airflow in the car, your Dachshund could be at serious risk of overheating.
Sadly, a dog can die within 15 minutes if the car is too hot and they don’t have access to water. Dachshunds need water and ventilation to be able to cool themselves down.
Don’t ever leave your Dachshund in the car
You must NEVER leave your Dachshund in the car when it’s hot outside. Dogs can overheat really quickly, especially when the sun is shining directly onto the car.
Even though it may not seem like it’s that hot outside, the temperature inside the car will always be intensified.
So, even if you’ve parked your car under a tree and left the windows open, it will still be too hot to leave your Dachshund inside.
With no ventilation, this could lead to your Dachshund getting dehydrated or heatstroke and could put him in a life-threatening situation.
Watch out for signs of heatstroke in your Dachshund
Knowing the signs of heatstroke in dogs could actually help to save your Dachshund’s life!
The first signs are usually heavy panting or drooling. So, if you notice these signs, you’ll know it’s time to move your Dachshund inside to cool off.
If your Dachshund’s symptoms are more severe, then move him to a cool, shaded area and contact your vet immediately for advice.
It’s important to pay close attention to your Dachshund when he’s in the heat so you spot the signs of heatstroke and can act quickly to cool him down.
If in doubt, always contact your vet for advice.
Can Dachshunds Die From Heatstroke?
Yes, Dachshunds can die from heatstroke. If a Dachshund’s temperature continues to rise quicker than they can dissipate the heat, and nothing is done to cool them down, this will put them at the most severe risk of organ failure and death from heatstroke.
Again, if you have any concerns about your Dachshund’s health, move him to a cool shaded area and contact your vet immediately for advice.
So, there you have it! Dachshunds love the heat, but should only go out for short times when it’s not too hot outside. Best times of the day are early morning or early evening when the temperatures are much cooler. Keep a close eye on your Dachshund for the symptoms of heatstroke, and make sure you’ve always got water available to keep him hydrated!
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